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Konnichiwa is the fourth studio album by British grime artist Skepta. The title is the greeting "hello" in the Japanese language. After numerous delays, it was released on 6 May 2016 by Boy Better Know.[1][2] The album was launched with a party in Tokyo on 5 May 2016 arranged and broadcast globally by live streaming platform Boiler Room, featuring Skepta performing the whole album live with supporting performances from Japanese artists Kohh, Dutch Montana, Loota, and DJ Riki.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Konnichiwa
Konnichiwa by Skepta cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released6 May 2016
Recorded2013–16
Genre
Length43:11
LabelBoy Better Know
Producer
Skepta chronology
Doin' It Again
(2011)
Konnichiwa
(2016)
Vicious EP
(2017)
Singles from Konnichiwa
  1. "That's Not Me"
    Released: 8 June 2014
  2. "Shutdown"
    Released: 26 April 2015
  3. "Ladies Hit Squad"
    Released: 14 February 2016
  4. "Man"
    Released: 14 April 2016

The album was supported by four singles, including the top 40 entries "That's Not Me", "Shutdown" and "Man". Konnichiwa features guest appearances from Jme, Boy Better Know, D Double E, Novelist, Wiley, Chip, Pharrell Williams, ASAP Nast Young Lord.[13][14] The album has peaked at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart. The album has also charted in Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.

Konnichiwa received acclaim from critics, who praised its role and success in the resurgence of grime music and its cultural identity. Additionally, it was included in numerous end-of-year lists for best albums of 2016 by many publications, including NME, The Guardian and Apple Music, who named the album as the best of 2016. Konnichiwa also received numerous accolades, such as winning the 2016 Mercury Prize.[15]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

In 2012, Skepta released two singles planned in promotion for his forthcoming fourth album – "Hold On" and "Make Peace Not War". Both were Top 40 charting singles in the UK but were a departure from Skepta's usual sound. Skepta's fourth 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. The Honeymoon project was ultimately scrapped and replaced by the working title Konnichiwa, while also parting ways with his label 3 Beat and seeking the production and release of the album independently.[16]

Konnichiwa was originally announced in early 2013, yet suffered from numerous delays and reworking. It was initially supported by the single "Lay Her Down" featuring Kano, along with a release date of late 2013.[17][18] However, after announcing near-completion the single and release was scrapped and Skepta took another approach to the album campaign.[19] It was announced by Skepta to be released in 2014, stating that he completed nine songs and required six more to be finished.[20][21] In November 2014, Skepta stated that Konnichiwa was to be released in March 2015, however this release date was delayed once again.[22] In April 2016, Skepta restarted the album campaign by announcing the finalised release date.[23]

Conception and recordingEdit

 
Pharrell Williams worked with Skepta on the album.

In an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra's DJ Semtex, Skepta talked about the emotions behind recording his album to his relationship with Canadian rapper Drake, he revealed that he didn't know how the rapper found out about him, "I can’t tell how he heard of me. I will never know, but I’ll put my money on him finding me online and searching for my music because that's what he's like – he's a music lover. For me, it was a blessing that he was co-signing me and bigging me up, because I’m still gonna do what I’m gonna do anyway," he continued. "I’m just blessed to have them man supporting. My album came out on the 6th when I was in Toronto and it's like home. The way they’ve got me out there is mad."[24]

Skepta explained that he considered his album to be like "a movie", "Konnichiwa is a classic, The album [was] delayed for kick drums. To put it out was a definite happy point."[24] He also talked about dealing with his critics in the grime scene, "I'm out for revenge, fam, I come into this ting pure-hearted and loving music, and people take me for an idiot, you get what I'm saying? So when I spit now people are gonna hear a madman, they're gonna hear a monster, they're gonna hear someone who's out for revenge - and I'm out for revenge".[24] Skepta stated that music would "represent the country" (Britain).[25]

Konnichiwa was executively produced by Skepta himself, who produced all but three songs on the album. During the production stages Skepta used mostly an old-school toolkit, drum and bass sounds and the odd twinkling piano riff or brass volley. Speaking about his choice to produce the album and use the latter tools Skepta stated “I want anybody from around the world to be able to listen to the album and know it comes from London.”[26] One producer who Skepta did work with was singer Pharrell. Skepta described their studio time and their musical relationship like working with "someone I’ve known all my life, and we’re both there to make the sickest track that we can.”[25]

