Review: Headie One- EDNA

Will Nsieyanji reviews Headie One's latest album

William Nsieyanji
27th October 2020
insta: @headieone
Irving Adjei’s (aka Headie One) debut album EDNA has confirmed his status as the top dog of drill. I was impressed with the album on the first listen as Irving stays true to himself, and executes a solid combination of familiar drill flows with foreign R&B melodies. 

This masterpiece is dedicated to Headie One’s late mother Edna Duah, who passed away when he was a child. Being raised in Tottenham’s Broadwater Farms estate, Headie was quickly involved in gang activities and has in fact been imprisoned four times. In April of 2020 he was released from prison after serving four months for possession of a knife; he describes the experience as a “wake-up call”. Interestingly, Headie listened to Drake’s music during his prison sentence and after his release managed to organise for Mr Aubrey Graham to feature on the album in hit single 'Only You Freestyle'. 

Headie provided his listeners with the themes we know and love him for, with brutally honest reflections of his criminal past and completely justified boastful remarks. It’s evident that incarceration and the pandemic gave Headie lots of time to ponder his life and focus on his music, the end product is magnificent. He accepts his past mistakes but also illustrates the fruits of his labour and how his life has changed for the better. This album contains some of the hardest drill bars ever uttered, as Headie clarifies that no one in the scene is quite on his level. And the proof is in the pudding.

The success has also apparently changed his love life and he reveals on Princess Cuts ft. Young T & Bugsy, how women who used to ignore him now pursue him. 

It’s clear he misses his deceased mother and is driven by honoring her life and death as evoked in the song 'Psalm 35'.

Personally, I was extremely impressed with Future’s appearance on 'Hear No Evil'. Future and Headie One going toe-to-toe was the crossover that I didn't even know my life was missing. The album manifests a star-studded list of features on this album from the likes of M Huncho ('Bumpy Ride'), Aitch ('Parlez Vous Anglais') & Skepta ('Try Me'). I also respect Ivorian Doll who hopped on 'F U Pay Me' and made her presence known. 

EDNA is a twenty song album with a plethora of bangers and very few skips. 

Overall, this album in my opinion is a strong contender for album of the year, due to the variety of styles and musicians and I expect it to perform impressively on the charts.

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