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Unravelling the Essence of British-Nigerian Musical Mastery now taking the film world.

British rapper Skepta recently announced that he is working on a new film project. The film will centre around a black undercover secret service agent, a character that he has personally conceptualised and developed. According to Skepta, he was inspired to create this film after growing tired of the constant debate surrounding who should play the next James Bond. 

Skepta, born Joseph Junior Adenuga, has emerged as a groundbreaking force in the music industry, blending his British roots with Nigerian heritage to create a unique and influential sound. As a prominent rapper, songwriter, and record producer, Skepta has not only achieved considerable success but has also become a cultural icon, transcending geographical boundaries. Hailing from Tottenham, North London, Skepta began his musical journey in the early 2000s as a part of the grime collective "Meridian Crew." However, it was in 2014 that he truly took the world by storm with his album "Konnichiwa," which won the Mercury Prize for Best Album. The project showcased Skepta's ability to deliver raw and authentic narratives while seamlessly infusing his tracks with elements of grime, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Beyond his musical prowess, Skepta has become a fashion icon and an entrepreneur. He founded the grime collective "Boy Better Know" (BBK), which has become a powerhouse in the UK music scene. Skepta has also ventured into fashion, collaborating with renowned brands and creating his fashion line, Mains. His bold and distinctive style has made him a trendsetter, influencing not only the music industry but also the world of fashion.

The new film project is set to be a groundbreaking work, as it will provide much-needed representation for people of colour in the film industry. Skepta is known for his groundbreaking work in the music industry, and fans eagerly anticipate his foray into the world of film. Although details about the project are still scarce, it is sure to be a highly anticipated release.

In his latest short film, "Tribal Mark," the story revolves around a Nigerian immigrant named Mark who moves to London as a child and tries to adjust to a new culture and way of life. As a teenager, he struggles to fit in and is imprisoned for possession of a firearm. In the present day, Mark, played by Skepta, is seen dressed sharply and enjoying a traditional Nigerian meal of pounded yam and Egusi soup. He introduces himself to the camera, saying "I'm Mark, Tribal Mark," which is reminiscent of the famous line "The name is Bond. James Bond.”

The grime artist has announced that Tribal Mark will be a prequel to his wider cinematic universe featuring black male leads. The short film will revolve around a hitman who works for the black secret service. The lead character will be an anti-hero similar to James Bond but with a more complex personality. The artist has compared his movie to The Joker, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2019. It will explore the backstory of Batman's nemesis, and Tribal Mark will show how and why Mark becomes Tribal Mark.

Skepta’s own production company, 1PLUS1, has created Tribal Mark, which showcases the rapper's DIY ethos. To promote new industry talent, the movie features a cast and production team that is 90% made up of individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds. Tribal Mark is scheduled to hit cinemas on January 26th, 2024.

Article by Shantí - Filmmaker and Journalist

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