Adele might be a secret Tory robot and Lethal Bizzle should be our nation’s darling instead
Adele has a new song out. You might have heard about it? According to The Guardian it’s a big ballad, “but a superior example of its kind”, and it’s kind of about an old romance but also a bit about reconciling with herself. It’s two things at once I think, which seems needlessly complicated.
The response to the track has been unanimous praise, both from critics and the public. Whether it’s waxing lyrical or just typing “QUUUEEEENNNNN” a few times, people can’t seem to get enough of ‘Hello’, which seems a tad excessive to me. It’s a good song certainly, but it doesn’t really seem to be anything interesting. It sounds like all the songs off 21, which obviously as the biggest selling album of the twenty first century isn’t a bad thing, and the main attraction is Adele’s voice, which is phenomenal, rather than any unique or excellent song writing. This seems an overly harsh critique of a good song, but it’s just difficult to think of any other artist who would get such a complete free ride. It feels like the only way Adele could be any more untouchable would be if her next song had a guest verse from a Princess Diana hologram, and this is what I take issue with more than the music.
Adele is our nation’s darling, one of the most successful artists of all time, and obviously has many endearing qualities. She’s an extremely likeable and genuine person who is a great model in many regards, but she’s also more than a bit of a Tory. For example in 2011 she said “I'm mortified to have to pay 50%! [While] I use the NHS, I can't use public transport any more. Trains are always late, most state schools are shit, and I've gotta give you, like, four million quid – are you having a laugh? When I got my tax bill in from [the album] 19, I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire". Obviously this is an exaggerated statement and it’s from a few years ago, but if you overheard someone say that in the pub you wouldn’t be surprised to see them rocking a purple and yellow lapel. It could also be considered hypocritical as Adele went to the prestigious, and state funded, BRIT School, whose alumni is basically a who's who of famous musicians, and grew up working class so would have made the most of state provisions in her youth.
The statement understandably caused a bit of a stir, with The Guardian obviously coming out against Adele and The Telegraph taking the time out of their busy cricket, banks and George Osbourne (always in that order) schedules to write these horrific headlines; ‘Don't worry Adele, the Telegraph's got your back’ / ‘All hail Adele for committing the music industry’s worst sin’. Now I think we can all agree, anything that can make The Telegraph that smug and self-important is bad, but it does highlight the danger Adele poses as a Tory weapon.
Quite a lot of our pop stars are pretty Tory. Mumford and Sons are pals with David Cameron, Gary Barlow is Gary Barlow and Sam Smith’s mum is a hedge fund manager, but they’re too overtly posh to be the flagship Tory musicians. Adele however is perfect because she didn’t grow up posh, but decided that she really liked money later in life. She saw the light and realised poor people don’t need money, and they too can break through the glass ceiling if they also have a God given talent that allows them to earn millions and millions of pounds. Her music is even perfect for conditioning us to our new Tory government, something that Nick Grimshaw can announce and play on Radio 1, but nothing challenging so your mum will still get the CD for Christmas. It’s so perfect that we may even have to question whether or not Adele was actually a robot weapon designed by the Tory’s and sent back in time to kill Jeremy Corbyn.
So whilst I’m not pitching an action franchise in which Jeremy Corbyn and a robot Adele battle violently through the streets of London (although I would definitely watch that if they made it), I do think we need to be a bit more critical of our nation’s darling, both artistically and politically. Obviously this means we need someone new to deify, and, seen as Kate Middleton seems pretty healthy, I think I have the answer; Lethal Bizzle.
He’s a likeable and affable self-made millionaire with his own record label and successful clothing brand. He’s an original grime don who’s managed to consistently create crossover hits over a career that’s still going strong after over a decade, something that he emphasises in his newest track ‘Dude’. This track also shows that he can be very astute, for example the second verse begins “I got a British passport but can't get no BRIT (Nah I can't get no BRIT), Fuse had top 5 hits, weren't nominated for shit (No nomination, ya know), Tryna' keep us hidden, tryna' keep us underground (Yeah, underground), Only coverage we get when London's burning down (They don't wanna see another riot)”. This is a very succinct commentary on attitudes towards race and black music in Britain, both as a whole and specifically to Bizzle. His greatest and most famous track, POW, was banned from clubs and used as an excuse by the MET to impose greater control over grime gigs, whilst it also became an anthem of London protests. Grime as a whole has been largely overlooked by the British media and has been blamed for the Tottenham riots and for corrupting young people. Bizzle has also been criticised by David Cameron, who said POW was the type of music that encouraged people to carry knives, and Bizzle passed the Tory test with flying colours by penning a Guardian article that called him ‘a donut’. To top it all off, Lethal finished the second verse by talking about how his Lamborghini cost £250,000 because he knows we can work out the politics from the first bit and he doesn’t want to go on and on about it. Bit of politics, bit of Lambo chat; it’s the perfect balance.
So that’s my piece. It’s not anti-Adele, it’s just saying we should be a bit more critical of her sometimes. And if we have to deify anybody, why can’t it be Bizzle?