Headie One Smashes Through the Charts with Album Edna
The past year has been undeniably triumphant for Tottenham-rapper Headie One. Contrasting from January, which saw his return to prison for four months following a charge of knife possession; to now, ten months on, where the notorious 'King of Drill' has just topped the UK chart with his 20-piece album Edna, which has since been streamed 25.5 million times.
Stylistically, this album is an elegant move away from his earlier beginnings in drill. The artist that once had a dark, industrial sound has now grown to incorporate dancehall, US Hip-Hop and more melodic ideas into his work. This delicacy was, of course, propelled even further by the inspiration behind the album - a touching tribute to his late Mother, Edna.
Looking back on Headie One's year in music, he has been impressively consistent with his work. 2019 was a big year to follow, with the success of Music x Road among other projects, and the progression of his musical style still being very much unknown. In April, Headie released genre-defying EP Gang, and with the help of producer Fred Again, developed a new face to his music that brought a taste of sophistication.
Edna is a well-crafted album from start to finish. Opening with reflective messages to his mother on Teach Me, this track resonates the same lyrical depth as seen on Gang. Other notable mentions include the playful collab with Young T and Bugsey on Princess Cuts, and he joins forces with UK icons Stormzy and AJ Tracey on huge track Ain't it Different. The collaborations don't stop there, however, with M Huncho, Young Adz, Future, Skepta, Aitch and Mahalia also featuring.
Headie One's rising success is perhaps down to his ability to consistently push the barriers of drill, without losing the origins of his style, lyrics and character. Edna simultaneously achieves elegance and profundity in slower tracks - with a testimony to his Mother - whilst also celebrating his ever changing sound and success.
Edna is out now on all major platforms.