​listen to stormzy’s eloquent defense of grime lyrics about crime on live radio

‘The reason why we speak about [gun crime and drive-bys]? It’s because these are things that go on in our community. We’re just being social commentators.’

by Charlotte Gush
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01 March 2017, 9:46pm

Stormzy has made an eloquent defence of grime lyrics that deal with knife crime and drive-bys live on London-based national radio station LBC. Invited onto Shelagh Fogarty's show after he referenced one of her callers who blamed grime for glorifying knife crime in the track First Things First, Stormzy was asked about why he included lyrics that reference crime in his music.

"The reason why we speak about [gun crime and drive-bys]? It's because these are things that go on in our community. We're just being social commentators," he explained, saying that, as an artist, he has "a responsibility to tell [his] own truth," and adding, "I feel like that is such a far-fetched statement -- for someone to say that grime music is the reason for the country's knife crime epidemic. That is wild".

They also spoke about racial profiling by police, and the recent incident when police broke down his door after thinking he was an intruder in his own home, arguably because he is a black man living in posh London neighbourhood Chelsea. Saying he wasn't particularly shocked by the incident, Stormzy said "I'm quite used to it. I understand that that's something the police do".

Stormzy told presenter Shelagh Fogarty, "I respect that fact that you've brought me on here to talk about it, and actually get to the root of it," later adding, "The world needs to do more of that. I don't know you, you don't know me, we're from two total different backgrounds, but there's obviously been some sort of misunderstanding or miscommunication, and we've come here, we've spoken about it. I think that's good".

During the interview Stormzy addressed the Brits' snub of grime artists, saying "I don't feel like that's a problem. David Bowie is more than a worthy winner of all those awards he collected, Rag and Bone Man is a worthy winner" and noting that "One thing about grime that I want to say as well: we don't always just kick up a fuss. There's this thing of like, 'Oh what, grime - we didn't get that, give it to us'. But I understand with the Brits, sometimes you don't win, we lost that night. We march on, next year we come back we try again".

Listen to the full interview on LBC.

Read: Hattie Collins' track-by-track: Stormzy, Gang Signs & Prayer

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