Skepta has revealed that he turned down an MBE, in a line on his latest track ‘Hypocrisy’.
While the grime artist has been making music for more than a decade, he’s moved into the spotlight far more in recent years, winning the Mercury Prize for his 2016 release ‘Konnichiwa’, scooping multiple Brit Award nominations and an Ivor Novello.
Now, the ‘Shutdown’ star has revealed there’s another honour he could have got his hands on, stating that he declined to be made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (yes, that’s what it actually stands for).
On ‘Hypocrisy’, which was released as a surprise treat for fans on Sunday (2 July), he raps: “Just came back from the Ivors / And look at what we collected / The MBE got rejected / I’m not trying to be accepted.”
Listen to the track below:
Skepta, real name Joseph Junior Adenuga, isn’t the first celebrity to say no to the Queen, and other musicians to do so include David Bowie, who declined an OBE in 2000.
Former The Jam frontman Paul Weller also rejected a CBE in 2006 and a spokesperson for the rocker said at the time: “Paul was surprised and flattered, but it wasn’t really for him.”
John Lennon also famously returned his MBE years after receiving it, in protest against Britain’s foreign policy.
“Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing,” he wrote in 1969. “Against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.”