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Skepta and JME open up on how tough childhood spurred their success: ‘Nobody understands what’s happening behind that door’

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Skepta, and JME
Skepta and JME have recalled their childhood struggles (Picture: Getty Images)

Skepta and JME have recalled their struggles they faced during their childhood, and how it is helped shape them into the successful musicians they are today.

The two grime stars and brothers grew up in Tottenham, North London alongside siblings Julie and Jason Adenuga, and their parents Ify and Joseph Adenuga Sr.  

As Ify releases her latest memoir, Endless Fortune, which details their rise to fame, the whole Adenuga family have spoken to The Guardian about what it was like growing up.

Ify revealed that she at first struggled to pay the mortgage, with the family losing their first home, before being rehoused by the local council in the nearby Meridian estate.

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Skepta, 38, recalled: ‘The moment you step out of your house, you step into a different world.

‘Your friends, the people around you, they could live next door to you, it doesn’t matter, they don’t understand what’s happening behind that door.’

As he was the oldest child in the family, the rapper stated he was handed ‘this big chore’ of being able to understand that his life outside of the home was very different to what was going on behind closed doors.

Skepta
Skepta is the oldest child in the family (Picture: WireImage)

He continued: ‘It took me so long to navigate through that – going outside, having that life, then coming inside and having this life.’

As grime and UK garage began to rose to prominence in the early 2000s, Ify looked back fondly on Skepta and JME perfecting their MC skills by recording freestyles onto DVDs and creating instrumentals on their PlayStation.

They also learnt how to build things with the help of their father Joseph, who had studied architecture.

‘They got all that skill, knowledge, creativity from him,’ Ify said. ‘They got their personality and being themselves from me.’

JME
JME credits his parents for giving him and his siblings ‘the power of imagination’ (Picture: WireImage)

JME, 35, added: ‘While Mum and Dad gave us the power of imagination. There was so many things that they imagined and made happen. Now, if I’m in my house and I want to lay the garage flooring down, I just look on YouTube and think, ah, I’ll just do it myself.’

Since entering the mainstream, both Skepta and JME have achieved acclaim within the music industry, with the two founding their own record label, Boy Better Know.

They have both taken to the stage at festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless, while Skepta won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize in 2016 for his fourth studio album Konnichiwa.

Ify Adenuga’s Endless Fortune is out now and is priced at £18.99.

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