Socialist Worker

Slowthai sticks two fingers up to ‘Great Britain’

by Lois Browne
Issue No. 2656

Slowthai

Slowthai


Slowthai wastes no time making clear his disdain for the establishment in Nothing Great About Britain, his debut album.

He tears into the grimy underbelly of British history from the off. Fascism, racism and high society’s rules all come in for a kicking.

“You’re EDL, real English boy, St George’s flag, Doc Martin’s boy,” he rages in the opening track, which is also peppered with insults to figures such as the queen.

Heritage

Of mixed heritage—Bajan and Irish—Tyron Frampton grew up on a Northampton estate.

A picture of it graces the front cover of his album.

It’s refreshing that someone outside the London-dominated grime scene is starting to make waves.

References to his East Midlands home and working class roots are laced throughout tracks such as Doorman and Dead Leaves—“selling drugs, but ain’t got a pension”.

On Northampton’s Child he talks about his mother who was “on her own with two kids, got a flat from council”.

While he bounces between tales about cops’ stop and searches on the track Gorgeous, he repeatedly spits, “5 man deep and we’re all in cuffs”—you can hear his frustrations.

Elsewhere he takes aim at toxic masculinity on tracks such as Missing.

Pain, anguish and disgust for the broken system is at the core of this album.

And the anger comes across as genuine and sincere.

Nothing Great About Britain. By Slowthai.

Out now on Method Records


When they see us

This tells the story of the brutal treatment of the Central Park Five.

These were five black and Latino boys—none older than 16—who were framed by police for the brutal rape and beating of Trisha Meili in Central Park in 1989.

Each episode of this four part series focuses on part of the Five’s 25-year struggle for justice, which they eventually win—making history in the process.

Directed by Selma director Ava DuVernay, this is a harrowing and powerful account of a particularly appalling episode in the history of racism in the US. A disgusting footnote to the sordid tale is that now-US president Donald Trump firmly threw his weight against the five boys at the time. He took out

whole-page adverts in New York newspapers demanding, “Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!”.

Let’s hope his racist filth meets its match again, as it did then after a long fight for justice.

Alistair Farrow

On Netflix from 31 May

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