Skepta Unleashes Long-Awaited Track “Gas Me Up (Diligent)”

Skepta Unleashes Long-Awaited Track “Gas Me Up (Diligent)”

The first track from Skepta’s much-anticipated album, Knife & Fork, titled “Gas Me Up (Diligent)” has finally hit the airwaves. This release comes precisely a week after the lead track “Jangrova”, featuring ODUMODUBLVCK and Idris Elba, from the Tribal Mark soundtrack.

A Melodic Masterpiece

Produced by the renowned Cardo, “Gas Me Up (Diligent)” is a breath of fresh air in the music scene. The track is a harmonious blend of light, airy tunes with subtle melodic elements sprinkled throughout. In an unexpected twist, Skepta even dips into a melodic mode towards the end of the track.

This unexpected turn of events suggests that there might be more surprises in store when the full Knife & Fork album is released. Alas, the wait continues as a release date has yet to be confirmed.

Artwork Controversy

The initial artwork for the track, which was shared online earlier this month, was quickly taken down amid controversy. The image depicted a group of individuals with shaved heads, one of whom had the words “gas me up” tattooed on the back. This led to an uproar as it was seen to resemble victims of the holocaust who were forcibly given shaved heads and tattoos by Nazi guards. The controversial artwork has since been replaced by a simple graphic with the text “Image Not Found”.

Skepta’s statement: “I’ve been waiting to drop Gas Me Up (Diligent) since teasing it April last year, worked hard getting the artwork right for my album rollout which is about my parents coming to the UK in the 80s, skinhead, football culture, and it has been taken offensively by many. I can promise you that was definitely not our plan, so I have removed it and I vow to be more mindful going forward.”

He later added in a Tweet:

“I can honestly see how my single artwork without context can be deemed offensive, especially in a time like this but again that was not my intention. But after some thought, I don’t feel like I could continue being the artist you all know and love if my art is policed. I have to quit if I can’t express my art as I see it. So to help with context, here are some pictures from our mood board for the 1980s UK story for my album Knife & Fork.”

Visuals for “Gas Me Up (Diligent)”

In addition to the track, the visuals for “Gas Me Up (Diligent)” have also been released. The music video, directed by Gugzay and shot by Domshotthis and Stevo1k, is a visual treat for all Skepta fans.

Top Tier Capital: A $1.05B Power Move in the Startup Investing Landscape

Top Tier Capital: A $1.05B Power Move in the Startup Investing Landscape

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Despite recent fluctuations in economic indicators such as inflation, a robust current of capital continues to course through the veins of Silicon Valley. In a notable example, Top Tier Capital – a San Francisco-based VC and private equity firm – has recently announced an impressive $1.05 billion boost to its investment fund, aimed at global venture funds and tech companies.

A Reinvigorated Investment Strategy

In a conversation with TechCrunch, Top Tier Capital’s managing partner, David York, explained the strategy underlying the new capital influx. This round of funding, which includes Top Tier’s Fund X, single-investor funds, and separate accounts, is set to emphasize investments in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

“We have enormous confidence in the continued growth of technology globally, as well as our future investment activities,” York shared in a statement.

Building Stronger Ventures in Uncertain Markets

According to York, the strongest companies are often built in uncertain markets. Despite the current global economic fluctuations, the digital economy has continued to grow as part of global GDP overall. This presents a unique opportunity for Top Tier to fortify its position as one of the more vigorous venture franchises in the business.

“We see an opportunity here to build our firm for the future, as we remain focused on trying to invest as one of the stronger venture franchises in the business,” York stated.

A Look at Top Tier’s Journey

Founded in 2011 by Philip Paul, who spun the company out of Paul Capital, Top Tier Capital primarily invests in VC funds but also in startups alongside select managers. Its portfolio includes around 400 fund interests, including big names like Andreessen Horowitz, Mayfield Ventures, and Creandum. The firm has exposure to over 16,000 venture-backed companies spanning sectors like biotechnology, software-as-a-service software, web3, and AI.

Since its founding, Top Tier has raised approximately $3.7 billion in capital from investors across 12 funds and has more than $8 billion in assets under management. The firm’s exits include corporate performance management platform Anaplan, cybersecurity upstart Carbon Black, and cloud app management company Engine Yard.

Recent Startup Bets

Top Tier has recently placed bets on startups such as Plus One, a company building parcel robotics vision systems; Paro, a marketplace matching freelance financial experts with firms; and Humane, the company behind the AI-powered wearable, the Ai Pin.

New Additions to the Top Tier Team

As part of this new development, Top Tier has announced the addition of Jonathan Biggs, a former SVB Capital managing partner based in London, to its team as an investment partner. Simultaneously, Michelle Ashworth has been promoted to a partner role alongside Biggs.

Jessica Archibald, Top Tier’s managing director, expressed her enthusiasm for the future, stating, “We believe the companies powering our future are being built today, and we think our firm’s deep industry expertise and longstanding relationships make us a uniquely valuable investing partner.”

Wrapping Up

Top Tier Capital’s recent $1.05 billion funding is a testament to the resilience and potential of the global tech industry. With its new capital and strategic emphasis on Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, Top Tier is poised to strengthen its position as a powerful force in the global venture capital landscape.

As the world of startups continues to evolve and innovate, investors like Top Tier Capital will undoubtedly continue to play a crucial role in shaping the future of technology worldwide.

The Price of a Verse: Meek Mill’s Mind-Boggling Figures

The Price of a Verse: Meek Mill’s Mind-Boggling Figures

Image credit: Arturo Holmes /

Good music doesn’t come cheap, and when it comes to a verse from Meek Mill, that statement takes on a whole new level. The Philly-born rapper recently let slip his price tag for featuring in a song, and the quotations are enough to make anyone’s jaw drop.

Markdown quote:

“Every time I do a verse I charge 250k and up if you got 150k on sight and I like the song we can swap it outtt!!!!” – Meek Mill

The Industry Standard

In an industry where talent is abundant, the stakes are high and the prices even higher. Meek’s asking price aligns with his contemporaries. However, it’s worth noting that Meek’s pricing far outweighs that of rapper J. Cole.

In a surprising revelation last year, J. Cole dispelled rumors of him receiving $2,000 per word for his verses. His approach to music features is rather humble and passion-driven, unlike the industry’s norm.

Markdown quote:

“Yo, bro, it’s just a bar, bro…I don’t even charge n***a for the verse, I’m doing this shit because I’m inspired to do it.” – J.Cole

More Than Just a Verse

Meek further elaborated on his pricing, emphasizing that artists paying for his feature receive more than just a verse. The benefits extend to exposure to Meek’s expansive audience, which includes his 50 million followers with real engagement.

Markdown quote:

“Some of these artists need others’ platforms to get their point across, and I offer them data and fanbase opportunities along with mass marketing” – Meek Mill

Investing in Land

So, what does Meek Mill do with all that hard-earned money? It seems he’s eyeing an expansion of his real estate portfolio. The rapper recently expressed his desire to acquire 15 acres in south New Jersey. However, he’s clear on one thing – no wetlands.

Markdown quote:

“Looking for 15 Acres in south nj no wetlands tho help me out” – Meek Mill

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while the figures may seem astronomical to some, it’s clear that the music industry operates on a different financial scale. Whether it’s Meek Mill’s $250,000 verses or J. Cole’s passion-driven approach, the price of a verse in the rap world is more than a monetary figure; it’s a reflection of an artist’s value, reach, and influence.