South London rapper Dave has been one of the most interesting voices in UK rap for a minute, and today he has very successfully turned his hand to political commentary. New track "Question Time" (named after the BBC news show and taken off forthcoming EP Game Over) is basically seven minutes of Dave saying what we're all thinking – and it totally puts to bed any ideas that millennials don't understand politics, or that we're apathetic or unengaged.
Dave tackles issues from Syria ("The irony is, we have no business in Syria / but kids are getting killed for all the business in Syria") to the the government's treatment of NHS nurses, of which he has personal experience, via his mum. Speaking clearly and plainly, he voices his frustration with the status quo: "I just find it fucked that the government is struggling / to care for a person that cares for a person."
He levels criticism at the largely wealthy and upper class make-up of parliament, talking about how weird it is that the country is run by "people who can't ever understand what it's like to live life like you and me." This leads, pretty grimly – but necessarily – onto a description of the class problems highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire, specifically by the fact that the Prime Minister refused to meet victims of the blaze after the fact. In a cutting but actually really refreshing section, he says, "At Grenfell Tower your response was ridiculous / You hid like a coward behind your five million / Dodged responsibility and acted like you're innocent." And, honestly, he's not wrong.
And though the rightwing Tories are an obvious target for the vitriol of the young, Dave also addresses leftwing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn is highly popular amongst millennials, and it's been a habit for many to view him as though he's somehow above criticism. But, he's a politician, so that can never be the case. Dave takes him to task, too, and also in doing so, he also invokes the memories of Edson Da Costa and Rashan Charles, two young black men while being detained by police in London: "Everybody's great until you get them into office / And then guys start forgetting things / Prove to us you're different / Go and get justice for Rashan Charles and Edson."
Right now, there's a lot of bad in the world, and due to the ubiquity of the internet, young people are more aware of what's going on than ever. "Question Time" is the very best of us, and though things are tough and unfair and difficult, having fearless voices like Dave's on our side is exactly the sort of thing that can lend a bit of hope to hard times.
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