Stormzy – “Crown”

Stormzy – “Crown”

These are boom times for Stormzy, the star London rapper. Later this month, Stormzy will headline the UK’s Glastonbury mega-festival, sharing the top of the bill with heavyweights like the Killers, the Cure, Kylie Minogue, and Janet Jackson. A couple of months ago, he came out with the fantastically catchy new song “Vossi Bop.” (Great video, too.) He’ll also be on Ed Sheeran’s forthcoming all-collabs album, which is a big look. And today, he’s come out with the thoughtful and introverted new single “Crown.”

Stormzy can make bangers. He’s good at it. But he seems more at home when he’s on some kind of internal journey, going deep on his own travails over florid and melodic music. That’s absolutely what he’s doing on “Crown.” Stormzy sings sweetly on the hook, and he raps about being demonized in the press: “Don’t comment on my culture, you ain’t qualified / Stab us in the back and then apologize / If you knew my story, you’d be horrified.”

Stormzy recorded the track with Sam Smith/Disclosure collaborator Jimmy Napes and with old-school UK garage veteran MJ Cole. And he’s made a video for the song, a simple one-shot of him performing in a church with a pianist (Cole, I think) and a gospel choir behind him. Here it is:

On Instagram, Stormzy writes:

My second single “Crown” drops at midnight. I’ve been struggling to find words to describe how much this song means to me…struggling to explain exactly why I felt the need to say what I’ve said on the record…and can’t quite summarise the journey of emotions the song takes me on when I listen back to it. I’m very proud of myself for making this song and I can’t wait for you all to hear it tonight. Nothing but love and respect for my brother @jimmynapes a world class phenomenal talent and @mjcole the genius and legend – an honour and a pleasure to work with you both my brothers. We’ve created something very special and close to my heart.

“Crown” is out now on the streaming services.

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