Today, July 26, is the birthday of British grime and hip-hop star Stormzy, who now turns 25.

Born Michael Omari in Thornton Heath, London, Sotrmzy had a hard time in school because he was so dedicated to his music. He started making noise in UK's underground scene with his 2013 mixtape 168: The Mixtape and 2014's Dreamers Disease EP.

Stormzy won Best Grime Act at Britain's MOBO Awards for two years consecutively, in 2014 and 2015. His breakthrough single into the American market, "Shut Up" actually started off as a YouTube freestyle. It was in the summer of 2015 when one freestyle catapulted Stormzy's career to the next level. The upstart performed the freestyle "Shut Up" for the Wicked SkengMan and the freestyle took off online. The track was gaining so much steam that Stromzy quickly recorded a studio version and shot a music video for it in a South London parking lot with his friends. The lo-fi video, along with the slang and sly delivery of his lyrics, allowed the young talent to shine a spotlight on grime and project his own career into a greater hemisphere. "Shut Up" debuted at No. 18 on the UK's official music charts. This was Stormzy's first Top 40 hit as well as the first time ever a freestyle had cracked the UK Top 40.

With the UK grime scene infiltrating U.S. hip-hop like never before, Stormzy broke even more boundaries for grime earlier this year when his major label debut album Gang Signs & Prayer became the first grime album to peak at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart.

Throughout the rest of 2017, Stormzy continued killing tracks while making a name for himself as a man of the people. In October of that particular year he promised to honor the request of a fan who lied to their mom about having a collab with the rapper so she'd take him seriously. A short time later, in December, he fulfilled another promise to a fan when he performed at their father's funeral.

Continuing a beastly year, Stormzy ended up taking home two trophies at the 2017 Mobo Awards (Best Male Act, Best Grime Act). Earlier this year, at the 2018 BRIT Awards, he won trophies for British Male Solo Artist and British Album of the Year. Clearly Stormzy is on the upswing.

Happy Birthday, Stormzy!

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