The British rapper was recently interviewed by the Italian newspaper La Reppublica to promote his new album Heavy Is The Head, and spoke about racism in the UK, which he said is “definitely, 100%” still prevalent, even if it is more “hidden” than it has been in the past.
“The difficult thing with the UK is... in Italy it’s a clear problem, whereas trying to explain that Britain is a racist country [to a British person] is the most difficult thing ever,” he claimed (via The Guardian).
“They think: ‘No, it’s not. Stormzy you’re successful. Look at London, there’s loads of black people …’ It’s a more difficult case to fight.”
Stormzy also suggested the current prime minister, who has been accused of racism on multiple occasions based on comments made in interviews and his past newspaper columns, has given people who hold racist views more “confidence” in their opinions.
He explained: “If the top person can openly say this racist thing – the ‘piccaninnies’ remarks, ‘watermelon smiles’, comparing Muslim women to a letter box – if that is our figurehead, the top man, the leader we have to follow, and he openly says these things, he encourages hate among others.
“Before, people had to hide their racism. If you felt something bad about about black people, about Muslims, you had to shut up. Now these people have the confidence to come out in public to say everything. This is scary to me, that scares the shit out of me.”
Since his rise to prominence, Stormzy has repeatedly spoken out against the current government, most notably on his chart-topping track Vossi Bop which contains the infamous lyric: “Fuck the government and fuck Boris.”
He has also taken aim Jacob Rees Mogg, over comments the Tory MP made about in an interview about those who were killed in the Grenfell Tower tragedy.