A veteran of the U.K. grime scene, MC, producer, and record label owner Skepta was influential in its shift from the underground to the pop charts. Born Joseph Junior Adengua to Nigerian parents, Skepta moved to Tottenham with his family at the age of three. Inspired by both U.S. and U.K. hip-hop, he started his music career appearing on the pirate radio circuit and performing at various MC battles. In 2005, he formed the grime label Boy Better Know with brother J.M.E. and Wiley, and a year later, joined East London collective Roll Deep. He released his first two albums, Greatest Hits and Microphone Champion, through his label before signing with All Around the World Records in 2010. In the same year, he reached the Top 40 with “Bad Boy” (number 26) and “Rescue Me” (number 14), supported Chipmunk on his U.K. tour, and was personally selected by P. Diddy to record a grime remix of “Hello Good Morning” after being recommended by his Twitter followers. His third album, Doin’ It Again, featuring third single “Cross My Heart,” was scheduled for release at the beginning of 2011.
Credit: Jon O’Brien, Rovi