In a time where the world needs a pick me up, three of the U.K.’s heavy hitters come together to drop a surprise collaborative album. Skepta, Chip and Young Adz are all well established and successful artists in their own right. While Skepta and Chip have collaborated a number of times in the past, Young Adz is an interesting add to the duo that would normally be spitting over grime beats together. Young Adz, being one half of D Block Europe, is no stranger to chart success. However, their sound shares influences from the more American style auto-tune rap so at a first glance, this collaboration could be very interesting.
In a recent Across The Pond on Chip, we mentioned that he was working on new material but was going to retire soon. Speaking to Apple Music, he stated that Skepta and him had always talked of writing an album but it’s been 10 years and they haven’t. However this time Skepta said “No, I’m serious man, and we need to get Young Adz on a couple of tunes too.” After meeting up the next day and some heavy studio sessions, Insomnia was born.
Despite the intro hilariously being the last song on the album, it sets the tone and texture of this album delightfully well. The beat definitely has that American trap sound to it, but it still feels like it was made in the U.K., albeit from the signature flows the trio roll with, but also the rawness of the style. These three had a clear vision of what needed to come out of this and made it look effortless, despite the album being so quickly written and featuring a variety of styles. That’s what this intro outlines.
On a first run through of the album, it’s hard to pick which particular tunes you want to hear again right away, you may just want to keep the album on loop. There’s tracks that belong in a club and then there’s tracks like ‘Golden Brown’ which has influences of Jazz and ‘High Road’ where you really have to just sit back and take in the message. On ‘Waze’ Chip says “If three man try link up and do an album it’s not gonna sound like this,” and he couldn’t be more right. Each rapper’s style has its own place in every track and apparently there was “no pens, no writing down, just straight off the top” according to Chip; true talent. ‘Sin City’ is a track which most Chip fans probably never thought they’d hear him spit on, yet he executes like he was born to do it. This album is a great listen and definitely something fresh for the U.K. rap scene right now.