Stormzy's MMMDI: A Black British Musical & Cinematic Masterpiece
Introducing an anthem of black culture set against a red-blooded progressive beat to which he raps, “I’ve been the GOAT for so long, I guess it’s not exciting when I win”. Stormzy has signalled a resoundingly bombastic return to the music industry after a three year hiatus.
‘Mel Made Me Do It’ is a subversion of the contemporary social construct positioning the black figure in a viewpoint of social, cultural and political influence. Stormzy raps about his wearing of audaciously expensive Patek Phillippe watches to places such as the gym, and at one point compares himself to the President of the United States, “I’m like a young black Biden in a trim / Presidential when I’m ridin’ in the Bimz”, he raps in the first verse.
Lasting 11 minutes, and directed by KLVDR, the music video jumps between scenes of the rapper standing behind a presidential podium, in a recording studio, and starring in a mock-up talk show alongside host Jonathan Ross and Zeze Millz. It features cameos by Malorie Blackman, Usain Bolt and notably Jose Mourinho who makes a reference to his “If I speak I am in big trouble” line. Scenes in between bring it crashing back down to Earth, at one point Brenda appears in the frame alongside a photograph of her late son Jamal Edwards held by Jamal’s sister, Tanisha Edwards. Recognised for his cultural influence, as a pioneer in digital videography and his work with a host of notable musicians including Rita Ora and Ed Sheeran.
The bare simplicity of the music video’s wardrobe drives the viewer to seek out the significance in its ubiquitous details, recurring shots portray Stormzy in a collection of tracksuits, a nod to his first big hit “Shut Up” released in 2015, and tailored outfits in electronic blue, blazing yellow, futuristic lime green, deep burgundy. It also gives an unrivalled view into the rappers watch collection, Stormzy wears a Patek Phillippe Nautilus 5980 in one scene and a second gold Aquanaut 5168 in another. Works by rising and renowned black designers additionally take centre stage, he wears a utilitarian Louis Vuitton jacket designed during Virgil Abloh’s tenure at the French house and looks by Bianca Saunders.
His resoundingly relentless track unflinchingly set out to make a point, each verse and lyric explicitly hammering it into the eardrums of the listener. “Today, we speak about foundation” narrates actress Michaela Coel, reciting a monologue verse written by Wretch 32.“Many great Black influential giants have touched people, from soul to soul, throughout many generations”.
Watch the music video for ‘Mel Made Me Do It’ by Stormzy here