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MistaJam: British urban music success at the Brits

Will Gompertz | 16:56 UK time, Wednesday, 16 February 2011

I made a piece for last night's News at Ten about British urban music. I had interviewed BBC 1xtra's MistaJam for the item but time constraints meant I couldn't include this considered and knowledgeable contribution:

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  • Comment number 1.

    the lack of comments seems a fair reflection of the lack of relevance of mainstream 'music'.
    but hey, does it matter? as long as they're all making money. ;)

  • Comment number 2.

    I like the bloke interviewed, he seems cool and enthusiastic and a fine example of multi-cultural Britain, which I applaud. However, I really really cannot get to grips with urban music. To me, as jr4412 above seems to agree, it's all about money and even the lyrics of a lot of the music seems to go along the lines of "I was workin', like, in a rubbish job, and then I made some music and now I am rich, and being famous makes you better". I. Don't. Get. It. If someone can explain what it's about, I will try and understand. Rapping in a made-up accent about not having been to Scunthorpe, whilst laudable (not having been to Scunthorpe I mean!) is a strange thing to this person. Maybe I am getting old..... or maybe I am just a horrible middle-class ex-indie kid who is not "street" enough to get it. Oh, and don't get on your high horses about my "made up accent" comment, or rather, if you do get on that horse, I will race you on it. NOBODY ACTUALLY IN REAL LIFE SPEAKS LIKE THAT. IT IS MADE UP. I know lots and lots of black, white, green, Chines, Japanese, Manganese and aluminium people and whilst they may have accents that betray their roots, as indeed do I, none of them have this "new London" accent. I blame that idiot Dappy... for some reason people think that talking like that is cool, so they have copied him and his ilk. IT IS MADE UP.

  • Comment number 3.

    @ jr4412, who wrote:

    'the lack of comments seems a fair reflection of the lack of relevance of mainstream 'music'.
    but hey, does it matter? as long as they're all making money. ;)'

    I just don't understand the contradiction in this banal comment. You state that the level of relevance for a music genre, which you yourself describe as 'mainstream', is discernable from the number of comments posted on an obscure (sorry only when compared to MTV) BBC arts blog. How can something be mainstream and irrelevant. Perhaps you mean irrelevant to you.

    @ Stevo

    You seem utterly unable to grasp why a music genre with it's roots in a socially excluded underclass, would contain aspirational lyrics about escaping that social cul-de-sac. Do you understand why folk music contains very few songs about stock markets?

    People do speak in these 'made up accents', you just don't know any. You do however seem to know green and aluminium people. Not clever, not cool. Have you considered how an accent forms? Is imitation involved at all?

    You know yourself that this is generational, you are too old or too socially removed to have any sort of empathic reaction to this genre.

    Grandpa Simpson (from the animated series) said -

    'I used to be with 'it', then they change what 'it' was and now 'it' frightens me...'

    That seems to be the root of your point... no?

  • Comment number 4.

    blogplusplus #3.

    "How can something be mainstream and irrelevant."

    to find out, simply listen to Radio1, or PlanetRock, or, or, or...

    seeing you're fond of TV character quotes, allow me to paraphrase:
    "It's music Jim, but not as we know it.."


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