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Stormzy says ‘every government’ has ‘let Black people down’

Stormzy performs in the headline slot on the Pyramid Stage on day three of Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019 in Glastonbury, England.
Stormzy performs in the headline slot on the Pyramid Stage on day three of Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019 in Glastonbury, England. Leon Neal/Getty Images

On Jan. 31 — more than three and a half years after voting to do so — Britain officially left the European Union. Now, less than a week later, one of the U.K.’s most beloved residents, Stormzy, the London-born grime musician, has opened up further about his views on British politics.

Though he did not explicitly comment on Brexit, the 26-year-old revealed that it was the reason why he voted for Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party, in a cover interview with British GQ on Tuesday.

Despite supporting the left-winger, Stormzy accused “every government,” including the Labour Party, of continuously “let[ting] Black people down.”
“Since I’ve been young, whether it’s been a Labour government or a Tory government [in charge], not much has changed for the people who need it the most,” he said, pointing out that Black and working-class communities have struggled to thrive the most under certain British leaders.

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The Own It rapper is best known for his frequent political tirades and lyrics critical of the U.K.’s Conservative Party specifically, however, in the interview, he admitted he would vote for a leader with “common decency” regardless of their political stance.

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Referring to himself as “man” — as is common in London slang — Stormzy continued: “Maybe man just wants a good person to do the job. Someone who man thinks makes just decisions and is trying to help people and bring people out of poverty.”

“Having a bit of common decency is a just enough reason for man to support someone,” he said.

“People try to make you feel proper stupid for saying that. But I say, ‘Bruv, cool. Man doesn’t know the f–king economy or whatever. But man knows righteousness. You can’t deny righteousness over evil. That’s point-blank.’

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, and opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, left, walk through the Commons Members Lobby after hearing the Queen’s speech in Parliament, in London, England, on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, and opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, left, walk through the Commons Members Lobby after hearing the Queen’s speech in Parliament, in London, England, on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019.

“It might just be how man has grown up, and my heart and my character and all that, but you don’t fool man.

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“Man will always rather [have] someone with clean intention to do that job,” reiterated the musician before criticizing the U.K.’s current prime minister, Boris Johnson.

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“[Johnson] is literally not for man,” said Stormzy. “He has made it clear in his vocabulary and in the stances he takes.”

This isn’t the first time, Stormzy has publicly condemned the British prime minister. In 2019, he said he believes it’s “criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of a ‘bunch of Black kids’ makes him ‘turn a hair,'” among several other racist remarks, according to NME.

“I think it’s extremely dangerous to have a man with those views as the sole leader of our country.”

Stormzy also told British GQ people “should always be trying to uplift one another,”

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He used the Labour Party leader as an example.

“[Corbyn] is the first man in a position of power who is committed to helping those who need a helping hand from the government most.”
Stormzy performs on the Pyramid stage during day three of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019 in Glastonbury, England.
Stormzy performs on the Pyramid stage during day three of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019 in Glastonbury, England. Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Furthermore, Stormzy shared details of his rough upbringing in West London as a Black British adolescent and recounted the several times he was stabbed before stressing the importance of voting.

“There were millions of people who thought their one little vote didn’t mean s–t,” he said, “and now [Donald] Trump is the president of America and we are leaving the EU.”

READ MORE: U.K. rapper Stormzy releases second album, ‘Heavy Is the Head’

In support of his newly released second studio album, Heavy is the Head (2019), Stormzy will embark on a full North American tour in 2020.

Heavy is the Head is now available through all major streaming platforms.

Stormzy’s 2020 Canadian tour dates

May. 31 — Montreal, Que. @ Théâtre Corona Montréal
June. 2 — Toronto, Ont. @ Rebel

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adam.wallis@globalnews.ca