On July 30th, Skepta dropped his new EP, All In. This EP’s title “is inspired by Skepta’s newfound love of poker, a game which he sees as a metaphor for life itself.” In the words of the man himself, “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.”
Having just finished a review of Skepta’s “Nirvana,” it made sense to go into the full All In EP. Much like his career, Skepta did not miss. Unlike “Nirvana,” the rest of the EP is fairly standard Skepta. Let’s explore that.
“Standard Skepta” is not an insult. If anything, it’s a compliment at this point in his career. His standard is higher than most other artists. The bars are mostly boastful, yet slightly insightful and forthright. The beats – handled on this EP by Skepta, Ragz Originale, Josh Faulkner, and JAE5 – are all hard-hitting, though some are more unique than others. As previously mentioned in the single review, the beat for “Nirvana” is absolute perfection. “Peace of Mind” is phenomenal, but somewhat reminiscent of other soul-sampling tracks. “Bellator” is outstanding, and “Eyes on Me” is drill and grime perfection.
Which leaves us with “Lit Like This,” another JAE5 song beat. While the song is the least memorable on the EP, the beat is astounding. It takes inspiration from Latin music, uses 808s to their full potential, and throws in random chords that don’t feel like they would work outside of the context of the beat. While it isn’t necessarily what American audiences would think of as “lit,” it’s a testament to JAE5’s talent as a producer and an artist.
The press release for this EP describes “Bellator” as a “scene setter … for the movie to come.” That’s actually a perfect comparison. If Skepta were to expand this into a visual album, it would make perfect sense. “Bellator” is the perfect opener. “Peace of Mind” is the perfect soundtrack to a party scene. “Nirvana” is when the love interest shows up, similar to the hints in the KLVDR-directed music video put out on July 29th. “Lit Like This” is, once again, a good club sequence. “Eyes on Me” is a wonderful shootout song (if we’re following the Scarface hint laid out by the “Nirvana” video). On its own, All In couldn’t act as this soundtrack. But if Skepta were to expand on it, it could become the perfect visual album.
Overall, while some of All In could be viewed as “standard Skepta,” that “standard” is much higher than most other artists. The production is phenomenal, and the potential for an expansion on it is going to get me through the next long while. Every track has already made it onto at least one of my playlists, and I can’t express enough how much this has solidified my burgeoning love for Skepta. Check out All In below, and check out the review of “Nirvana” at the link above. Most importantly, let us know what you think about Skepta and All In in the comments!