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Stormzy Recruits Fredo For New Song ‘Toxic Trait’

The track arrives on the heels of his third consecutive No.1 album, ‘This is What I Mean.’

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Stormzy and Dave - Photo: Elliot Hensford (Courtesy of 0207 Def Jam)
Stormzy and Dave - Photo: Elliot Hensford (Courtesy of 0207 Def Jam)

Hot on the heels of achieving his third consecutive No.1 album with his critically praised record This Is What I Mean, British megastar Stormzy returned with “Toxic Trait.”

The track is a three-and-a-half minute whip-smart, searing, and boastful masterclass in MC’ing. With remarkable punchlines reminiscent of his 2022 viral offering, “Mel Made Me Do It,” the track features fellow British rapper Fredo and also arrives with Stormzy’s well-known close confidant, Santan (AKA British rapper, Dave), on production duties.

Known for pushing boundaries with his visuals, Stormzy’s new single is accompanied by an impressive and captivating video directed by British director Femi Ladi. With a focus on societal toxic traits, the video fictionally contextualizes a plethora of toxic situations, honing in on gambling, violence, and the glorification of luxury lifestyles, with a further signal to the 1900 pidgin-style saying, “monkey-see, monkey-do.”

During multiple junctures we see nods to significant, historical cultural moments from over the years, one of which being Muhammed Ali’s 1968 Esquire Magazine cover and Kehinde Wiley’s prominent painting, “A Ship Of Fools.” Breaking mid-way, the video then cuts to a therapy scene between Fredo and his therapist, none other than TV royalty, Alison Hammond. The video concludes with a group-therapy session which features further cameos from a range of British figureheads including Ivorian Doll, Wretch 32, and Specs Gonzalez.

Speaking on the visual, director Femi stated, “After listening to the lyrics, I wanted to have fun with this video. I liked the idea of bringing a renaissance-style painting to life, whilst still feeling grounded in the world of Stormzy. We collaborated on all the scenarios together which was great—as well as being able to bring in the likes of Fredo and Alison Hammond for their own toxic therapy sessions!” Filmed in London earlier this year, the majority of the visual was shot on a high-speed, cinema robot camera; a camera of which is capable of horizontal and vertical movement speeds of up to two meters per second.

Buy or stream “Toxic Trait.”

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