When we said No Guts! No Glory! at the start of the year we meant it. The BRIT awards yesterday was a proven testimony of that statement and it was none other than the man of the moment; Stormzy to break the mould. The BRITs well known for its recognition for white-only talent & lack of inclusion for black talent yesterday felt what it was like to be diverse for once.
Stormzy conquered two categories Best Male Solo Artist & Mastercard British Album of the Year with victory over big names such as Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and J Hus. However it didn’t stop there, Stormzy was also scheduled to perform at what is probably the most credible award ceremony in the UK. Using his platform Stormzy executed a jaw dropping performance with a powerful message attached to it along with a gang of people behind in what seemed like a government representation of his Gang Signs & Prayers album cover. As we know Stormzy is not one to hold back his feelings as seen through frequent social media posts. However, yesterday another level was exceeded as he expressed himself on national TV by passionately calling out Theresa May for her lack of dedication to the Grenfell Tower situation questioning her role as Prime Minister. Now that takes guts but he didn’t stop there, he also expressed his feelings for Daily Mail & told them to “suck his ****” for their unconcerned headlines in attempt to tarnish his name.
Winning one BRIT let alone two was an emotional milestone for Stormzy and we witnessed this through his two speeches. Giving all his glory to God and paying homage to his mum, Fraser T Smith, the #Merky team and the whole of "South London in the rasclart building'" his faith has lead him to set the bar for the whole of UK urban music. Obtaining his first two BRIT awards and a powerful performance broke the internet in as many ways possible. Celebrities and fans took to social media to express the iconic moment and praise the rapper. Akala described Stormzy’s performance as “one of the most iconic moments in UK music” where some fans requested that he runs for prime minister. With such an impactful performance there was no doubt that No.10 Downing Street could stay silent, according to BBC News it was reported that the PM retaliated by explaining she is ‘absolutely committed’ to the Grenfell situation. Now, for the government to respond to a rap performance shows the extent of influence and impact the guy has created for himself.
The BRITs 2018 was definitely something special for the culture and for the UK as a whole. Michael Dapaah collaborated with BRIT host Jack Whitehall to open up for the ceremony with a sensational Man’s Not Hot mini performance. As well as that, many other awards were grabbed last night by artists such as Dua Lipa, Rag’n’Bone Man and Ed Sheeran. Also performances from Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Jorja Smith moulded what was a beautiful night to remember and definitely one to not forget….actually I was going to end it there but it wouldn’t make sense if I didn’t give my view on a What next?
So what does this mean for urban/black music in the UK? Well surely with artists such as Dave, J Hus and Stormzy represented in a number of categories this year, there were already barriers surpassed across the UK giving motivation to those aiming to follow in their footsteps. Now, Stormzy dominating the awards is a whole different ball game. It doesn’t just show that we are included and are represented but shows that we can also win big. This will surely be an inspiration for many musicians and talent coming up in the UK, with such iconic moments providing hope for those who never thought they would ever see a moment like this. Surely one to remember and one to never forget.