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  • Writer's pictureFredrik Hallius

Heavy is the head that wears the Crown

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Title: Heavy is the Head - Stormzy

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Rating: 4/5

Released in December 2019, Stormzy's sophomore album "Heavy is the Head" serves as a potent and unapologetic manifesto from one of the UK's most prominent grime and rap artists. Following the commercial and critical success of his debut album "Gang Signs & Prayer," Stormzy's second offering solidifies his position as a commanding force in the modern music landscape.

The album opens with the anthemic track "Big Michael," immediately establishing Stormzy's commanding presence. His distinctive voice and charismatic delivery set the tone for the entire album, confidently tackling a wide range of topics, from his personal struggles to societal issues. Throughout "Heavy is the Head," Stormzy's lyricism showcases his growth as an artist, tackling themes of identity, fame, and his responsibility as a voice for his community. One of the standout tracks, "Crown," displays a more vulnerable side to the rapper. Over a soulful and emotive instrumental, Stormzy reflects on the pressures of fame and the burden of expectations. His introspective lyrics strike a chord with listeners and showcase a level of emotional depth that sets him apart from many of his peers.

Collaborations play a significant role in "Heavy is the Head," with guest appearances from prominent artists like Ed Sheeran, H.E.R., and Burna Boy. The standout collaboration is undeniably "Own It," featuring Ed Sheeran and Nigerian singer Burna Boy. This infectious track seamlessly blends afrobeat rhythms with a catchy pop melody, demonstrating Stormzy's versatility and willingness to explore new sonic territories.

A notable highlight on the album is "Audacity," where Stormzy teams up with UK rapper Headie One to deliver a hard-hitting and gritty track. The pair's chemistry is obvious, and the song's menacing energy is a testament to Stormzy's ability to adapt to different styles while maintaining his authenticity.

While the album showcases Stormzy's growth as an artist, there are moments where some tracks feel slightly non-challenging, veering towards familiar grime and rap tropes. Nevertheless, these moments are outweighed by the album's overall sense of purpose and passion."Heavy is the Head" successfully balances its more introspective moments with energetic and hard-hitting tracks like "Vossi Bop" and "Wiley Flow," where Stormzy's impeccable flow and delivery reign supreme. His ability to combine socially conscious lyrics with infectious beats solidifies his status as an artist with a message to convey.

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In conclusion, "Heavy is the Head" is a worthy follow-up to Stormzy's groundbreaking debut album. While it may not push the boundaries of the genre as much as some might hope, it solidifies Stormzy's position as a vital figure in contemporary UK music. His introspective and thought-provoking lyrics, coupled with his undeniable charisma and versatility, make this album a must-listen for fans of grime, rap, and urban music as a whole. Stormzy's voice resonates throughout the album, and it serves as an essential chapter in the ongoing narrative of an artist who continues to elevate British rap music on the global stage.

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