In 2011, London—and to a lesser extent, cities throughout the U.K.—were rocked by riots and looting. The conflict was initially triggered by the death of a north London resident named Mark Duggan who was shot by police, but it became a wider symbol of the disenfranchisement of living with deprivation and frustration with the police force.
Almost five years on, the latest single from 18-year-old grime MC Novelist bottles all the rage of growing up in that London, and hurls it at the listener. Ducking in and out of sirens, the beat forms itself around a sample of David Cameron's post-riots speech: keeping people safe is the first duty of government. Over a loop of the prime minister's dry promise, Novelist makes his feelings plain with verses that escalate rapidly, hitting you with bars like black boys stuck in the system, and fuck feds, and fuck everyone in the world that don't want me to be vocal.
"Street Politician" is a searing listen and Novelist's most political track yet. It also seems to have inspired the perfect Skepta tweet below, which basically says it all.