Stor­mzy: ‘It’s a Cor­byn ting’

What­ever way the UK turns this week, the Grime4Cor­byn move­ment rep­re­sents a land­mark mo­ment

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - Una Mul­lally

When the de­signer Ryan Hawaii sprayed “David Cameron hates the man­dem”, quot­ing his friend Marco Grey, on a wall in Shored­itch as part of a street ex­hi­bi­tion in­spired by be­ing home­less, he prob­a­bly never re­alised it would be­come an oft-re­peated, much repli­cated slo­gan.

Cameron was a tar­get for grime cul­ture and lyrics, with Nov­el­ist’s Street Politi­cian, con­tain­ing a David Cameron sam­ple, as Nov­el­ist rapped, “Hot head like I’m a Tory / Real gang­sters don’t do this for the glory / Back boy stick in the sys­tem / When the feds chat shit I don’t lis­ten.”

Grime has al­ways been in­her­ently po­lit­i­cal: anti-es­tab­lish­ment, DIY, giv­ing a voice to dis­en­fran­chised, an­gry, smart, and funny young peo­ple, cre­at­ing com­mu­nity and a tribal fan­dom, build­ing a scene from the ground up and main­tain­ing that grass­roots even when su­per­star­dom beck­ons.

Of late, grime has given Bri­tish mu­sic a mas­sive en­ergy boost. But grime’s role in elec­toral pol­i­tics – that man­aged to es­chew the cheesi­ness of the “come on young peo­ple” tone – has been a wel­come cu­rios­ity of this Bri­tish elec­tion.

Last Satur­day, a Grime4Cor- byn gig in Tot­ten­ham fea­tured a panel dis­cus­sion about the links be­tween grime and Cor­byn’s pol­i­tics. There were sis­ter gigs in Dal­ston and Brighton. The Guardian re­ported: “In the last few days, posters have ap­peared in the mar­ginal Tory seat of Croy­don, south Lon­don, fea­tur­ing a photo of chart-top­ping grime artist MC Stor­mzy, claim­ing: ‘The Tories hold Croy­don by 165 votes (that’s lit­er­ally it) – even your dad’s got more Face­book friends. Stor­mzy says vote Labour!’”

In a Labour party video, AJ Tracey spoke about ris­ing house prices, how he’s in debt be­cause he chose to go to univer­sity, how the NHS is “one of the jew­els of the UK” and how the To­rys are try­ing to dis­man­tle it: “It’s a Cor­byn ting. Not a Tory ting.”

Hous­ing is a com­mon con­cern among grime artists, with Stor­mzy ex­press­ing a frus­tra­tion about his peers be­ing shut out of the hous­ing mar­ket, as well as singing Cor­byn’s praises and slam­ming the show­boat­ing in par­lia­ment: “Young Jeremy, my guy. I dig what he says. I saw some sick pic­ture of him from back in the day when he was cam­paign­ing about anti-apartheid and I thought: ‘yeah, I like your en­ergy’. Have you seen that footage of House of Com­mons?

Stor­mzy: ‘They’re all neeky dons!’

They’re all neeky dons! The way they all laugh and cheer. Is this f**king Game of Thrones? You lot have got real is­sues to talk about and deal with. That’s why I like Jeremy: I feel like he gets what the eth­nic mi­nori­ties are go­ing through and the home­less and the work­ing class.”

Over in the Boy Bet­ter Know sta­ble, Jme posted a photo on Twit­ter of him meet­ing Cor­byn, as well as en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple to vote, tweet­ing, “I met @jere­mycor­byn to­day, and ex­plained why bare of us don’t vote.”

Rap­per Akala (and younger brother of Ms Dynamite) wrote an op-ed in the Guardian say­ing: “I will be vot­ing for the first time in June and I will – I am shocked to be typ­ing this – be vot­ing Labour. I am not a Labour sup­porter; I do not share the ro­man­tic idea that the Labour party was ever as rad­i­cal an al­ter­na­tive as some would like to think. De­spite build­ing the wel­fare state, Labour has been an im­pe­ri­al­ist party from At­tlee to Wil­son to Blair . . . So why will I be vot­ing now? Jeremy Cor­byn.”

As young lead­ers and nat­u­rally po­lit­i­cal role mod­els, the Grime4Cor­byn move­ment wasn’t a gim­mick, but an ar­tic­u­la­tion of how grime reaches both the masses and the un­der­ground, and how these are artists are be­ing lis­tened to, and am­pli­fy­ing their voice to make a dif­fer­ence. It’s been a while since Bri­tish pop mu­sic has felt that ur­gent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.