It’s been a few weeks but for some reason “Glasto Alex” is still everywhere, he’s even being offered gigs, appearances and almost insultingly, a record deal.
I’d like to start by saying I’m not having a dig at him, he came out of nowhere and smashed it, no mom’s spaghetti just a confident delivery of someone else’s bars in front of thousands of people. Some have speculated it was staged but I don’t think it was.
I was impressed he didn’t choke but being able to recite someone else’s lyrics isn’t particularly an impressive feat considering at 15 he’s probably been spitting them bars as he listens to the tune on the way to school, in the shower, in the park at the weekend and so on. The impressive bit is, as I say, the fact he could hold the stage. Now to my rant!
So, Dave smashed his set and even brought someone on stage, Stormzy hollered half the scene out as well as becoming the first black male making UK Grime/Rap music to headline the festival combined with being the second youngest, it seemed the stage was set for a glorious media reception to it all except all the focus was on Alex. Celebrating the people who turned their lives around seemed like an afterthought for the posh white lad, fuck me even Piers Morgan bigged Alex up like he was the first youth ever to pick up a mic, his usual rhetoric of “rap=gang shit/knife crime” suddenly vanished instead replaced by a glee you don’t usually see from that gobshite.
I do think it’s the record deal bit that’s broken the camel’s back, there’s lads and birds stuck in crime heavy areas with exceptional talent that can spit bars, clash hard, even paint a picture with their words but coming from impoverished backgrounds or the colour of their skin or previous records don’t just hinder them, they’re used as a stick to sweepingly beat anyone that rises up. Through the toppling of major labels grip on the industry many artists who traditionally would be discarded are succeeding, spectacularly in fact, and doing so independently.
Whilst I believe independence is key, it wasn’t a decision the artists came to randomly, it was almost a forced decision. Record labels wanted a quick buzz, they wanted control over the artists creativity, they wanted the poster boy and yes they was potentially even some underlying racism so for someone who has never even put a poorly produced freestyle on YouTube or actively tried to become an MC to be offered a deal, it’s quite insulting.
It’s not the first time it’s happened though, remember “Little Bit Leave It” by Love Island duo, Ken and Chris? The pair not only jumped the fucking queue to get air time, they straight up robbed Lethal Bizzle’s slogan to do it.
It’s certainly time we rejected this shit because by encouraging an industry to favour the privileged it is taking food out of the mouths of people who are at times on the poverty line, who are trying to better themselves and who at times have very limited choices in life when it comes to living legal or not.