I remember it like it was yesterday.
It was my leaving party for i left for my Mexican adventure in August 2011, the garden and house where filled to the brim as my heart desired. There was food, drink, music and general good times everywhere.
In conversation with my cousins and friends, i checked my Blackberry (As you do… ALWAYS!!) and i saw a few ppl had changed their DP (display picture, come on keep up!) to a burning police car in the middle of the road.
My 1st thoughts were ‘is that real?’ and ‘where is it? because i recognized it as a London police car.
As the world know today it was the start of the infamous London/UK Riots.
The endless images of delinquency even shocked my global eyes, i mean how are people CARRYING PLASMA TV’S down the street in dozens and other’s treated ‘reputable sports outlets’ like some kinda of flea market.
A question that quickly arose was ‘Where were the authorities?’
By the time the authorities made a stand, the riots had spread citywide and starting to ignite across the country. For that whole week it was almost like the UK was entering a social meltdown.
The news reporters were all over the place trying to catch the latest looters or vandals in action. For me, it was a haze as at times i felt like it was movie.
It was only until for some reason i decided to go out on one of the nights with enforced curfew (Don’t ask lol), was on a bus and saw an entire riot squad walk past me, it dawned on me ‘This is capitalist insanity’.
I have many theories on the cause of the riots but i will not divulge as i feel i don’t want to stray off blog.
Fast forward to present day, Nov 2013
Was flicking though the music channels and i came across Dizzee Rascal’s new video ‘Love this Town’ ft Teddy Sky, it’s very rare i catch a video from the start so i planted my bootay and feasted my eyes.
For those who don;t know him, Dizzee Rascal is an award winning, UK urban artist who managed to break into mainstream in UK grime which over the years has brought him global recognition. Coming from a controversial background, many critics questioned his direction however over 10 years later, no-one can deny he is one of the UK music’s National Treasures. Youtube him, you won’t regret it!
The video is a cinematic masterpiece with such a controversial yet honest message i rewound it a few times and just watched the story unfold.
During the 2011 London/UK riots, one of the most documented cases was that of an young man who was clearly injured being surrounded by a group of young men who while seemed helping him, began robbing him of his belongings. The video, which was shot in broad daylight on a CCTV camera, shows the man was dazed and believed they were helping him which made it harder to watch. The criminals were caught and convicted however as many other events, it did not help the image of young people or ‘hoodies’ as some ‘stereotype sheep’ call them.
I personally was disgusted by the case as it was obviously done for thrills because they saw the chance and were running of the adrenaline that filled the streets of London at the time.
Dizzee magically managed to incorporate this heart wrenching scenario in his music video and change the dynamics by changing the plot. While watching i couldn’t guess what the video was going to commence with however i was not disappointed.
Re-enacting the scenes from the infamous crime footage, instead of robbing the young man, the surrounding ‘hoodies’ are filmed packing his bag with snacks before sending him off into the day. It was a subtle change but spoke volumes as did many other juxtapositions in the video.
The message behind the video is working towards rebuilding the connection between society and youth as mainstream media are making young people out to be a terrorist organisation of some kind…..
This post and moi are in full 1000% support of Dizzee Rascal’s recent outburst against UK radio as many stations who originally praised and welcome the London born artist have now turned their backs on him and refusing to play his new song.
I was personally shocked that Radio 1 had an issue with the track as it does not in any way incite violence however they have many other artist’s content played daily that many would consider to be ‘risqué’ and have not considered action.
It is very shallow to treat Dizzee with such disregard as he has brought so many good things to the UK music industry not to mention uniting music fans and genres in general.
It goes to show that when shit gets tough, you see who is real and who is not. Companies who play peek – a – boo with content red tape should know that we need to change society and music is one of the most powerful speakers.
By not playing ‘Love this Town’, it’s almost like you are condemning youth and not giving them a chance to show that everybody is different even if they follow the same popular culture.
So Dizzee, if you ever read this, keep up the good work, we got your back!
Here is the video that is a window into a chance to change youth stereotypes that some of UK radio is trying to stifle…