Release and promotionEdit

After numerous delays, it was released on 6 May 2016 by Boy Better Know.[1][2] The album was launched with a party in Tokyo on 5 May 2016 arranged and broadcast globally by live streaming platform Boiler Room, featuring Skepta performing the whole album live with supporting performances from Japanese artists Kohh, Dutch Montana, Loota, and DJ Riki.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Skepta began his "Banned From America" two-part, 14-show tour on April 16, 2017 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which will cover cities throughout the United States and Europe.[27][28] 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.[29]

SinglesEdit

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic83/100[30]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [31]
Consequence of SoundB[32]
The Guardian     [33]
The Independent     [34]
The Irish Times     [35]
NME     [36]
The Observer     [37]
Pitchfork7.8/10[38]
Q     [39]
Record Collector     [40]

Konnichiwa was met with critical acclaim. It received a normalized metascore of 83 out of 100 on the review aggregate website Metacritic based on 18 critics, which indicates "universal acclaim."[30] Alex Petridis of The Guardian gave the album 4 out of 5 stars saying, "The architect of grime's resurgence might have an eye on the US market, but he's a distinctively, winningly English rapper."[33] Louis Pattison of NME gave the album 5 out of 5 stars saying, "‘Konnichiwa’ is a landmark in British street music, a record good enough to take on the world without having to compromise one inch in the process."[36]

Konnichiwa won the 2016 Mercury Music Prize, beating David Bowie, Radiohead and Kano.

AccoladesEdit

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Apple Music Best Album of 2016
1
The Independent Best Albums of 2016
12
The Guardian Best Albums of 2016
9
Mojo The 50 Best Albums of 2016
25
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2016
4
Pitchfork 20 Best Rap Albums of 2016 N/A
Rough Trade Albums of the Year
62
The Quietus Albums of the Year 2016
15

Commercial performanceEdit

On 9 May 2016, the album was at number 1 on the UK Official Chart Update and was only 2,000 copies ahead of Beyoncé's album Lemonade.[49] The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 2, behind Radiohead's album A Moon Shaped Pool.[50] The album entered the Swedish Albums Chart at number 54. The album entered the Dutch Albums Chart at number 31. The album entered the Swiss Albums Chart at number 38. The album entered the New Zealand Albums Chart at number 27. The album entered the Australian Albums Chart at number 13. The album entered the US Billboard 200 at number 160.

Track listingEdit

Standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Konnichiwa"
3:16
2."Lyrics" (featuring Novelist)
Skepta2:36
3."Corn on the Curb" (featuring Wiley and Chip)Skepta5:01
4."Crime Riddim"Jr. Adenuga
  • Blakie
  • Jason Adenuga[a]
4:36
5."It Ain't Safe" (featuring Young Lord)
Skepta3:43
6."Ladies Hit Squad" (featuring D Double E and ASAP Nast)
  • Skepta
  • Jason Adenuga[a]
4:39
7."Numbers" (featuring Pharrell Williams)
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Skepta
3:20
8."Man"Jr. AdenugaSkepta3:34
9."Shutdown"Jr. Adenuga
  • Ragz Originale
  • Skepta
3:08
10."That's Not Me" (featuring Jme)
Skepta3:05
11."Detox" (featuring BBK)
Footsie2:47
12."Text Me Back"Jr. AdenugaRagz Originale4:24
Total length:43:11

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
  • "Konnichiwa" features uncredited vocals by Fifi Rong.[51]
  • "Shutdown" features uncredited vocals by Drake.
  • "Detox" features guest verses by Boy Better Know members Shorty, Frisco and Jammer.
  • "Text Me Back" features uncredited vocals by Cartae.
  • "Text Me Back" is followed by a 53-second clip of "Sand Ocean", an instrumental production by Jason Adenuga.[52]

