Gang Signs & Prayer
For several years before this debut album, Michael Omari, Jr. was the chosen one—the artist to lead grime’s successful occupation of popular British music. A startlingly accomplished first LP, Gang Signs & Prayer sees Stormzy take on, conquer and obliterate the mainstream. “I was in the O2 singing my lungs out, rude boy”, he proudly announces on “Big for Your Boots”. “You’re never too big for Adele”. It’s a reminder that there’s nothing wrong with world-beating success. “Big for Your Boots”, “Cold” and “Bad Boys” join “Shut Up” as gold-standard grime anthems, but it’s the easy way Stormzy embraces R&B slow jams (Kehlani hook-up “Cigarettes & Cush”) and opens up on "100 Bags" and the two-part “Blinded by Your Grace” that prove that his arena-sized talents match his ambition.