Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Problem Is Unstoppable

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Problem Is Unstoppable

Article excerpt

IKE every show on his current UK tour - Stormzy AKA The Problem AKA Big Mike AKA Stiff Chocolate - sold out the Manchester date almost instantly.

LGiven the success of his debut album Gang Signs and Prayer, that's hardly surprising. But when the show was announced back in February, that record wasn't available to the world and Michael Omari was just re-emerging from a 12-month period of hibernation away from the spotlight.

Shifting that many tickets speaks strongly of the quality of the music he'd been putting out beforehand.

He rode the wave of grime's resurgence into the mainstream at the front end of 2015. 'Shut Up' and 'Know Me From' were undeniable smashes as the former surged past 50 million views on YouTube.

And then, radio silence, so to speak. It was a time when the 23-year-old battled with his own mental health, which he addresses on his debut album. He also appeared on Channel 4 news to give a very frank interview on the subject.

NME piggybacked on to the issue and slapped a stock image of the rapper on the front of their magazine with accompanying text that suggested he had spoken to the publication. He hadn't. In fact, he'd firmly knocked back requests to appear on the cover. Rightfully so, Stormzy blasted the mag on social media for this. "Why do you think it is kool to use my me as a poster boy for such a sensitive issue without permission? …

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