In March this year, Skepta hinted at retirement on his Insta-stories. Following this, he kept a low profile music-wise, save for a few collaborative projects he worked on — Guest vocals on a Kid Cudi track, and vocals on the fast and furious 9 theme song.
Everyone thought Big Skept had finally hung his boots after 15 years of bossing the rap scene in the United Kingdom. But by mid-June, the story took a different turn. He announced that he wasn’t at all retiring and that he’d release a 5-track EP featuring J Balvin, Kid Cudi, and Nigerian Alté Veteran Teeze. He made mention of how he was the embodiment of music and that he couldn’t stop making music.
On the 30th of June, roughly a week after Santan Dave released his critically acclaimed LP ‘We’re all in this together, Skepta released the EP titled ‘All in’.
At the time of the release, he was at the Hippodrome casino in West London hosting a listening party. At the party, he was interviewed for a few minutes by fellow Nigerian, Tiffany Calver of the BBC 1xtra show. In the interview, he shed some light on his supposed retirement. He explained that he wasn’t retiring but taking a backseat on making music and focusing on producing records for others and on his string of businesses. He made mention of his desire to produce an album for Rihanna, “It’s gon’ be fire, I know what I can do…”
This EP defines the place where Skepta is in his life now — He’s held up his end for what feels like forever, he’s done it all and he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone.
On the project, he sounds laid back and reassured — He doesn’t try too hard. He explores light themes and doesn’t get personal on the lyrics.
Sonically, the project is expansive and exciting, blending several sounds to achieve a unique composition — From the metallic Rap beats on Bellator to the mix of Jazz cadence and trap beats on Peace of mind to the Latin Jazz guitar chords on Nivarna, …
‘All in’ is a keeper, a short exciting record that will age like fine wine.