Though Beyonce’s latest release has dominated the music blogosphere this week, it was not the only release worth noting: Stormzy dropped the video for new track “Scary” yesterday.
Directed by regular collaborator Kaylum Dennis (or, one of 25 goons in the posse), the video is dark and at times shocking. It opens with stark sans-serif font layered over a black backdrop, delivering this message: “The album is coming.” Spitting sharp and chilling rhymes over Sir Spyro’s grime take on a Gregorian chant, he looms in the shadows, decked out in a black hoodie behind a row of candles. Most shocking of all are the close-up shots in which he wears a noose around his neck, subtle enough that you might miss it if you aren’t paying enough attention, but alarming when you do.
This track and accompanying video IS scary; it’s threatening and unapologetic. While we get to enjoy it, as unsettling as it sometimes is, it’s not meant for us. This is a direct message to his detractors, the ones waiting for him to fail. His meteoric rise through the ranks of UK grime all the way to sold-out shows stateside took place in the span of a year or two (he’s only 22 after all), leaving many to question his substance – whether Stormzy is here to stay, or but a mere flash in the pan. With lyrics like “Real thugs don’t cry / Looking at Stormz like ‘that cunt won’t die,'” he makes clear that he’s only just begun.
– Mandy Brownholtz