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Skepta 2015.png
Skepta in 2015
Background information
Birth name Joseph Junior Adenuga
Born (1982-09-19) 19 September 1982 (age 36)
North London, England
Years active 2003–present

Joseph Junior Adenuga (born 19 September 1982), better known by his stage name Skepta, is an English grime artist, rapper, songwriter, record producer and music video director.[1] Adenuga released his debut studio album Greatest Hits in 2007 and his second album, Microphone Champion in 2009, both independently; while his third studio album Doin' It Again was released in 2011 by AATW. His fourth studio album, Konnichiwa, was released on 6 May 2016 to critical acclaim, winning that year's Mercury Prize. Skepta's younger brother, and Boy Better Know labelmate is the well known grime artist JME. They have collaborated many times, most recently on his album Konnichiwa. Adenuga is also the brother of Beats 1 DJ Julie Adenuga. Special guest appearance on “Text me back” by Terry ‘Terreh’ Piper

Adenuga has stated ‘DIY’ music is the future and told Time Out magazine, "I’m not a rapper. I’m an activist."[2] His influence on contemporary British popular culture as a key figure in the grime scene saw him appear on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.[2]

Early life[edit]

Skepta was born on 19 September 1982 in North London, United Kingdom to immigrant parents from Nigeria. The eldest of four siblings, the family grew up on Meridian Walk Estate, a council estate in Tottenham, North London.


Skepta began emceeing shortly before Meridian Crew disbanded in 2005, after which Skepta, alongside his brother Jme and fellow rapper Joseph Bamber joined Roll Deep for a short period of time before becoming founding members of Boy Better Know in 2006. Following the formation of Boy Better Know, Skepta clashed with fellow MC and grime legend Devilman for the DVD Lord of the Mics 2, in what is remembered as one of the biggest clashes in grime history.[3][4] Shortly after the clash, Skepta released a mixtape entitled "Joseph Junior Adenuga".

2003–06: Career beginnings, Joseph Junior Adenuga and Greatest Hits[edit]

Skepta is a British Nigerian.[5] He is the brother of fellow musician Jme and radio presenter Julie Adenuga. Skepta was originally a DJ from Tottenham-based grime crew Meridian Crew. Early in his career, Skepta released a number of instrumentals, the most notable being "DTI (Pirate Station Anthem)" and "Private Caller", the latter of which was released as a single and vocaled by various other members of Meridian Crew.

Skepta began emceeing shortly before Meridian Crew disbanded in 2005, after which Skepta, alongside his brother Jme, joined Roll Deep for a short period of time before becoming founding members of Boy Better Know in 2006. Following the formation of Boy Better Know, Skepta clashed with fellow MC Devilman for the DVD Lord of the Mics 2, in what is remembered as one of the biggest clashes in grime history.[3][4] Shortly after the clash, Skepta released a mixtape entitled "Joseph Junior Adenuga". Skepta publicly released his debut album Greatest Hits on 17 September 2007, on his label Boy Better Know.

2008–11: Microphone Champion and Doin' it Again[edit]

Skepta self-released the first single "Rolex Sweep" in September 2008 and reached number 89 on the UK Singles Chart. Skepta then released the album Microphone Champion on 1 June 2009. He then also released single "Too Many Man" with Jme, Wiley, Frisco and Shorty, which went to chart at number 79. Skepta has released five singles off his third studio album Doin' It Again (first with a major label), titled "Bad Boy", "Rescue Me", "Cross My Heart" featuring Preeya Kalidas, "So Alive" and "Amnesia", as well as a video for the Hello Good Morning (Grime Remix). Three singles charted in the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, with "Rescue Me" being the most successful at number 14. "Cross My Heart" came in at number 31 and dropped out of the Top 40 a week later. Doin' it Again spent 3 weeks in the top 100 album charts and debuted and peaked at number 19 on its first week of release. In 2011 Skepta caused a big controversy by releasing a hardcore music video of his single "All over the house".[6]

2012–present: Blacklisted and Konnichiwa[edit]

In 2012, Skepta released two singles from his fourth forthcoming album. Both "Hold On" and "Make Peace Not War" were Top 40 charting singles in the UK but were a departure from Skepta's usual sound. Skepta's second major label album was intended to be released in the fourth quarter of 2011, entitled The Honeymoon but was delayed till 2012. After a disappointing response from the first two singles Skepta decided to release a purchasable mixtape, titled Blacklisted. It was released on 2 December 2012 along with music videos to support the release prior to the release.

In March 2014, Skepta provided a verse for the remix of "German Whip" by Meridian Dan, and in the same month, he released his new single, "That's Not Me", featuring his brother Jme, peaking at number 21 on the UK charts.[7] The single's music video won the award for Best Video at the 2014 MOBO Awards.[8] Upon receiving the award, Skepta stated that the video cost him £80.[9] In late 2014, Skepta released another single titled "It Ain't Safe" featuring A$AP Bari. This was followed in early 2015 with "Shutdown", as well as features on "Red Eye to Paris" by Flatbush Zombies and the remix of "Ojuelegba" by Wizkid, also featuring Drake. Skepta and others joined Kanye West at a surprise show in London, performing numerous songs together during a shared set.[10] He was also named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men in 2015.[11]

In an interview it stated that Skepta's making his acting debut in 2015 film Anti-Social, released initially in May.[12] On 14 February 2016 Skepta released "Ladies Hit Squad" featuring grime artist D Double E and American rapper A$AP Nast, of the New York-based A$AP Mob.

