The British rap scene is many things. Gritty, raw, aggressive and above all, honest. Few MCs embody these attributes quite like Skepta. An internationally recognized talent, the rapper is not only the face of the UK Grime scene, but a cross-continental creative force, boasting his own label, a series of Nike collaborations and a slew of fashion week appearances that helped establish the 36-year-old as an emerging style icon. Although widely considered a rookie, the veteran rapper began his career over 14 years ago.

Born Joseph Junior Adenuga Jr., Skepta grew up in Tottenham, North London. The son of Nigerian immigrants, Skepta began his career in 2005, initially with the Meridian Crew, MC's from the Meridian Council Estate—the public housing complex he grew up in. When the crew disbanded, the rapper briefly linked up with now rival Wiley's infamous Roll Deep collective before forming his own crew (and label), Boy Better Know in 2006. Founded with the help of his younger brother, rapper/producer Jme, Boy Better Know became one of the most promising groups in grime, and over the following decade rose through the charts releasing numerous mixtapes, albums and singles from its stable of artists. While already a recognized talent, his success was predominantly limited to the UK. Then, without warning, a relationship with the A$AP Mob and Drake materialized in 2014, in large part driven by Drake's sudden fascination with grime culture. Suddenly, the trainers, tracksuits and heavy cuban links the Boy Better Know frontman had rocked for over a decade were all the rage—even Kendrick Lamar co-opted roadman steeze.

Suddenly boasting worldwide recognition, the rapper wound up on GQ's 50 Best Dressed list, was sitting front row at fashion week and hanging out with Kanye–who invited the rapper to perform alongside him in 2015. Yet, rather than embrace the sudden international acclaim, Skepta doubled down on his home soil, famously rapping about tossing his Gucci in the bin and wearing designs by local London talent Cottweiler and even walking in Nasir Mazhar's Fall/Winter 2015 runway show. Yet, eventually those relationships with Kanye and A$AP Rocky proved too potent, and by the time the rapper announced his third studio album, Konichiwa, he was decked in designer garb—most notably rocking a head-to-toe Craig Green x Moncler puffer track suit. The rapper continued to form relationships outside of music, eventually starring in a Uniqlo campaign, launching his own label, MAINS, and even inking a Nike deal in 2017. Today the London stalwart is known as much for his aggressive lyricism as his imposing stature and war-ready wardrobe—he wears a lot of Alyx. To coincide with his fourth studio album, we present our favorite Skepta looks.

Skepta's fourth studio album, Ignorance Is Bliss, is out now.

Tags: stone-island, moncler, air-skepta, nike, virgil-abloh, craig-green, alyx, dior, louis-vuitton, inspired, music, skepta