Ed Sheeran released his fourth studio album entitled No. 6 Collaborations Project on 12th July. Unsurprisingly, the album debuted at #1 in 16 countries including the US Billboard 200 and the UK Official Albums Chart, becoming his fourth #1 album in the UK. ‘Take Me Back To London’ features the grime king of this generation, Stormzy who has been a frequent collaborator of Ed Sheeran’s even remixing his hit single ‘Shape Of You’ which premiered live at the 2017 Brit Award Ceremony.
This remix sees Sir Spyro revamp the instrumental and recruit grime heavyweights Jaykae and Aitch to represent the two biggest cities outside of the capital. The track opens up with Ed Sheeran singing the inspirational chorus before Stormzy spits in his usual assertive flow, describing his growth as an artist whilst representing his area “We were younger then, now we’re unified, South London boys get you crucified.” Ed jumps in with bars of his own, silencing his critics and proving that he’s not just a pop singer but a talented versatile artist. He too speaks of his growth but explains that he’s also down to earth “Give me a packet of crisps and my pint, hit my friends up, go straight to the pub, cos I haven’t been home in time.”
Stormzy and Ed Sheeran go back-to-back with bars before the second chorus commences. Jaykae cuts the chorus short as he represents for his hometown Birmingham, his braggadocio verse speaks on his come up and the luxury items he has acquired but can also be found in a pub. With eyes being on London when it comes to grime, Jaykae unapologetically lets you know where he’s from “Rep blues when I’m here, it’s Brum, fam are you dumb.” Since coming onto the scene, Aitch has continually expressed he’s not a trap rapper and lets his talent speak for itself whilst accumulating a strong fan base. Reiterating this statement on the track with his jumpy flow he raps, “I came for first place, made a change to get paid, fam I stayed in my lane and came with that flame.”
Directed by Manchester’s KC Locke and shot around London, Manchester and Birmingham, the creative visuals capture the essence of British culture. The video begins with Stormzy riding shotgun as Ed Sheeran drifts a Rolls Royce Cullinan in an empty field, they wear matching grey tracksuits from Stormzy’s latest collaboration with Adidas. They perform their verses standing back-to-back in a high-end suit store whilst a tailor measures them up for a perfect fit.
Jaykae starts his verse surrounded by a circle of biker boys riding a mixture of ATV’s and dirt bikes. The scenes cut between him, Aitch and Ed drinking and having a good time on a red interior tour bus to the Birmingham rapper standing amongst friends at the pool table of a pub. Jaykae’s verse ends abruptly as Aitch is seen toasting Ed Sheeran whilst they sit side by side in a traditional English café drinking a cup of milky tea. Given Ed’s global exposure these scenes all encompass British culture and give his international fans a taste of how the U.K do it.
Since its release, grimes godfather Wiley has taken aim at Ed Sheeran labelling him a “culture vulture” for jumping on a grime track for “exposure” that’s clearly unneeded given his current success. Stormzy was quick to respond to these comments stating, “Ed been doing this from early, been a real one from early, can’t question that.” Jaykae also came to Ed’s defence saying, “I’ve looked up to you for over a decade. But you’re moving like a wasteman” whilst tweeting a clip of his verse on the track where he raps “You could be 40, you don’t wanna war me, end of story, you’re gonna get spun” clearly sending shots at the grime OG.
I’m happy for you Wiley. I tell people all the time recently that you look like your in a good space after looking like you was having a mid life crisis on social media. Your killing it. I’ve looked upto you for over a decade. But your moving like a wasteman. Safe pic.twitter.com/HJTaaTp8gJ
— Jaykae (@Jaykae10) August 24, 2019
You can watch the visuals to ‘Take Me Back To London (Sir Spyro Remix)’ below.