Stormzy's first solo release since 2020, "Mel Made Me Do It" is a 7-and-a-half-minute track filled with references to fellow artists, sporting greats, and celebrities. Stormzy titled it as a "direct reference to the influence" of his longtime fashion stylist Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe and her social media tagline, "Mel Made Me Do It."
The song starts with a clip from a 2019 Instagram Story video where the rapper's mother, Abigail Owuo, announces she's not flying economy because Stormzy is her son. Stormzy then takes us on a ride that celebrates his G.O.A.T. lifestyle with several direct shots at his haters.
Knox Brown supplied the minimalist beat, which gives space for Stormzy's witty wordplay. Brown is known for his work with Wretch 32 ("Blackout
," "Doing OK
") and Jess Glynne ("Ain't Got Far to Go
," "Why Me
"). Brown also sings backing vocals along with dancehall artist Stylo G and podcast host Jermaine Agyako.
The KLVDR-directed video expands the journey to nearly 11 minutes. There are cameo appearances from the likes of athlete Usain Bolt, documentary-maker Louis Theroux, and football manager José Mourinho. It also hosts a range of black British icons, such as sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, footballer-turned-pundit Ian Wright, rappers Dave, Headie One and Little Simz, and the titular Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe. By inserting so many big names in the clip, Stormzy flexes his power and impact on the UK music scene.
Towards the end of the video, the I May Destroy You actress Michaela Coel narrates a moving monologue written by Wretch 32:
"Many great Black influential giants have touched people, from soul to soul, throughout many generations.
It's often 'greatness' comes to mind, but footballing legends like Ian Wright make greatness come to sight. Our DNA empowers us. We can make a song and dance out of everything. Our genes are enriched – it seems there is not a seam out of place in our fabric."