London Burning

London, The Arts


London rapper Plan B made a big switch from his down ‘n’ dirty first album to a musically stunning but safer second offering that gained him a wider audience. But now he’s returned to his roots with the astonishing first single from the upcoming ‘Ill Manors’, which is a blast against working class demonisation and particularly the derogatory term ‘Chav’.

Ben’s interview with MistaJam is revealing; “For me that term is no different from similar terms that used to be derogatory towards race and sex, the only difference being that the word chav is used very publicly in the press … When you attack someone because of the way they talk, the way they dress, the music they listen to, or their lack of education, and you do it publicly and it’s acceptable to do that, you make them feel alienated. They don’t feel like a part of society … For every person who uses the word chav there is a less educated person ready to embrace it. They say, well, look, I’m never going to change the way you think of me so actually I’m going to play up to it and fuel the fire. In essence that’s what Ill Manors is about.”

Disgusted by last summer’s riots, he feels that disenfranchised kids play a losing game against themselves. If they unthinkingly protest, they get criminal records, if they don’t they lose out anyway. The podcast is here.

6 comments on “London Burning”

  1. J. Folgard says:

    Full of gristle and very thoughtful actually, thanks for the link Chris!

  2. glasgow1975 says:

    heard this on the radio today & was very struck with the lyrics

  3. Mal Dando says:

    Did anyone ask him if Sloane Ranger is a derogatory comment

  4. admin says:

    I wonder where you hot the name Mal Dando, as well!!!

  5. Madeline says:

    Lots of discussion about this today on various boards I read. At least it appears to get people talking and debating (hopefully in a useful, constructive fashion). Thankyou for linking it.

  6. Gretta says:

    Love Plan B, and have done since the first album. Not a huge fan of rap in general, especially a lot of the muck that calls itself rap nowdays, but Sick 2 Def was the first song in years to stop me dead in my tracks. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted(pretty sure all the colour had drained from my face by the time it had finished), but if you can stick it out to the end, there is a strong message there. A message not dissimilar to this, as it happens, about wrongly apportioning blame.

    Last year I re-listened to Public Enemy’s ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ and was horrified at how badly rap has regressed since then, turning into shallow twaddle about bling, girls, cars and booze. Ben is the exception that proves the rule.

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