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‘I Have To Quit If I Can’t Express My Art’: Mercury Prize-Winning Rapper Skepta Takes Down ‘Gas Me Up’ Artwork Amidst Alleged Reference To Holocaust

Photo: Skepta

As Skepta gears up for the much-anticipated rollout of his first rap album in nearly five years “Knife & Fork”, the legendary Mercury Prize-winning Grime emcee has taken down the artwork of the album’s lead single “Gas Me Up (Diligent)”. The concerning development arrives amidst the ‘Boy Better Know’, or the BBK, affiliate faced scathing criticism for allegedly referencing the Holocaust in the artwork.

Reportedly, the artwork shows men with shaved heads. One of them has “Gas Me Up” tattooed on the back of his head. For many, the alleged “offensive artwork” referred to the deaths of Jewish people in Nazi gas chambers during World War Two.

Skepta was swift to address the criticism and recognized the unintentional offence that the concerned artwork had caused. “I can honestly see how my single artwork without context can be deemed offensive, especially in a time like this but again that was not my intention,” Skepta wrote via X, formerly Twitter.

While Skepta apologised and took down the “Gas Me Up” artwork, he further asserted that such vehement policing of his art was unwarranted and he would’ve to “quit music” if such practices continued.

“But after some thought I don’t feel like I could continue being the artist you all know and love if my art is policed, I have to quit if I can’t express my art as I see it,” Skepta wrote and further shared a “mood board for the 1980’s UK story” for his forthcoming album “Knife & Fork”.

Amidst the criticism, the lead single arrives as planned and will be released on January 26th.

As reported earlier, “Knife And Fork” will serve as the follow-up to his iconic 2019 rap LP “Ignorance Is Bliss” and will join a slew of cult British grime records “Konnichiwa”, “Doin’ It Again”, “Microphone Champion” and his 2007 debut LP “Greatest Hits”.

In November, Skepta released his notorious collaborative EP “48 Hours” with underground producer Ryder. 

Look out for Skepta’s 6th studio album “Knife And Fork” this year and its lead single “Gas Me Up (Diligent)” on January 26th.

Stream ‘Konnichiwa’ by Skepta via Spotify.