Headie One

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Headie One
Birth nameIrving Adjei[1]
Also known asHeadz
Born6 October 1994 Tottenham, London, England
Genres
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2010–present[2]
LabelsRelentless[3]
Associated acts
Websitewww.headie.one

Irving Adjei (born 6 October 1994), known professionally as Headie One, is a British rapper and songwriter from Tottenham, North London. In 2018, he released the mixtape The One; it included the single "Know Better" featuring rapper RV, which became an "underground hit".[3]

Headie One is best known for his track "18Hunna", which peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart and features Dave. He has released seven mixtapes - four solo, and three with fellow rapper RV. In 2019, Headie One released his seventh and first mainstream mixtape Music x Road which peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Adjei grew up on the "infamous"[6] Broadwater Farm housing estate in Tottenham.[7] He is of Ghanaian origin.[8]

In his youth he was "obsessed" with football and played for local team Haringey Borough F.C.[9] He was due to have a trial with Stevenage F.C. before an ankle fracture led to his exit from the sport.[9]

He first began rapping in his early teens, though only began focusing on it after his first release from prison.[10] His moniker derives from a childhood nickname due to his head's resemblance to a 50p coin.[7]

Music career[edit]

Adjei began releasing music in the early 2010s under the name Headz, including as part of a group named Star Gang.[2][11] In 2014 he released his only mixtape under that alias, titled Headz or Tails.[12] Also part of Star Gang was fellow Tottenham rapper RV - he and Headie One became frequent collaborators, including co-releasing the mixtapes Sticks & Stones (2016) and Drillers x Trappers (2017).[13] Together they formed part of OFB, a UK drill crew based in the Broadwater Farm estate.[6]

In February 2018, he released his next solo mixtape as Headie One, titled The One. This included "Know Better" with RV, which became an "underground hit".[3] This was his first release that was signed to Relentless Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music.[1] In May he was featured on "Missing", a Belly Squad track that peaked at number 84 on the UK Singles Chart.[14] This was followed by another solo mixtape, The One Two, in June 2018, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number 32.[15] In November he performed on his first national UK tour.[16]

In January 2019, his single "18Hunna", featuring Dave, entered the UK chart at number 6 - the highest a drill artist has ever charted.[17][18] In March Adjei released his sixth mixtape, and third with RV, Drillers x Trappers II.[19] It entered the UK Albums Chart at number 21.[20] "Match Day", the first single from the mixtape, entered the Singles Chart at number 86.[17] In July he featured on the "I Spy" single by Krept and Konan, which peaked at number 18.[21]

In August 2019 Adjei released his seventh mixtape in five years, Music x Road.[5] The release was praised by critics,[5][22][23] and was noted for being a move away from his usual sound - with NME describing it as being "often far from drill".[22] It entered the UK Albums Chart at number 5 - his highest chart placing to date.[4] Other than the previously-released "18Hunna", several tracks from the mixtape also charted, such as "Back to Basics" with Skepta, "Rubbery Bandz" and "Both."[4]

In December 2019, he featured on Stormzy's new album Heavy is the Head on the song Audacity.

Controversy[edit]

Adjei has been imprisoned three times,[7][10] including for dealing crack cocaine and heroin - most recently in 2020.[1][24]

In January 2018 he was reportedly attacked by rivals at the University of Bedfordshire.[7][16] A video of the assault was posted on Snapchat and then YouTube, resulting in an "all-out gang war."[24] Headie responded with a diss track "Know Better."[7]

In March of that year, his concert at the Barbican Centre was shut down by the Metropolitan Police.[7] The police had previously "singled out" his music in connection with rising knife crime in London.[25] In an interview in April, Headie claimed that "Only a fool would say that drill music is the root of the problem of violence in the capital."[25] Associations between London gang culture ("the war between Tottenham and Wood Green"), drill music and social media were examined in a BBC Radio Four programme File on Four 8 March, 2020, focused on three violent murders. [26]

On 8 January 2020 Adjei was imprisoned for six months for possession of a knife. [27]

Discography[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with selected details and chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
UK
[28]
The One Two
  • Released: 22 June 2018[29]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
32
Drillers x Trappers II
(with RV)
  • Released: 22 March 2019[30]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
21
Music x Road
  • Released: 23 August 2019[31]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
5
  • Headz or Tails (2014)
  • Sticks & Stones (2016) (with RV)
  • Drillers x Trappers (2017) (with RV)
  • The One (2018)

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[28]
"18Hunna"
(featuring Dave)[32]
2019 6 Music x Road
"All Day"[34]
"Back to Basics"
(featuring Skepta)[35]
42
"Both"[36] 13
"Charades"
(with Fred Again)
2020 57 TBA
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as a featured artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[28]
IRE
[37]
"I Spy"
(Krept and Konan featuring Headie One and K-Trap)[38]
2019 18 Revenge Is Sweet
"Don't Rush"
(Young T & Bugsey featuring Headie One)[39]
20 66 Plead The 5th
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs[edit]

