Joseph Junior Adenuga (born September 19, 1982) is a prominent British-Nigerian artist known professionally by his stage name, Skepta. He is a recognized rapper, grime MC, and record producer.
Skepta is considered one of the top U.K. rappers, having released numerous songs and collaborated with a wide range of international and local artists from around the globe.
Early Life & Education
Skepta was born on September 19, 1982, and raised in Tottenham, a neighbourhood in North London, UK. Skepta’s parents are both immigrants from Nigeria. His father, John Adenuga, is a successful businessman who founded the telecommunications company, Commsworld, and His mother, Ify Adenuga, is an entrepreneur.
He has two brothers, one of whom is JME, a rapper and co-founder of Boy Better Know, a grime crew that Skepta is also a member of. He has a younger sister, Julie Adenuga, a broadcaster and radio host who is also part of his brother’s success in the entertainment industry.
Skepta attended a local primary and secondary school in Tottenham before completing his undergraduate studies at Winchmore School, part of the University of Greenwich in London. In his youth, Skepta was heavily influenced by the U.K. garage and drum and bass music scenes, eventually leading him to develop an interest in grime music.
When Skepta was 16, he started creating music and recording songs in his bedroom. In addition, he began visiting pirate radio stations, such as Heat FM and Déjà Vu FM, to showcase his music to a broader audience.
Skepta‘s early musical career was heavily influenced by hip-hop music from the United States and the United Kingdom. He began to make a name for himself by competing in local competitions and appearing on independent radio stations, which helped to increase his popularity. He released several instrumentals, including “DTI (Pirate Station)” and “Private Caller,” when the opportunity arose. Skepta was able to advance his career by joining The Meridian Group, a grime gang based in Tottenham, as a D.J.
In 2005, after The Meridian Group disbanded, Skepta joined Roll Deep, another grime gang, along with his brother JME and rapper Joseph Bamber. The following year, Skepta and his brother established Boy Better Know, an independent record label based in London. Skepta then challenged MC Devilman to a battle to film the “Lord of the Mics 2” DVD, considered one of the largest tournaments in grime history.
A few months after the competition, Skepta released his debut studio mixtape, “Joseph Junior Adenuga,” followed by his debut studio album, “Greatest Hits,” on September 17, 2007. His second album, “Microphone Champion,” was released in 2009 and included tracks such as “Bad Boy,” “Rescue Me,” “Cross My Heart,” “Doin’ It Again,” and “Lush.”
Skepta‘s most successful album, “Konnichiwa,” was released on May 6, 2016, and received widespread critical acclaim. In addition to being booked for numerous events, a party was thrown for Skepta outside of Tokyo, Japan. Following visa restrictions that had previously forced him to cancel, Skepta began his “Banned From America” music tour, which included 14 performances in the United States and several European countries.
Skepta has since collaborated with many well-known artists, including Wizkid and Rema, on the successful track “Dimension,” produced by Jae5 and released in 2021. He also travelled to Nigeria to collaborate with Wizkid on the song “Mamacita with Energy.”
⦁ Greatest Hits (2007)
⦁ Microphone Champion (2009)
⦁ Doin’ It Again (2011)
⦁ Konnichiwa (2016)
⦁ Ignorance Is Bliss (2019)
⦁ Insomnia (with Chip and Young Adz) (2020)
- Joseph Junior Adenuga (2006)
- Been There Done That (2010)
- Community Payback (2011)
- Blacklisted (2012)
- The Tim Westwood Mix (2015)
- All In (2021)
Awards and Nominations
- The 2014 MOBO Awards’ Best Video category was won by the music video for Skepta’s track “That’s Not Me.”
- He was recognized as one of G.Q.’s 50 best-dressed British men in 2015 while attending the Kanye West concert in London.
- BET award for Best International Act: U.K. 2016
- 2016’s “Konnichiwa,” his album, won the Mercury Award for Album of the Year.
- Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriter of the Year 2017
- NME Award for Best British Male Artist 2017
There is limited information available regarding Skepta’s romantic life. However, he is known to be the father of a daughter named River. He comes from a family of four siblings, including his brother J.M.E, a musician, a graphic designer named Jason, and a radio broadcaster named Julie.
In April 2018, Skepta was sworn in as chief in his home state of Ogun in Nigeria and was awarded the chieftaincy title of the Amuludun of Odo-Aje. The title comes with the honorific “Chief Entertainer of Odo-Aje”.
Additionally, Skepta has expressed his desire to give his parents the Nigerian house of their dreams, indicating a deep sense of family and responsibility towards his loved ones. Despite his success and fame, he remains grounded and committed to his roots, a testament to his character and values.
- Instagram @skeptagram
- Facebook @Skepta
- Twitter @Skepta
Skepta’s estimated net worth of $2 million is attributed to his successful career as a grime MC, rapper, and record producer.