Stormzy remains a leading figure in the UK rap scene, although he’s shown that he’s much more than an MC. Since his debut album, Gang Signs & Prayers, his appreciation for gospel and soul music have trickled through his catalog but none more than on 2022’s This Is What I Mean. The majority of the project found Stormz’ in a plaintive space but fans hoped that he’d come through with some bangers.
It seems that he listened to the fans and slid through with some new heat this week. The rapper came through with the release of his new single, “Toxic Trait” ft. Fredo. Produced by Dave Santan, who recently dropped off his joint project with Central Cee, Stormzy and Fredo deliver a blistering banger that finds them showcasing their lyrical tenacity on wax. Hopefully, it signals that a follow-up to This Is What I Mean come soon.
A large part of the record revolves around Stormzy’s growth throughout his career. Emerging into the rap game in his early 20s, he recently reflected on his maturity as he approaches his 30s. “There’s a difference between doing music at 22 and when you’re about to turn 30,” Stormzy recently told Dazed Magazine. “It’s the kind of peace and stability and stillness you can only get from maturity. You lose all the nervous shivers and the anxiety; you shake it off because now you’re a grown man coming into your skin.”
As for Fredo, the UK rapper came through with a few new records this year including “Everybody Knows.” His last album Scorpion dropped in 2022 and he also came through with a couple of features. Dave, on the other hand, is getting deeper into his production bag. Along with collaborating with Central Cee on Split Decision, he also contributed to the majority of the production on the project.