Sample credits

Charts and certificationsEdit

Release historyEdit

Country Date Label Format
United Kingdom 6 May 2016 Boy Better Know

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "SKEPTA (@skeptagram): #Konnichiwa the album, May 6th". Instagram. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "SKEPTA (@skeptagram): Pre-order #Konnichiwa the album tonight on iTunes @ 00:00 GMT". Instagram. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Stream Skepta's Konnichiwa Launch Party, Live From Tokyo". The FADER. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Skepta Just Launched His New Album With A Lively Live-Streamed Show In Tokyo – Here's What We Learned". NME. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Listen to Skepta's new album Konnichiwa now". Crack Magazine. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  6. ^ a b Staff, Magnetic (6 May 2016). "Listen to highly anticipated new album from Skepta, Konnichiwa, featuring Wiley, Pharrell + more". Magnetic. Magnetic. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Watch Japanese Rappers Spit Grime in the Video for Skepta's 'Konnichiwa' Album Launch | Thump". Thump. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Album Review: Skepta – Konnichiwa". Impact Magazine. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Skepta's Konnichiwa album plugged by Drake". International Business Times UK. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Live Stream Skepta's Album Launch Of "Konnichiwa"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  11. ^ a b "The Quietus | News | LISTEN: New Skepta Album". The Quietus. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  12. ^ a b http://thefourohfive.com. "Skepta is premiering his album on Boiler Room today". The 405. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Skepta Announces Release Date For New Album 'Konnichiwa', Reveals Tracklist". Capital XTRA. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Skepta confirms tracklist for new album 'Konnichiwa'". NME. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  15. ^ Adam Bychawski (15 September 2016). "Skepta wins Mercury Prize 2016". NME. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Skepta's 'Konnichiwa': 4 years in the making". GRM Daily. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  17. ^ "SKEPTA on Twitter: "My new album is called #KONNICHIWA and after the 'Lay her Down' video, I'll be dropping the title track very soon after."". Twitter. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  18. ^ "SKEPTA on Twitter: "RT @terrykane21: @Skepta when is #KONNICHIWA due to be released? << September/October 2013."". Twitter. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  19. ^ "SKEPTA on Twitter: "Been mixing #Konnichiwa allllllll day and we've finally hit a check point that we're both happy with. One love to Oscar the engineer ✌"". Twitter. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  20. ^ "SKEPTA on Twitter: "MY NEW ALBUM #Konnichiwa 2014"". Twitter. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  21. ^ "SKEPTA on Twitter: "Got 9 songs for #Konnichiwa. Need 6 more."". Twitter. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  22. ^ "SKEPTA on Twitter: "RT @iiHexham: @Skepta when's the next album? << March 2015. #Konnichiwa"". Twitter. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  23. ^ "SKEPTA on Twitter: "#Konnichiwa the album, May 6th. Greatness."". Twitter. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  24. ^ a b c "Skepta discusses Drake, 'Konnichiwa' and his haters in rare BBC 1Xtra interview". NME.
  25. ^ a b http://www.factmag.com/2016/04/15/skepta-pharrell-collaboration-beats-1-interview/
  26. ^ http://www.thefader.com/2015/06/04/skepta-cover-story-konnichiwa-interview
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  28. ^ "Skepta Announced The Dates For His Banned From America Tour". The FADER. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Skepta denied entry to America after being refused a visa". Retrieved 27 April 2017.
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  31. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Konnichiwa – Skepta". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
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  39. ^ "Skepta: Konnichiwa". Q (30th anniversary special ed.) (361): 115. 2016.
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  50. ^ "Radiohead score sixth Number 1 album with A Moon Shaped Pool". Officialcharts.com/. Official Charts Company.
  51. ^ "Jme (@JmeBBK) on Twitter: It's @fifirong 🔊🎶 RT @sharifgk: @JmeBBK @Skepta please man who is the singer at the start of konnichiwa". Twitter. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  52. ^ "Sand Ocean".
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  59. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Skepta – Konnichiwa". Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  60. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Skepta – Konnichiwa". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
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  62. ^ May 2016/115/ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
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  64. ^ "Skepta Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
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  66. ^ Myers, Justin (15 February 2017). "Who would win this year's BRIT Awards if they were decided on sales alone?". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  67. ^ "British album certifications – Skepta – Konnichiwa". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 17 June 2016. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Konnichiwa in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External linksEdit