Stormzy convinces on Way out west
The voice betrayed Stormzy during Saturday's gig at Way out west. But his humility, charm and clever, smattering grimace weighed in with rage. Those who defied the rain over the Slottsforogen were given a show they should never forget.
Stormzy wastes no time. The party is on from second one as he bounces onto the stage with high knees and tears of fast, cocky Know me from. In the background flashing strobe and black and white images from south London.
It is a good and clear mark, because although grime is often compared to hip hop, it is something else. It's raw, British, rap-based working-class music with its roots in the UK garage, RnB and drum'n'bass. Never tuneful, often political. As the biggest star in the genre right now, Stormzy is a big reason why grime has taken the step from the street and the underground scene to climb high on the charts and suddenly be heard everywhere.Injustice and racism
Because even though Stormzy only released a single album, in just a few years he has grown into a world star. In June, he was the first British, black solo artist to play on the Glastonbury Festival's biggest stage. A concert he did to something of a British, male response to Beyoncé's Homecoming gig at Coachella - a musical performance, a political stance and a tribute to black culture.
Let's make it clear right from the start: Way out west is neither Glastonbury nor Coachella, however much they wish. But despite the fact that Stormzy is running out of time and primarily wants to invite us to the festival's most moshpit, he does not miss the chance to get something said - and that is about injustice and racism.Humble world star
After getting everyone to jump up and down to Cold, one of the album's absolute highlights, the backdrop goes off and turns black. White letters flash: it is an excerpt from a speech by Labor politician David Lammy that criticizes the British legal system for criminalizing young, black men.
But if you did not understand Stormzy's lyrics or saw the video wall behind him (Bad boys, for example, he rapes in front of a virtual prison wall), it would be hard to believe that anything could ever make him angry. He is probably the most charming, humble world star ever set foot in Gothenburg.Terribly creaky voice
His middle talk is long, relaxed and warm, his smile goes from ear to ear and he is a perfect thrower. When he says that he loves every single one of us and that he is unbelievably grateful that his fans make his career possible, it's hard not to melt.
It is even possible to forgive his terribly creaky voice for the day, who can with no hassle and barely rap, but is not even close to being able to sing. On the new single Crown, which is about the back of the celebrity, he has taken water over his head, to say the least.
His singing voice does not sound good even on the recording, but live he does not come close to the right tone. Though fortunate, his inability and slightly shameful look actually reinforces the vulnerability that is the song's hold. In addition, of course, he gets the audience to sing the chorus so loudly to him that he will soon have to escape.Gets Stormzy to shine even more clearly
Towards the end, the pride of Hammarkullen aka Swedish hip-hop's latest spread calves, Aden and Asme, makes an unprecedented entry into the Azalea scene. Earlier this summer, they had a remix of Stormzy's hit Vossi Bop, a chance they unfortunately could not manage but cared away with soft and sadly written verses. On stage they seem nervous, but you have to forgive two relative newcomers, of course, taken by the moment.
If anything, it makes Stormzy shine even more clearly as the multi-talented artist and songwriter he is. Had it not been for the voting problems and if he had had a little longer playing time, his stellar brilliance, self-confidence and skills would have been sufficient to make the Saturday ticket alone worth the money.