“Toxic Trait” by Stormzy (ft. Fredo)
“Toxic Trait”, which was made public via the efforts of Def Jam, UMG and Stormzy’s Hashtag Merky Records on 22 June 2023, marks the first single Stormzy has headlined this year as well as his first collaboration with fellow British emcee Fredo.
Both have discographies dating back to the late 2010s and have thus far come out with three studio albums which fared well across the pond, though it should also be noted that all of Stormzy’s LPs thus far have topped the UK Albums Chart. In fact all things considered, he may be deemed as the most-popular rapper of the United Kingdom at the moment.
THE COMPOSERS OF “TOXIC TRAIT”.
The only other UK hip-hop artist who is arguably as notable as Stormzy as of this writing is Dave. And interestingly, along with the two vocalists, he’s the other credited writer of Toxic Trait, as well as serving as the track’s producer.
Meanwhile, the song’s music video was directed by Femi Dadi, and it features other British musicians Specs Gonzalez, Ivorian Doll, Wretch 32 and most notably English TV personality Alison Hammond.
As far as the title of this song goes, in the chorus we witness Stormzy confessing to his own “toxic trait”, which we will take as meaning a personal shortcoming. But of course with this being braggadocious rap and all, it isn’t as if he’s actually going to diss or lambast himself. Or let’s say that even in recognizing his own fault, Stormzy also uses the opportunity to boast.
And as implied, his “toxic trait” is having an affinity for the richer things in life, including only hanging out with fellow well-to-doers, such as Fredo and Santan Dave.
As far as their individual verses go, Stormzy’s goal appears to be verifying that he is indeed living that life as opposed to, say, being a rapper who’s boasting about wealth just because fans expect it. Meanwhile, Fredo’s approach is more along the lines of presenting himself as a street hustler. But along the way he does allude to his clothing label – which by the way is called Pattern Ganga – and also dedicates quite a few bars to depicting himself – and by extension his cohorts – as having a way with the ladies, if you will.