Joseph Junior Adenuga (born 19 September 1982), better known by his stage name Skepta, is an English grime artist, rapper, songwriter, record producer and music video director from Tottenham, North London.Adenuga released his debut studio album Greatest Hits in 2007 and his second album, Microphone Champion in 2009, both independently; while his third studio album Doin' It Again was released in 2011 by AATW. His fourth studio album, Konnichiwa, was released on 6 May 2016 to critical acclaim, winning that year's Mercury Prize. Skepta's younger brother, and Boy Better Know labelmate, is the well-known grime artist Jme. They have collaborated many times, most recently on his album Konnichiwa. Adenuga is also the brother of Beats 1 DJ Julie Adenuga.
Adenuga has stated ‘DIY’ music is the future and told Time Out magazine, "I’m not a rapper. I’m an activist."His influence on contemporary British popular culture as a key figure in the grime scene saw him appear on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.
Skepta was born on 19 September 1982 in Tottenham, North London to immigrant parents from Nigeria. The eldest of four siblings, the family grew up on Meridian Walk Estate, a council estate in Tottenham, North London.
Skepta began MCing shortly before Meridian Crew disbanded in 2005, after which Skepta, alongside his brother Jme, joined Roll Deep for a short period of time before becoming founding members of Boy Better Know in 2006. Following the formation of Boy Better Know, Skepta clashed with fellow MC and grime legend Devilman for the DVD Lord of the Mics 2, in what is remembered as one of the biggest clashes in grime history. Shortly after the clash, Skepta released a mixtape entitled "Joseph Junior Adenuga".
Skepta is a British Nigerian. He is the brother of fellow musician Jme and radio presenter Julie Adenuga. Skepta was originally a DJ from Tottenham-based grime collective Meridian Crew. Early in his career, Skepta released a number of instrumentals, the most notable being "DTI (Pirate Station Anthem)" and "Private Caller", the latter of which was released as a single and vocaled by various other members of Meridian Crew.
Skepta began emceeing shortly before Meridian Crew disbanded in 2005, after which Skepta, alongside his brother Jme, joined Roll Deep for a short period of time before becoming founding members of Boy Better Know in 2006. Following the formation of Boy Better Know, Skepta clashed with fellow MC Devilman for the DVD Lord of the Mics 2, in what is remembered as one of the biggest clashes in grime history. Shortly after the clash, Skepta released a mixtape entitled "Joseph Junior Adenuga". Skepta publicly released his debut album Greatest Hits on 17 September 2007, on his label Boy Better Know.
Skepta self-released the first single "Rolex Sweep" in September 2008 and reached number 89 on the UK Singles Chart. Skepta then released the album Microphone Champion on 1 June 2009. He then also released single "Too Many Man" with Jme, Wiley, Frisco and Shorty, which went to chart at number 79. Skepta has released five singles off his third studio album Doin' It Again (first with a major label), titled "Bad Boy", "Rescue Me", "Cross My Heart" featuring Preeya Kalidas, "So Alive" and "Amnesia", as well as a video for the Hello Good Morning (Grime Remix). Three singles charted in the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, with "Rescue Me" being the most successful at number 14. "Cross My Heart" came in at number 31 and dropped out of the Top 40 a week later. Doin' it Again spent 3 weeks in the top 100 album charts and debuted and peaked at number 19 on its first week of release. In 2011 Skepta caused a big controversy by releasing a hardcore music video of his single "All over the house".
In 2012, Skepta released two singles from his fourth forthcoming album. Both "Hold On" and "Make Peace Not War" were Top 40 charting singles in the UK but were a departure from Skepta's usual sound. Skepta's second major label 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.
In March 2014, Skepta provided a verse for the remix of "German Whip" by Meridian Dan, and in the same month, he released his new single, "That's Not Me", featuring his brother Jme, peaking at number 21 on the UK charts. The single's music video won the award for Best Video at the 2014 MOBO Awards. Upon receiving the award, Skepta stated that the video cost him £80. In late 2014, Skepta released another single titled "It Ain't Safe" featuring A$AP Bari. This was followed in early 2015 with "Shutdown", as well as features on "Red Eye to Paris" by Flatbush Zombies and the remix of "Ojuelegba" by Wizkid, also featuring Drake. Skepta and others joined Kanye West at a surprise show in London, performing numerous songs together during a shared set. He was also named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men in 2015.