Stormzy’s new album Heavy Is The Head is taking us down memory lane with a sample from a childhood favourite.
We love Stormzy for many reasons. After skyrocketing to fame three years ago, the 26-year-old South Londoner has become a force for good in so many ways.
He’s set up his own literary imprint to shine a light on underrepresented voices, has paid the tuition fees for four university students and, earlier this year, made history as the first black solo artist to headline Glastonbury when he delivered an outstanding performance wearing a Union Jack-emblazoned stab-proof vest made exclusively for him by Banksy.
In short, he was probably already in the running for our man of the year. And now, after his latest move, we’re pretty sure he’s won.
On 13 December, Stormzy (real name Michale Omari) released his highly-anticipated second album Heavy Is The Head, which features collaborations with the likes of Grammy-winning R&B singer H.E.R , Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and – are you sure you’re ready for this? – Tracy Beaker.
Okay, not actually Tracy Beaker herself (which if it did, we’re sure would include her famous ‘bog off’) but as close as you could get: the song samples Keisha White’s Someday, also known as the theme tune to the popular CBBC series named after the character.
The move came as a delight to Tracy Beaker fans the world over, as well as the original creator of the famous “Dumping Ground” resident, Jacqueline Wilson herself.
Taking to Twitter, the beloved author shared her reaction at hearing Stormzy sing the lyrics of the theme song from the TV show adaptation of her 1991 children’s classic, The Story of Tracy Beaker.
“What a treat to hear the Tracy Beaker theme tune popping up on @stormzy song. Love it!” she wrote.
In response, Stormzy couldn’t contain his glee, writing, “Ayeeeee JACQUELINE WILSON ya na!!! Real ones know!! what a legend!!”
The track Superheroes, which appears towards the tail end of the 16-track album, is first and foremost a resounding celebration of black British culture, featuring references to author Malorie Blackman, comedian Michael Dapaah and fellow rappers Dave and Little Simz.
The song ends with Stormzy singing the memorable lines: “I can make world come true, all my dreams will see me through, and if that won’t get me down, my dreams will turn things all around, with a smile upon my face, I can see a better place, doesn’t matter what may come my way, believe me now, I will win some day.”
Appearing in the Radio 1Xtra Live Lounge on 16 December, Stormzy explained why he chose to sample the tune that is best known by fans as ‘the Tracy Beaker song’.
“On a deeper one, that’s one of the most prominent pieces of black British music,” he said.
“I love Keisha White. I had this idea for ages, I was going to sample it, I was going to make it a whole song,” he added, before explaining that he decided instead to add it to the final 30 seconds of Superheroes.
Meanwhile, Dani Harmer, who portrayed Tracy Beaker in the series that ran from 2002-2004, has also reacted positively to the song, telling Stormzy she’s available for the music video.
It’s the collaboration we never knew we needed for 2020.