List of other charted songs, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[28]
"Rubbery Bandz" 2019 86 Music x Road
"Hard to Believe" 79 Top Boy – A Selection of Music Inspired by the Series
"Audacity"
(Stormzy featuring Headie One)
6 Heavy Is the Head

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, showing year released, other artist(s) and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Ei8ht Mile"[40] 2020 DigDat Ei8ht Mile

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bassett, Jordan. "The Big Read – Headie One: "If you make a mistake, you've got to move quickly"". NME. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Wacey, Rob. "Headie One Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Brydon, Grant (7 January 2019). "Slay In Their Lane: Nine Artists Who Will Dominate 2019". Clash. Music Republic. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Headie One". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Horner, Al (23 August 2019). "Headie One: Music X Road review – UK drill kingpin gets introspective". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b Thapar, Ciaran (2 August 2018). "Making the banned: MK The Plug and M1 On The Beat are UK drill's brightest hope". Fact. The Vinyl Factory. Archived from the original on 13 July 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Halls, Eleanor (14 July 2018). "Is drill the most controversial genre of music?". GQ. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on 4 November 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  8. ^ Headie One Talks Uni Incident, New Music, Labels plus more [NFTR] (YouTube Video). Not For The Radio. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b Davey, Jacob (17 September 2019). "VERSUS Jerseys: Headie One". Versus. Archived from the original on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  10. ^ a b Patterson, Joseph JP (15 November 2018). "Headie One, Man Of Few Words, Lets His Bars Do All The Talking". Complex. Complex Media. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  11. ^ Star Gang - Youngers From Farm Ft. Young RV (YouTube Video). ColdCashMG. 15 January 2011. Archived from the original on 28 April 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  12. ^ Headie One [@headieone] (30 March 2014). "Download my debut mixtape 'Headz or Tails' !!! mixtapemadness.co.uk/Headz/HeadzOrTails/1794" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Daly, Rhian (21 March 2019). "Watch RV and Headie One's football-themed video for 'Match Day'". NME. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Belly Squad ft Headie One". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  15. ^ "The One Two". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  16. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (5 November 2018). "Headie One review – a feelgood celebration despite the bleak lyrics". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Headie One". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Who is Headie One and what is the '18 Hunna' challenge?". The Official Big Top 40. Global. 15 January 2019. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  19. ^ Oke, Tobi (22 March 2019). "Headie One And RV Return With 'Drillers x Trappers II' Mixtape". Complex. Archived from the original on 26 March 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  20. ^ "DRILLERS AND TRAPPERS 2". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  21. ^ "KREPT/KONAN/HEADIE ONE/K-TRAP". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  22. ^ a b Bassett, Jordan. "Headie One – 'Music x Road' review". NME. Archived from the original on 23 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  23. ^ Fletcher, Harry (23 August 2019). "Headie One: Music X Road review – Drill meets dancehall, and Headie's ahead of the game". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  24. ^ a b Simpson, John; McStay, Josh (12 April 2018). "Puma and JD Sports linked to 'crack den' party". The Times. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.(Subscription required.)
  25. ^ a b Cotter, Lucy (15 April 2018). "Drill star says 'only a fool would link music to wave of violent crime'". Sky News. Sky Limited. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  26. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000fvw2
  27. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/08/uk-drill-rapper-headie-one-jailed-for-six-months-for-carrying-knife
  28. ^ a b c d "HEADIE ONE - full Official Charts History". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  29. ^ "The One Two by Headie One". iTunes. Archived from the original on 4 October 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Drillers x Trappers II by RV & Headie One". iTunes. Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  31. ^ "Music x Road by Headie One". iTunes. Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  32. ^ "18HUNNA (feat. Dave) - Single by Headie One on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  33. ^ a b c d "BRIT Certified - bpi" (To access, enter the search parameter "Headie One" and select "Search by Keyword"). British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 6 February 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  34. ^ "All Day - Single by Headie One on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  35. ^ "Back to Basics (feat. Skepta) - Single by Headie One on Apple Music". iTunes. Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  36. ^ Jones, Damian (15 August 2019). "Watch Headie One's Ultra Nate sampled video for new single 'Both'". NME. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  37. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  38. ^ "I Spy (feat. Headie One & K-Trap) - Single by Krept & Konan". iTunes. Archived from the original on 4 August 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  39. ^ "Don't Rush (feat. Headie One) by Young T & Bugsey on Apple Music". iTunes. Archived from the original on 8 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  40. ^ "Ei8ht Mile by DigDat". iTunes. Retrieved 22 January 2020.