Ok, grump over.
It can’t have escaped the attention of any of my fellow UK residents that there’s a General Election looming on the horizon. May 7th, to be precise. You have until Monday 20th April to register to vote and I would urge any of you not yet registered to get that sorted right away. In fact, do it now, here: I Want a Say! (PS if you happen to be a UK resident who just happens to be living overseas temporarily in say, oh I don’t know, India, I hope you sorted your postal vote out before you left. You know who you are.)
Sorted? Good. Because this election is shaping up to be one of the closest in years, and every vote counts. I’ll spare you the rest of the usual bleatings, but suffice to say I’ll take rather a dim view of you moaning about the government later on if you didn’t bother to make your opinion heard on the one day it actually matters.
I’m also not going to bore you with a lecture on politics, or try to persuade you to vote the way I’m going to, because, frankly, that’s not what I’m here for.
No, I’m here to play you some tunes, and so I figured, in the run up to the big day to add to the ever-growing number of themed posts that I do a couple of and get bored with, I’d do some which involve politics in some way or another .
Like the BBC, (or like the BBC claims to be but isn’t, if you believe the red tops) I’ll try to be fair and balanced and find songs which refer to a broad spread of political ideologies. Unfortunately the number of songs which talk about how happy everyone is with the way things are going generally are rather thin on the ground. As are songs about boggle-eyed fag-smoking real-ale swigging reactionary lunatics, so I’m afraid UKIP aren’t going to get much of a look in either.
So, let’s get started with a song which perhaps belies where my own political allegiances lie, but, when viewed in the context of the upcoming election, leaves an air of ambiguity. Let’s just say, you’ll know who I won’t be voting for after this.
This is a song which is generally received with an open mouth and a raised eyebrow and a “You seriously like this?” when I’ve played it to friends. Well, yes, as it happens, I do. Mostly because it’s one of the few rap songs which I can almost (but not quite) do the whole rap thing along to, although I inevitably sound like a middle-aged middle class white bloke when I do, which is fair enough since that’s what I am. Here’s one I can do, the rap performed by someone who is now, probably, a middle-aged, middle class white bloke, more renowned for another much more unsubtle subversive record.
I realise this claim is not impressive. Not long after I moved to London, my flatmates and I went to a barbeque hosted by a buddy of mine, and we got chatting to this Nigerian guy, who decided I was his “Brutha from Anutha Mutha” (I’m sooooo street). I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but this guy, ended up coming back to our flat with us, where he promptly recited the whole of this, (all 14 and a half minutes of it) and then left, just as promptly. Possibly the most impressive thing I ever saw (the rap, not the promptness).
Anyway, I’d class this as a kind of call to arms record. It’s not really predicting a riot nor suggesting a military coup (the first of that double-whammy always gets me thinking of a dance that a friend of mine and I made up (which I always get wrong, apparently), after sitting watching MTV or the like at stupid o’clock in the morning, smashed off our faces, and thinking the little woman in the corner of the screen was teaching us a routine, rather than signing for the hard of hearing). No, it’s the kind of song which could be construed as being about a malfunctioning relationship, but isn’t. Here’s: Break From the Old Routine
And mixtape/playlist fans, here’s a song that I always think goes rather well played straight afterwards: Fusion!