Jeshi, de son vrai nom Jesse Greenway est devenu en quelques années l’étoile montante du rap anglais.
Dans ses divers projets, Jeshi s’inspire des artistes de son enfance à savoir The Neptunes, Eminem ou encore Erykah Badu. Originaire de Londres, le jeune artiste signé par Slowthai et Vegyn livre des chansons poétiques, imprégnées de narration personnelle et de commentaires sociaux puissants. L’artiste a collaboré à plusieurs reprises avec Mura Masa, le producteur Vegyn et signe un featuring « Summer » sur le dernier album de Celeste.
En 2022, le jeune rappeur annonce la sortie de son 1er album « Universal Credit ». Avec la participation de Obongjayar (collaborateur de Little Simz) & Fredwave.
Jeshi’s journey to making Universal Credit, his open-hearted and heavy-hitting debut album, began with a desire to take his music further, to say something he’d not yet said on EPs like 2020’s BAD TASTE or The Worlds Spinning Too Fast. He’d been making music his entire life but felt like he was coming up against the edges of what he had set out to do. There was only one answer; push and keep on pushing. The result is an album that acts as a radial act of empathy; looking out across society and attempting to bridge the divide between rich and poor. Universal Credit is an album that gifts humanity back to the demonised and lays bare the truth behind the prejudice; that nobody is immune from poverty or hardship and that luck plays a major role in everybody’s fate.
“Growing up my family has been on benefits and that’s been normalised in my life,” says Jeshi. “I’m very aware that doesn’t make you a bad person.” It’s a simple idea, an offer of basic empathy. But in a selfish capitalist society driven by greed and resentment it helps to say it out loud. Struggling isn’t a crime.
Written and recorded during the global pandemic, Jeshi was struck by the way in which millions of people in the U.K. received government furlough when luck transpired against them and working was no longer viable. How, he wondered, was this significantly different to those who receive benefits from the same government and yet are held up as “scroungers” by others? “People are often in a situation where they’re a couple of decisions away from tricky situations that are no fault of their own,” he says. “Life is difficult for everyone. It’s the pick of the draw.”
Themes of financial struggle and hardship run through Universal Credit, from the rising rents causing tension on Killing Me Slowly through to Generation, a zoomed out snapshot of societal trauma and the day to day struggles that make changing the bigger picture seem impossible. The inescapable presence of needless death and brutality is felt deep in the bones of Violence, one of two songs with Nigerian vocalist Obongjayar on the album, while Two Mums is a loving tribute to non-traditional family set-ups where love trumps convention.