Skepta Story – Influenced by Music, Culture and Nike

The hype around Grime, Air Max, and Nike x Skepta

Grime, the language of a whole generation

Grime emerged in the UK between 2002 and 2004 in London’s Eastend and spread like a wildfire through British youth culture. Since at least 2015, Grime has also been allowed to shed the label ‘underground’ worldwide and has now established itself as an international youth language. From the UK underground, the genre is increasingly moving towards the mainstream. The roots of Grime can be found in electronic music paired with hip-hop. Rhythmic sounds are characterized by raw and aggressive beats, which together with English rap meets the sound of each generation. The lyrics are often politically motivated and address social problems. The reference to culture and particularly youth culture is emphasized especially socially critical.

Influenced by Wiley and Dizzee Rascal, more and more young artists are also among the hottest artists on the scene. Besides Stormzy, JME, Kano, Chip, and co, Slowthai is one of the trendy grime artists. With his political and socially critical lyrics, he meets the ravages of time and refers to current topics like Brexit or Corona. Like many others, he appeals to young Brits in particular.


Skepta – Joseph Junior Adenuga

Skepta is also one of the most listened to artists on Spotify in the genre of Grime. The British Grime musician, whose real name is Joseph Junior Adenuga, started as a rapper back in the 2000s. In 2010, he made his breakthrough and has been a solid fixture in the Grime scene ever since. He combines classic Grime beats with US rap and also collaborates with international stars, such as Kanye West and Drake. The mix of both worlds also appeals to young listeners. But it’s not just the universe around music that has shaped Skepta. His influence in the fashion industry, and here especially in sneaker culture, is also unmistakable. His creativity and aesthetics can be found especially in his collaboration with Nike and a signature Air Max design, as well as his capsule collection of apparel.

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Grime, artists, and collaborations

In addition to the hype around Grime as music, some Grime artists have also managed to establish themselves outside of music. The genre is also growing through collaborations with various brands in addition to the stage. In general, cultural relevance plays an important role, which is also driven by British youth culture. Fashion is an important and elementary part of the collaboration between Grime artists and fashion brands here. The collaborations within the Grime genre help brands to communicate on a cultural level. Youth culture or, more generally, the different forms of culture are addressed through the brand channels. In this way, with the help of Grime artists, companies can communicate on a cultural level with an audience based primarily on youth culture. The main component is the British youth scene, which is targeted with these collaborations.


Tracksuits and Air Max

The beats and lyrics in Grime are culturally bound and since the beginning reflects the life situations, not only of the artists but also of the people there. While worldwide success initially failed to materialize, new cultural standards developed, which were transported primarily through clothing. It was especially important to wear something that looked fresh and was not too expensive. Tracksuits from Nike and mainly Air Max became an important part of Grime and the youth scene. The Nike Swoosh as a sign of the Grime scene.


Skepta x Nike

With the first collaboration between Nike and Skepta, this cultural identity was highlighted once again. International recognition as a special part of the Grime-based love for the Swoosh. In the new design of the Air Max Tailwind V “Bloody Chrome” and the Phantom soccer shoe, Skepta’s identity is also reflected. Not only the aesthetic butterfly design but also the silver jewelry of the grime artist are thematically taken up here. The butterfly also alludes to Skepta’s artistic metamorphosis.