A revolutionary in a world where black men are underappreciated and exploited, London-based Nigerian rapper, Skepta, knows just what it means to be ‘all in’, to be relevant and refreshing being a pacesetter in your community. Previously, Skepta has matched his bars with his lifestyle, dishing out rhymes in different forms that reflect his current state in life. It is 2021, a year after the pandemic redefined life and while a myriad of musicians turned to the unfortunate events for inspiration, others, like Skepta, have rebranded, perhaps not in sound, but in aim and story. All In is Skepta’s first solo project since 2019’s acclaimed Ignorance Is Bliss album and in its full five-track glory, it serves as the rapper’s first step towards reinvention.
The EP’s title is inspired by Skepta’s newfound love of poker, a game that he sees as a metaphor for life itself. On the J Balvin-assisted Nirvana, he references this; “you can be dealt good cards or bad cards, but if you don’t get good cards, you can still bluff, hustle and win… you learn when to play aggressive or when to hold back and chill”. All In finds Skepta putting it all on the line across five tracks that contain an album’s worth of quality.
Featuring production from Skepta himself alongside JAE5, Ragz Originale, and Josh Faulkner, the EP also sees vocal collaborations with Teezee and Kid Cudi on potential anthem, Peace Of Mind in addition to J Balvin on Nirvana.
Skepta claims to have been working on the songs since before lockdown but waiting for the right moment to drop them and with live appearances on the horizon, All In’s release is perfectly timed.
In Skepta’s own words,
“This music isn’t for people to download and discuss. It’s music to feel when I perform it live, music for people to celebrate with their friends.”