It is hard to remember a moment where almost everyone in the scene was pushing for a grime album to top the UK charts. Having secured the number #2 spot for his album Conflict of Interest, Ghetts has succeeded expectation awarding him even more recognition throughout the industry.
Following the release of his 2018 album Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament, this new project marks his major-label debut while also showcasing his musical ability more than ever before. The album has received unprecedented applause for using a small production team to put in place real sounds of strings and horns while never detaching from his much-loved lyricism.
Ghetts has been in the industry for almost two decades, applauding his peers such as Stormzy and Giggs as they succeeded internationally, it was only a matter of time before it was time to reap his rewards. Ghetts touches on all aspects of his life from the very beginning with “Autobiography”, revisiting his growth and journey from notorious grime set Nasty Crew and working with Boy Better Know.
To the raw pairing, comparable to their past releases like “Bad Boys”, “Skengman” is the latest track featuring Stormzy that tells the story of tit-for-tat violence. Other features include the most talked-about musician of 2020 Pa Salieu, Skepta, Giggs, Dave, Wretch 32, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande, and South African artist Moonchild Sanelly.
The 36-year-old MC, whose real name is Justin Clarke, was pushing his album more than ever before and said it was because it would be a big win for everyone involved in the project. Speaking on the Rebecca Judd Show on Apple Music 1, he said, “I’ll be honest with you this album has got so many different people involved in it and it’s created opportunities for so many different people, it’s bigger than me”.
He added that, “even me just doing the call into the culture to say hey, let’s get it to number 1 is not normally something I do at all or feel comfortable with, but it’s just like thinking yo fam, this is bigger than you, you know? These are opportunities for a producer that nobody has heard of before, and you have just got to lose ego for a second, this is a big win for everybody, for all of us involved, the culture as well you know“.
The album has already gotten 5-star reviews from the likes of The Guardian and NME, and the project is appreciated everywhere, but regardless of this, every celebrated musician experiences emotions that we all battle such as self-doubt.
“When it’s an album, it’s like boy, that’s another chapter in the autobiography. In an extensive catalogue as well, you know people are going to compare it to your previous work, so it’s like ‘yo, do I still have it in me?’”, he confessed to Judd in that interview.
It is clear that he still does, touching on topics that resonate with many of us, missing his teenage girlfriend who has led astray in “Sonya”, understanding a tense relationship in “Dead To Me”, all with the help of his long-term friendships made throughout his journey.
This number two spot on the UK Official Album Charts is well deserved to say the least. Congratulation to Ghetts!
Ghetts’ Conflict Of Interest album is out now via Warner Music. Stream it below and purchase it here.
Words by Hiba Hassan