Riz Ahmed Brought Powerful Spoken Word Piece "Sour Times" to 'Fallon'

Watch him unfurl a story on what can drive young men to extremism.

by Lauren O'Neill
Aug 15 2017, 1:40pm

Riz Ahmed—actor, rapper, number one Boy‚—is one of the most astute voices in UK music right now, and he continued that streak on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the US on Monday night. Addressing the terror attack carried out by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing anti-fascist protester Heather Heyer, as she demonstrated to protect the city from neo-Nazis, Ahmed raised the subject of his spoken word poem, "Sour Times," saying:

In light of all the current events that are going on, it just seems like we're living in really, really divided times. And it really hurts, you know? And I wrote this piece ten years ago, and every year, I keep hoping it will become irrelevant, but it seems to become more and more relevant, sadly. And it's my attempt to try and get behind the headlines, and work out where all this extremism is coming from.

"Sour Times" is a mainstay in the live set performed by Swet Shop Boys, the rap trio of which Ahmed is part, as Riz MC. It's a spoken word piece that deftly explores what drives young men to extremism, and shows him as one of the most thoughtful celebrity voices around today. Give him the mic more often, imo, and watch the performance above.

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