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Stormzy Is Making Waves in the UK's Whitest, Stuffiest Institutions

The Croydon MC has made his way into both the House of Commons and Oxford University this week.

by Lauren O'Neill
Jul 13 2017, 3:02pm

For the music video for his Gang Signs & Prayer track "Cold" back in March, Stormzy chose to depict black and brown kids in various different professions. It served as an affirming message about the limitless potential of BME people, despite all the barriers put up by white-dominated society.

And never one not to practice what he preaches, Stormzy has this week entered a number of the UK's most prestigious institutions, which have largely been traditionally white. Early this week, he was announced as Oxford University's African and Caribbean society's Person of the Year, and attended the society's annual access conference (designed to encourage more students of African and Caribbean descent to apply to Oxford) to receive the honor in person:

The society's president Renee Kapuku told the BBC that Stormzy had been given the award because "He's a great example of how young black people can progress while holding on to their roots."

And Oxford isn't the only place that Stormzy has touched this week—his lyrics also made it to the House of Commons, where the new Labour MP for Croydon Central Sarah Jones quoted him in her maiden speech. She warned other MPs about the power of the youth vote: "As Croydon's Stormzy put so well in one of his songs 'you're never too big for the boot'," she said, according to the Croydon Advertiser. This is particularly prescient because the youth vote was especially empowered by the influence of vocal grime musicians like Stormzy, who got behind the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, encouraging their fans to vote.

The week Stormzy's had, therefore, has been a masterclass in entering spaces that were only built for certain people, and in breaking down barriers that can stop you from getting where you want to be. Basically, he's a massive inspiration and I wish I could vote for him or something.

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(Image via Stormzy on Twitter)