Review: Skepta – Tony Montana Ft. Portable

"Tony Montana" by Skepta and Portable: A Fusion of Cultures and Sounds

Skepta and Portable Blend Afrobeat, Grime, and Hip-Hop in a Vibrant Ode

“Tony Montana,” the latest collaboration between British-Nigerian rapper Skepta and rising Nigerian singer Portable, emerges as a vibrant blend of Afrobeat, grime, and hip-hop. Produced by JAE5, the track stands out for its catchy hooks, witty bars, and unique fusion of musical styles that reflect the artists’ diverse backgrounds.

The Lyrical Journey: From Humble Beginnings to Global Ambitions

The song begins with an introduction that sets the tone for a track full of energy and ambition. The chorus, delivered by Portable, hooks listeners with its repetitive yet catchy lines, “Tony, Tony, Tony Montana,” invoking the image of the iconic character known for his rise from obscurity to power. Skepta’s verses narrate a journey from humble beginnings, marked by days of “breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we drink garri,” to a lavish lifestyle of “money and high fashion.” This narrative arc showcases Skepta’s lyrical prowess and mirrors the aspirations and dreams of many striving for success against the odds.

A Sound That Captivates

Musically, “Tony Montana” is a testament to Skepta and Portable’s ability to blend different genres into a cohesive sound. The production by JAE5 adds a layer of richness to the track, with its afrobeat rhythms complementing the grime and hip-hop elements. This musical synergy creates an infectious and thought-provoking backdrop, inviting listeners to dance while reflecting on the lyrics’ deeper meanings.


The artwork is a profound visual composition conveying unity, resistance, and collective voice. The intertwined hands of varying skin tones represent diversity and the strength of coming together, a common theme in movements seeking social justice and equality. The raised fist is particularly evocative, signifying defiance and solidarity—a gesture deeply embedded in civil rights and political activism history.

The choice to present the image in grayscale adds a timeless quality, emphasizing the universal and enduring nature of the message. It strips away the distraction of colour, compelling the viewer to focus on the raw emotion and symbolism of the gestures. The graininess and texture lend a tactile quality to the artwork as if the struggle and passion of the movement could be felt just by looking at the image.

The artwork serves as a compelling visual and an entry point into the deeper narratives explored in hip-hop music. It sets the stage for a song that tackles heavy, important themes and prepares the audience for an experience that is both audibly and visually impactful.

Points of Critique

While “Tony Montana” shines in many aspects, it’s not without its areas for critique. Although catchy, the repetition of the chorus risks overshadowing the verses’ complexity. Additionally, some listeners might find the fusion of genres jarring, longing for a more focused sound. Despite these points, the track’s storytelling, production, and cultural fusion strengths far outweigh its shortcomings.

Uniting Cultures Through Music

“Tony Montana” serves as more than just a song; it’s a bridge between cultures, showcasing how music can transcend geographical and genre boundaries. Through their collaboration, Skepta and Portable offer a fresh perspective on the global music scene, proving that artistry and innovation can create a sound that resonates worldwide.

In sum, “Tony Montana” is a bold step forward for Skepta and Portable, encapsulating their growth as artists and their vision for a music industry that embraces diversity and fusion. This track will leave a mark on listeners and pave the way for future collaborations that dare blend and celebrate different musical traditions.

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