Stormzy: Heavy Is the Head (Atlantic) - Album Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Heavy Is the Head


Dec 27, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After a career-defining performance at Glastonbury this summer, British grime artist Stormzy is now confronting his place on the throne—a place often as lonely and dangerous as it is rewarding. On Heavy Is the Head, Stormzy asks himself what kind of leader he wants to be, feeling the pressure of a divine test as he raps on early banger “Audacity.” Will he be a villainous tyrant who flexes his crown with arrogant bravado, or will he use his platform to serve his community? Stormzy often chooses the latter, embracing humility (“Do Better”), forgiveness (“Rainfall”), and dependence on God (“Crown”) over boastful narcissism.

Stormzy is a psalmist, tempering angry grime indictments on social injustice and racial prejudice with deep sorrow and prayerful longing for peace. The depth of Stormzy’s message is matched only by his excellence in craft, as he glides over grime, dancehall, and soulful hip-hop beats with grace. His talent and charisma validate Stormzy’s claim to the throne. On Heavy Is the Head, that throne is never taken lightly. Instead, Stormzy delivers one of the most introspective and prayerful works of the year, solidifying his elite status in hip-hop. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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