MC NxtGen’s “Andrew Lansley Rap” has been doing the rounds on Facebook for several weeks now. It has resonated with young and old alike.
It’s not just a tune that makes you want to bop, with a sweet backing track taking guitar from the Animals’ “House of The Rising Sun”.
On last week’s massive anti-cuts demo crowds were shouting out the chorus, “Andrew Lansley—Greedy! Andrew Lansley—Tosser!”
Catching that distinctive chorus means that people listen to the lyrics, hearing the truth about what health minister Lansley wants for our NHS.
“Lansley’s white paper: ‘Liberating the NHS’/ Sets out a plan where we’ll become more like the US/ And care will be farmed out to private companies/ Who will sell their service to the NHS via the GPs,/ Who will have more to do with service purchase arrangements/ Than anything to do with seeing their patients.”
MC NxtGen—real name Sean Donnelly—told the Right to Work campaign, “I have close family and friends that either work for the NHS or are going to in the future who were worried about the cuts and privatisation and therefore not finding it easy to get a job.
“The inspiration also came from worrying about people who are ill and not able to afford their treatment should the NHS be privatised.”
Activists have been delighted to hear the artist, a young refuse worker from Loughborough, expressing his rage at injustice.
There have been glimpses of conscious hip hop in the US with a strong sense of anti-racism and anti-imperialism from artists like Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Common, and Brother Ali.
Their tracks punch through the ruling class dominance of the music industry with a political message that becomes a battle cry for young people.
We are seeing something similar developing here. This can help us to fight to shape the culture of the society around us, in our workplaces, colleges and communities.