slowthai shares “CANCELLED” ft. Skepta (watch the horror-themed video)
UK rapper slowthai is on the cusp of releasing his anticipated sophomore album, TYRON (out this Friday) and has just shared its new single, a brazen track featuring Skepta titled "CANCELLED." slowthai spoke about the song in an interview with Rolling Stone:
Skepta appears on “Canceled,” which seems to be about the NME Awards. Tell me about your relationship with him, and how someone with his stature helped you contend with that moment, both in life and on this song?
He’s not like a mentor, but everyone’s got that person who can tell you, “Yo, don’t worry about this.” There’s so much self-doubt; I believe we all have it, even if you’re in the best position in life, or the worst. Before I made music, he was someone I always respected and wanted to be on that playing field with. You need to be around people that teach you, because if you’re always stuck around people who don’t have no understanding of what you’re doing, you’ll never learn, you’ll never grow.
I was in my head a lot [after the NME Awards]. When you’re not a certain way and people tell you who you are, you doubt yourself. If you’re fully against stuff and people are saying, “That’s you” — you can’t fathom it. So I’m sitting there, I’m in a dark head space, and he’s like, “This isn’t your defining moment, bro. Use this. Come out stronger, come out harder. Show the world what you’re about. Fuck all that worrying. Just be you and live your life. It’s rock & roll, you’re a rock star.” From that, we just banged out that tune. It was like being the kid again — you’re all in a room, bouncing ideas and flowing. It’s one of them tunes that’s — I don’t know — it’s like, fuck all that shit, I know who I am and I know what I am. No one can tell me any different. No one can change the course of my fate based on their views and opinions. I’m not about that. I’m here to change things, I’m here to make things better and I’m here to lead people to a brighter future with optimism.
The track's accompanying music video, directed by The Rest, begins with a nod to the "Whassup?" Budweiser commercials from back in the day, with frequent slowthai collaborators Kwes Darko, Krash, and SAMO also hopping on the line. As the song itself begins, the video transitions into a montage where slowthai and Skepta call back to such horror flicks as American Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, Candyman, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It's a bloody good time, and you can watch it below.
In a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music, slowthai discussed the track, including the fact that much of it was created while he was on shrooms:
Rocky was in London, one link Timz, my boy Bloody, Skep was there, and we were all chilling, having a laugh, but we were in a residential building so we can't bang the music. So we're setting up all the speakers and stuff just to have a little session. So I'm sitting down and I'm just in a negative place, I was being negative. You know when you're just that one bad apple in the room? Yeah, the energy is off, I'm just like, "F-k everybody, like, f-k everyone.” Yeah, it's in my head. It's just in the back of my mind. And I'm one of them people that can push stuff to the side, but it was just weighing on me. And then Skep, he could see that I was going through it. He's got a song called "Going through it" that helped me. But he's like, "Yo man, this is your defining moment." Because he is a larger than life character, Skep. He's the best. He's my big bro. And he's like, "This is your defining moment." It's like, "No. No, this isn't happening. Come on." And it's like, he basically grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and lifted me out of that place. And then we're there, Crush, SAMO, and Kwes just start just making this beat....
In related news, slowthai recently took to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform "CANCELLED." You can watch the performance below.