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The British hip-hop subgenre grime first started to bubble up in London in the early aughts. Artists like Wiley and Dizzee Rascal developed an entirely new style by rapping over lightning-fast beats inspired by UK garage, techno and jungle.

Today’s guest, Stormzy is at the forefront of grime’s newest generation. He rose to prominence in 2015 after uploading a video to YouTube where he freestyled over classic grime tracks. Since then Stormzy has released three number one albums in the UK, won three Brit Awards, and become the first British rapper to headline the Glastonbury festival.

Just before releasing his third album, This Is What I Mean, Stormzy met up with Rick Rubin in London for a cover story from i-d Magazine’s Royalty issue. This is the recording of that conversation. On today’s episode we’ll hear Stormzy play Rick songs from his new album, and explain why he decided to consider his audience last when recording it. And Stormzy talks about how a painful break-up and trusting God helped lead him to a new melodic, soulful sound.

You can listen to a playlist of some of our favorite Stormzy songs HERE.

Watch the Interview at i-D

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…