After a three years hiatus, Stormzy released his highly anticipated third studio album, This Is What I Mean.
The follow-up to 2019’s Heavy Is The Head arrived midnight on Friday (Nov. 25), featuring 12 tracks. Stormzy previewed the artists credited on the album in a special video released on Wednesday. Watch it below and stream This Is What I Mean, at the end of the page.
The South London rapper shared an intimate message to his fans hours before the project was due. Tyler, the Creator was the inspiration for the post after he penned a similar note before releasing Igor in 2019.
While Stormzy admitted he would have preferred to let his “music do all the talking,” it was important to him to explain the ethos behind his music and how he would like the album to be received.
“I feel like I overshare, which makes me feel naked at times,” Stormzy wrote. “But I do it so that you guys can understand me a bit better and to give the art that I make some context. I’m never ever purposely trying to defy genres or go against the grain.”
“I’m never tryna do what is unexpected of me or what is expected of me. If I rap for seven minutes it’s because in my spirit, in that moment, I just really want to f###### rap.”
“I will make art for the rest of my life.”
The “Mel Made Me Do It” hitmaker flexed his singing chops on the album and said: “If I sing my heart out it’s because my soul just absolutely had to, adding, “I love music. I love, love, loveeeee music. Stormzy also committed to rapping “for the rest of my life. I will sing for the rest of my life, I will make art for the rest of my life.”
Stormzy said he was not “a calculated mastermind,” but hoped his new album would show critics that he does “whatever he likes,” despite people attempting “to box me in for years.”
He concluded with a prayer that fans “listen to it properly with no distractions,” and “with an open heart.”
“If you hate it after I promise to God I’m perfectly fine with that, I’m just grateful that you listened with openness. I pray that it moves you and captures your imagination and I pray that someone, somewhere feels it. This is what I mean and it’s what I’ve always meant. God bless. Stormzy x.” Read his post in full below
Stormzy – This Is What I Mean