Stormzy: Grace and Grime

Stormzy: Grace and Grime


It’s not the musical genre one would immediately associate with declarations of faith, but the history of rap and hip hop is intrinsically linked to religion. At the forefront of the modern movement is grime superstar Stormzy, who is refusing to compromise on his beliefs as he makes his way to the top of the music world.

“I’m blinded by your grace…” comes the soft vocal refrain, complementing the traditional gospel chords that sit behind the eponymous lyrics. It’s a moment of striking spirituality among one of 2017’s standout albums, but the hymn-like tune’s sonic surroundings are, on the face of it, far removed from anything that might be heard in church on a Sunday morning.

The album is Gang Signs & Prayer; the artist Michael Omari Jr, aka Stormzy, the Croydon-based rapper at the forefront of the UK grime movement. The stripped back and sub-three-minute ‘Blinded By Your Grace, Pt 1’ may appear to sit incongruously among Stormzy’s more recognisable work, the uptemp...

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