Grime in parliament

At the same event I was also talking about the rap music/ riots thing with the author of this piece about grime stars being slow to comment on or react to the riots. It’s worth a read.

It’s not about the ‘was rap music to blame’ angle, but rather, should these role models for young people – and I think I’ve already made clear my concern that the riots/ looting shouldn’t be portrayed as just a young persons’ thing, 21% of those arrested were under 18, which means nearly 80% weren’t – but should they have spoken out sooner? Would it have made any difference? Is there anything they can be usefully deployed to do now? Do they have any responsibility to do so?

Some of us have been talking about whether it would be worth doing an event in Parliament to discuss all this. I think it could be interesting. Lots of old folk trying to get their heads round this ‘grime’ thing. Of course Norman Lamb MP is already an expert. He “lives grime”.



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  • Owen  On August 25, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I know this is a little late but did you see Dan Hancox’s piece in the guardian addressing some of those issues ?
    Wiley addressing the point on whether grime ‘role models’ should have been more vocal:
    “These kids won’t listen to me. I wish they would, but they won’t,” he says wearily. “In London, they love you so much, but they can hate you in a click of the fingers. If I went down to the streets of Woolwich, to tell these kids to stop, and if they saw Wiley out on the streets right now … I’m like Jesus in this situation! If I was out there, they’d all be trying to crucify me, so they could say ‘yes, we got Wiley!’.

    “It could be 50 Cent, it could be P Diddy, it does not matter,” he continues. “The way the kids see it, everyone in this stupid world is out for themselves, even the parents, and everyone just wants to have everything. I don’t even think they’re doing it because they want money, they’re doing it just because they want to run the place.”

    I think it’s a interesting article and like him, I’m very doubtful about Calvin Harris’ point. When we’re talking about these influential grime figures we’re basically talking about celebrities right? Yes, they can be hugely influential in normal day-to-day life but in extreme circumstances like the riots, I would thought the material world (in both senses) would come first. Another adult figure on the media saying the same things would seem unlikely to stop people rioting or looting to me. I’m sure people were aware that their actions would be unpopular, and I would think any condemnation from anyone, really, just affirms that.

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