Through a post on Instagram, Skepta announced that his album, Konnichiwa was due to be released on 6 May 2016.[13] Konnichiwa was released to critical acclaim and became Grime's highest charting album, peaking at number 2 in the UK music charts.[14] Konnichiwa features songs such as "That's Not Me", "Shutdown" and "Man". The release of Konnichiwa was celebrated with a launch party on 5 May 2016 held in Tokyo and live streamed on Boiler Room, featuring a live performance of the entire album by Skepta and supporting performances from Japanese trap artists Kohh, Dutch Montana, Loota, and DJ Riki.[15][16][17][18]

Skepta began his "Banned From America" two-part, 14-show tour on April 16, 2017 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which covered cities throughout the United States and Europe.[19][20] The tour was named as such in reference to Skepta's forced cancellation of his 2016 "No Fear" American tour in support of Konnichiwa, when his application for a visa to enter the United States was denied.[21]

Skepta released his Vicious EP on 31 October 2017, with songs featuring A$AP Rocky, Lil B, and Section Boyz. In the summer of 2017, rumours on the underground dance scene suggested an imminent collaboration between Skepta and drum'n'bass pioneer Goldie. This was confirmed in Goldie's 2017 memoir All Things Remembered, which refers to him having done a track with Skepta. It has not yet been released.[22]


Studio albums[edit]


  • Joseph Junior Adenuga (2006)
  • Been There Done That (2010)
  • Community Payback (2011)
  • Blacklisted (2012)
  • The Tim Westwood Mix (2015)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
2014 MOBO Awards [23] Best Video "That's Not Me" Feat. Jme Won
2015 MOBO Awards [23] Best Song "Shutdown" Won
2016 Ivor Novello Awards[24] Best Contemporary Song Shutdown (Skepta song) Nominated
Q Awards [25] Best Track "Man" Nominated
Best Solo Artist Skepta Nominated
Mercury Prize [26] Album of the Year "Konnichiwa" Won
MOBO Awards [27] Best Album Nominated
Best Grime Act Skepta Nominated
Best Male Act Nominated
BET Awards [28] Best International Act: UK Won
2017 NME Awards [29] Best British Male Won
Best Album supported Konnichiwa Nominated
Best Track "Man" Nominated
Music Moment Of The Year Skepta wins Mercury Prize Nominated
BRIT Awards British Male Solo Artist Skepta Nominated
British Breakthrough Act Nominated
MasterCard British Album of the Year "Konnichiwa" Nominated
BET Awards[30] Best International Act: Europe Skepta Nominated

Personal life[edit]

On April 4, 2018, he was installed as a chief in his Nigerian hometown in Ogun State bearing the chieftaincy title of Amuludun of Odo-Aje.[31][32] On 30 July 2018, Skepta revealed he was going to become a father for the first time, via his Instagram account, and posted a picture of an ultrasound scan.


  1. ^ "Skepta 'No Security' by Matt Walker & Skepta on Promo News". Promo News. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Debrett's 500 List: Music". The Telegraph. 21 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Yates, Kieran (3 October 2014). "Jammer's top grime clashes: featuring Wiley, Kano, Skepta, Devilman and more". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Trammell, Matthew (4 May 2015). "Why Grime Beef Might Shake Rap Awake This Year". The Fader. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  5. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Skepta". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Moir, Sam (25 March 2011). "Skepta's new video: a step too far?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 22 September 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100: 15 June 2014 – 21 June 2014". 
  8. ^ "Leading the way for UK Youth Culture". What's Good?. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Skepta ft. JME | Best Video Award acceptance speech at MOBO Awards | 2014". MOBO Awards / YouTube. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Watch Kanye West perform with Raekwon, Skepta and more". FACT Magazine. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  11. ^ Johnston, Robert (5 January 2015). "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 
  12. ^ Jones, Wil (30 April 2015). "Interview: Skepta's Keeping It Strictly 'Anti-Social'". Complex UK. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Official Announcement". Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Final Chart Position for Skepta's 'Konnichiwa' Announced". Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "Skepta is premiering his album on Boiler Room today". The 405. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  16. ^ NME.COM. "Skepta Just Launched His New Album With A Lively Live-Streamed Show In Tokyo – Here's What We Learned | NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  17. ^ "Stream Skepta's Konnichiwa Launch Party, Live From Tokyo". The FADER. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  18. ^ "Watch Japanese Rappers Spit Grime in the Video for Skepta's 'Konnichiwa' Album Launch | Thump". Thump. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  19. ^ "Skepta Announces 'Banned From America' Tour Dates". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  20. ^ "Skepta Announced The Dates For His Banned From America Tour". The FADER. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  21. ^ "Skepta denied entry to America after being refused a visa". Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  22. ^ "All Things Remembered". 
  23. ^ a b "MOBO Awards – Urban Music and Culture". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  24. ^ "Guardian". 
  25. ^ "StubHub Q Awards 2016 shortlist announced! Vote now to decide this year's winners – Q MagazineQ Magazine". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  26. ^ "Mercury Prize 2016: David Bowie gets posthumous nomination". 4 August 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017 – via 
  27. ^ "MOBO Awards 2016: See The Full Nominations List". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  28. ^ "BET Awards Announce 2016 Nominees". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  29. ^ "Adele e Beyoncé ganham prêmios no NME Awards 2017 – POPline". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  30. ^ "Beyoncé and Bruno Mars lead 2017 BET Awards nominations". Channel. Retrieved 16 May 2017. 
  31. ^
  32. ^

External links[edit]