'Stay involved': grime stars hail young voters turning out for Labour

After championing Jeremy Corbyn with the #grime4corbyn movement, JME, Stormzy and other musicians are celebrating Labour’s gains – and landing a big blow against political apathy

After throwing their weight behind Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign, the UK’s grime MCs have been celebrating Labour’s success.

Jamie Adenuga, aka JME, part of the hugely successful Boy Better Know collective, has been one of the most vociferous campaigners, interviewing Corbyn on camera and constantly encouraging his Twitter followers to vote. He wrote in the wake of Labour’s gains: “Give yourselves a pat on the back. Stay involved, grow up listening & learning, vote for who’s ‘best’ at the time, don’t grow old & angry.”

Give yourselves a pat on the back.
Stay involved,
Grow up listening & learning,
vote for who's 'best' at the time,
Don't grow old & angry 💛 pic.twitter.com/c8UFKN90n1

— Jme (@JmeBBK) June 9, 2017

He added: “Also, when you have kids, teach them to do their research and vote for who they think is best. Don’t brainwash them to agree with you.”

Stormzy, one of grime’s biggest success stories whose album Gang Signs and Prayer reached number one earlier this year, simply wrote “Lol haha” at around 7am, presumably after seeing the election results. In the final hours of campaigning he told his Twitter followers: “Please please please vote. It’s mad quick. Just go and do it, I used to think nah fuck it it’s long what’s my one lil vote gonna do.” Avelino, another who made eleventh-hour calls for votes, wrote that “today is a good day”.

East London rapper Ghetts tweeted amused emojis reacting to Theresa May’s failure, while Lewisham MC Novelist, who had previously told his fans “seriously, everyone vote for Jeremy Corbyn,” gave a more sober take, saying: “Musicians, find out your local MPs details, get in contact with them and start doing business for your area. It doesn’t stop at voting.”

Musicians, find out your local MPs details, get in contact with them and start doing business for your area. It doesn't stop at voting.

— New Path [Out Now] (@Novelist) June 9, 2017

Riz Ahmed, the British actor who also performs in hip-hop trio Swet Shop Boys, wrote: “Big up Jezza for reviving so many ppls hope in politics. If Labour was united behind Corbyn this past year he coulda won this outright!”

Fellow hip-hop MC Akala wrote: “Recognise the victory. A Trump friendly, human rights abolishing, meal stealing, Tory landslide would have have been a total disaster. You stopped that and now they HAVE to factor in an actual, actual opposition from outside their accepted spectrum.”

Corbyn’s positivity, as well as his tax-and-spend policies regarding the NHS, housing and higher education, have all been enthusiastically received by the grime community and its fans. Rising star AJ Tracey filmed an official Labour campaign video, saying “the Labour party strongly support the youth in following their dreams,” and attacked the Conservatives for “trying to dismantle [the NHS] behind closed doors”.

A grassroots movement called Grime4Corbyn also gathered pace, culminating in a pair of live music events in London and Brighton in the final weekend of campaigning; a statement from the movement released today read: “Jeremy Corbyn’s dynamic campaign, and policies that stand up for future generations, inspired young people to ensure their voice was heard.” A meme video, where a rant from Twitter sensation Chunky Mark was paired with Skepta’s grime smash hit Shutdown, also became one of the biggest viral successes of the election cycle.

#grime4corbyn: ‘I’ve never trusted a politician before’

Other British musicians who have encouraged young fans to vote include Ellie Goulding, who wrote in the wake of the results: “So happy to know that so many young people, aka the future, voted,” adding: “I’m feeling inspired today! #Corbs”. Lily Allen was even pithier, writing merely: “Respect your youngers.”


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
#grime4Corbyn – why British MCs are uniting behind the Labour leader
Can the support of stars such as JME, Stormzy and Novelist help Jeremy Corbyn beat the election odds?

Alexi Duggins

17, May, 2017 @2:49 PM

Article image
Boy Better Know at Wireless review – grime breaks through the festival headline barrier
Grime’s most successful crew turn their pirate-scene experience into a heaving mass congregation as Pharrell and Skepta help demonstrate the genre’s commercial potential

Sam Wolfson

11, Jul, 2016 @12:21 PM

Article image
'We must take a stand': the vital election issues – picked by young British artists
Lily Cole wants a green century, Girli wants a housing revolution, and Liam Williams wants to boot out the billionaire club … some of Britain’s most talented young artists spell out the election pledges that would get their vote

Harriet Gibsone, Hannah Ellis-Petersen, Kate Hutchinson and Chris Wiegand

07, Jun, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
Grime4Corbyn artists step back from new campaign for Labour
Several of genre’s big names feel ‘youthquake’ unleashed in 2017 has petered out

Lanre Bakare

10, Nov, 2019 @4:20 PM

Article image
'He actually cares': why young voters are backing Corbyn's Labour
Polls predict the majority of young people will vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s party on 8 June. Here, some of them tell us why

Carmen Fishwick and Guardian readers

01, Jun, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
Musicians backing Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour | Letter
Letter: Stormzy and other performers say they are voting Labour because the party offers an urgent alternative to the destructive policies of the Conservatives


25, Nov, 2019 @2:17 PM

Article image
Glastonbury festival: the best of Saturday – in pictures
Katy Perry glittered, Jeremy Corbyn pulled the crowds, Solange celebrated her birthday, and Foo Fighters rocked the Pyramid

25, Jun, 2017 @7:24 AM

Article image
2018 Ivor Novello awards: Dave track attacking Theresa May wins best song
Ed Sheeran was named songwriter of the year, but lost the album prize to Stormzy, with another rapper, Dave, winning best contemporary song for Question Time

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

31, May, 2018 @3:30 PM

Article image
Students inspired by Corbyn played big role in Labour surge
Campaigners say young people were highly motivated to turn out, but are now frustrated by ‘broken’ electoral system

Nadia Khomami

09, Jun, 2017 @2:11 PM

Article image
Stormzy: 'Theresa May is a paigon'
The grime MC expressed his displeasure with the PM while picking up a gong at the GQ awards from Jeremy Corbyn – and taught many attendees a new word

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

06, Sep, 2017 @10:52 AM