News 1 June 2016
Author: Alex Griffin

7 of the most historic lyrics from Skepta’s ‘Microphone Champion’

1 June 2016

Today marks the 7 year anniversary of ‘Microphone Champion’, Skepta’s much-loved (or slightly-maligned, depending on who you ask) second album. Either way, hindsight is a hell of a thing, and 7 years later we can look back on the project with rose tinted glasses.

Sure, there may have been criticisms of the album’s pop-leaning tendencies, particularly in the second half of ‘Microphone Champion’, but it now stands as a seminal part of the Boy Better Know kingpin’s legacy. It’s a crucial part of his journey, from Rolling Deep on pirate radio, to turning the 6 upside down in 2016, this album stands as part of the giant footprint left on grime by Skepta.

Without this LP, we wouldn’t have the Skepta we have now, so we have to give our thanks. With that being said, we’ve decided to look back on 7 of the most historic lyrics from ‘Microphone Champion’, hopefully giving you a little insight into the project as we go. Carry on reading below, yo.


1) “I would hate me too, if I had the same MySpace views as you”

These lyrics are literally the very first ones on the entire album, as he starts opening track “Reflecting” with these flex-worthy bars. They were also immortalised for ever in his infamous late-2008 Westwood freestyle, arguably one of the best freestyles of all time, cementing these in grime’s history. Plus, it’s low key hilarious that MySpace views were worth shouting about back then.


2) “Who produces anthem after anthem? Me, Skepta, the microphone champion”

Taken from one of his and Wiley’s collaborations from the album, “Are You Ready?”, these bars have truly lasted the test of time. They ring just as true today as they did in 2009, Skepta having truly earned the titular alias of ‘Microphone Champion’, with a number of new anthems under his belt in the past two years or so.


3) “Yo, they said I got a basic flow,
No, I’ve got an amazing show”

One criticism Skepta has faced in the past, mostly from critics and audiences without a full understanding of grime, is that his flows and/or lyrics are basic. He didn’t hear that back then, and he still doesn’t hear it now. It’s all for the better too, as the masses have now turned up in huge numbers to fully appreciate him, earning these “Gingerbread Man” lyrics their place on the list.


4) “Thought about my lighty, then I text her,
Impressed her, thinks I’m on shit ‘cos I’m doing it with Skepta”

Giggs could impress the gyaldem back in 2009 because of his budding relationship with Skepta, as he dryly says in this bar from “Look Out”, the only collaboration between the two. It was Skeppy reaching into road rap territory, a sound that was the dominating one in London at the time and Giggs was ruling as king. Now that grime’s time has come back around, and Giggs has dabbled in both as the lines between them blurs, it’s interesting to look at these two kings now. Their historic banger still remains a staple in Giggs’ live set too.


5) “We need some more girls in here, there’s too many man”

It’s funny now looking at the circle UK funky has gone in. In the late noughties, the sound was dominating clubs and raves around the country. Then, like a lot of trends, it was hideously uncool again. However, “Too Many Man” by Boy Better Know, which was included on the ‘Microphone Champion’ tracklist, remained one of the few funky-era tunes that still rang off at party’s years later. Now that Drake has brought the genre back into the mainstream’s interests with “One Dance”, you can’t expect this staple track to go anywhere anytime soon.


6) “Any time I spit a bar, I make the DJ wheel it
Now that I’ve got a little limelight, man wanna steal it”

As Skepta brags on “Sticks & Stones”, he’s always got a wheel-up and he’s also always had haters trying to cat him. Now in 2016, he gets international wheel-ups and he’s got A LOT of limelight. Last year he had brief words for long time rival Devilman, but he’s been quiet on the clashing front for a while. Now he’s at the top of the game, is it only a matter of time until someone comes for the crown?


7) “I’m too real, nobody realer
Too deep, nobody deeper”

We close the list with bars from the same place as we started. Taken from intro track “Reflecting” (and from the Westwood freestyle again too), Skepta rallies off his mantra. He’s always spoken that no-frills realness and managed to resonate with millions of people in the process. God bless the self-professed king of grime, and here’s to seven more years.

Words: Alex Griffin