While it won't have the same impact as 'Shut Up,' 'Big For Your Boots' isn't trying to. It's loud, it's here, and it's now. Stormzy is back.
Undoubtedly best known for ‘Shut Up,’ a 2015 freestyle over XTC’s ‘Functions On The Low’ instrumental, Michael Omari has had a very sudden rise to fame – including a year of social media silence while he worked on debut album Gang Signs & Prayer. Premiered alongside the album announcement, ‘Big For Your Boots’ is nothing Earth-shatteringly different to what has come before, but it really doesn’t need to be.
Perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of producer Fraser T Smith, who has previously guided the likes of Adele, Sam Smith, and Lily Allen before more recent (and stylistically similar) work with Kano, The Manor, and Dave. It’s difficult to quantify what exactly he brings to this track given it sits so neatly alongside Stormzy’s back catalogue, but there’s a renewed energy to the whole piece, making it an ideal lead single. Lyrically, ‘Big For Your Boots’ is slightly ridiculous, but that’s half the fun of Stormzy. (A personal favourite: “Try tell me I’m way too big to rebel? / Nah, man, you’re never too big to rebel /I was in the O2 singing my lungs out /Rudeboy, you’re never too big for Adele.”
‘Big For Your Boots’ is everything you’d want from what almost sits as a relaunch track. The way that Stormzy has ridden grime’s resurgent wave makes it a strange one to review – it has all the classic trappings whilst feeling strangely mainstream, perhaps losing a little of the edge that originally saw him rise to fame. Nevertheless, this one’s here to stay, and I’m sure Gang Signs & Prayer will deliver more of the same.
‘Big For Your Boots’ is out now via #Merky Records