Stormzy Releases 'Gang Signs & Prayer' Short Film On YouTube

The award-winning Grime artist presents a self-portrait that combines a narrative with live performances.

(AllHipHop News) British rapper Stormzy premiered his new Gang Signs & Prayer short film at the YouTube Space London. The 16-minute movie is now available for viewing on YouTube.

Gang Signs & Prayer shares the same name with the Grime artist's record-setting debut studio album. The visual was directed by Rollo Jackson (Danny Brown's "Dip"/Belly's "Frozen Water") with support from YouTube.The Fader and Somesuch are credited as producers.

"Young youts like myself, that grow up in the hood, we often don't know that we are actually the masters of our own destiny," states Stormzy. "There are so many things that steer us in the wrong direction however, we decide what happens in our own lives and like my album, I endeavoured for this film to portray just that. Derived from my album Gang Signs & Prayer, and written and directed by the legend that is Rollo, I'll let the visual do the talking."

YouTube has played a significant role in providing independent artists like Stormzy an outlet to reach listeners without going through the traditional gatekeepers. The 24-year-old award winner's YouTube channel has collected over 191 million views since its launch in 2010.

"Grime is one of the most exciting genres in the world right now and I'm ecstatic that trailblazers like Stormzy are garnering the success and recognition they deserve," says Lyor Cohen, YouTube's Global Head of Music. "The rise of grime is a perfect example of how YouTube is a place for artists to express themselves creatively and a democratic platform to access a global fanbase."

Cohen continues, "We want to help both artists and the industry make the most of technology, and this project is an ideal symbol of that: a groundbreaking film that blends music, art and story in new way and it's accessible to all on YouTube."