On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Skepta – Man (2016)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ” Man” is a song performed by English rapper Skepta. It was released as an instant grat single from Skepta’s fourth album Konnichiwa (2016) on 14 April 2016 through Boy Better Know. The song peaked to number 34 on the UK Singles Chart and number 7 on the UK R&B Singles Chart.
We’re leaving Canada today, dear reader, and returning to the UK and to London. Joseph Junior Adenuga, known professionally as Skepta, began his career in 2000, releasing his first two albums independently. When we pick up his story in 2016, Skepta has released his fourth album, Konnichiwa, and from there 1001 Songs have lifted the track, Man.
In Man, Skepta analyses his life and career, the success he has had and how he feels a kind of alienation as a result of his fame. The song describes his image and perspective, launching unsubtle attacks on his contemporaries and revealing through a refrain in the chorus that Skepta has his gang, his chosen family, and that it is people within his inner circle that he wishes to interact with, and to be close to. Those that come to him wanting autographs or are drawn to him purely for his celebrity status are not welcome. There is Skepta and his gang. That is all. He needs no one else.
I believe I have heard the name Skepta before but was not familiar with his body of work. Man has an interesting premise and demonstrates that the acquisition of fame and money is not always plain sailing for those that attain it. Skepta’s career continues to this day and he now has five albums to his name, though the last was back in 2019.
Favourite songs so far: