British hip hop is in desperate need of a homegrown iconic emcee. The hip hop culture in the UK is in a constant battle against stereotypes and disinterest. The big acts out of the urban music scene in London are for the most part Grime and Electro emcees, not so much traditional rappers. To boot, cats like Dizzee Rascal and Kano are felt in the proverbial hoods of East London, and thus, British hip hop producers and lyricists find themselves dumb and mute.
Enter atypical rapper come-up story here.
Lowkey is the type of act you will be tempted to label as a gimmick, the old flash in the pan per say. And you would be half-correct in making such an assumption, I mean, how many English-speaking rappers have Iraqi blood and a following in a first world country? Not to mention the fact that Lowkey can actually flow, and unlike a plethora of other British artists, you can actually comprehend the English words that come out of his mouth. Unfortunately for some, devastating for a few, Lowkey is very much a politicized rapper, hence the title of his new track “Long Live Palestine Pt. 2”. He has made a name for himself in the Euro hip hop scene because of the nature of education in Europe in regards to global issues, especially the topic of the U.S. and British presence in the Middle East. I mentioned that the political dogma of Lowkey has an unfortunate side to it, specifically, the political apathy of hip hop heads. Having toured across Europe with the likes of Dead Prez and Immortal Technique, Lowkey is aware of the audience out there into his personal political objections, and so is the rest of the hip hop world. They call those cats backpackers, so-called conscious, college-rap kiddies.
Many of those open minds will relish a fresh new voice from overseas, others will cry afoul, demanding cessation to what they deem nothing more than glorified antisemitism. No doubt that Lowkey believes in his musical foundry, having flown to Israel in early 2009 to perform a few shows in Gaza as well as Tel Aviv. That kind of legitimate self-dedication was enough to set Israeli security forces (IDF?) off at the airport and detain Lowkey for 9 hours while they gave him the good Jew, bad Jew routine.
Scope the new track by Lowkey, just be mindful that proceeds go to a Palestinian “charity”, and in that part of the world, that could go towards anything from a sack of grains to a rocket-propelled-grenade.