AN EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE FROM STORMZY
The British Rapper Stormzy is known for frequently raising his voice against global problems of race, gender, and equality.
His latest performance at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage from yesterday was yet another thought-provoking one. This was a significant milestone for Stormzy as the first black British artist to perform at the main Pyramid Stage.
Before his stage appearance, the creators of the show displayed a short behind-the-stage video of Stormzy getting advice from Jay-Z with his playlist. During the short documentary, Jay-Z made significant remarks about inspiring the underprivileged black children with talent.
Glastonbury Festival 2019
Stormzy first appeared on stage with a bullet-proof Union Jack vest. After performing three songs, he projected a chart depicting the increased crime rates across the world.
He went on to rap along the speech of Labour MP David Lammy, with a strong emphasis on discrimination of the criminal justice system against black people.
Another reference to racism was when a black ballet dancer performed a choreography during one of his songs.
During the song, he pointed at the discrimination against black people in various art fields, including ballet.
The second half of the concert had more emotional moments.
In addition, he performed a duet with Chris Martin on Blinded By Your Grace, as well as with rappers Dave and Fredo on the single Funky Friday (which became a UK chart-topper).
Dave and Stormzy shared an emotional moment after pointing out how far the rap culture in the UK has progressed such that black-dominant rap songs were now able to top the charts.
At the end of the concert, he performed You Saved Me with the back vocals of a gospel choir. His eyes were visibly watery while he was singing along. We can only imagine the immense flow of emotions among the audience at that moment.
More About Stormzy
Stormzy (Full name: Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr.) was born in July 1993 to Ghanaian parents living in Croydon, London.
His first rapping attempts date back to the age of 11 when he joined school contests. Although he was a successful student overall, he went on to pursue a professional music career, initially releasing independent freestyle tracks and collaborating with other British rappers.
In 2014, he released singles like Know Me From and Shut Up, the latter of which became an instant hit debuting at number 18 and peaking at number 8 in the UK charts.
His 2017 album Gang Signs & Prayer was a commercial success debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart.
Part of his success is due to his activist personality and outspokenness.
Besides expressing his active support for Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, he is well-known for his criticism of Theresa May.
Although he has an admirable profile overall, it wasn’t without some unfortunate mistakes. In 2017, he was heavily criticized for his homophobic tweets against a gay character on the soap opera EastEnders.
Stormzy later apologized in a lengthy Twitter status, explaining that he took full responsibility for his wrongful action in the past.
He also said that he has improved his mindset since then and became much more informed about the importance of gender equality.
The Grime star took the opportunity to address the inequalities in the injustices system, and the arts Stormzy is also the second youngest headliner in Glastonbury’s history.
‘This is the most fabulous night of my entire life’~ Stormzy.
The Grime artist wore a union jack stab vest on stage, he has always been outspoken about specific issues in the black community including, the gap in the society, like pay amongst the poor communities knife crimes, Grenfell tower and more.
More than 200,000 people joined the performance by also shouting ‘f*ck the government and f*ck Boris’
He paid tribute to most of the best rappers, including the late Cadet, (Blaine Cameron Johnson). He was sadly killed earlier this year while en-route to a gig. Very very sad!
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Last night I headlined Glastonbury in a stab-proof vest custom made by the greatest, most iconic living artist on planet earth, the one and only BANKSY. I opened my set with words of encouragement from my hero and ultimate inspiration and the greatest rapper to ever grace planet Earth Jay-Z. I got to sing with the most incredible and legendary man I know – Chris Martin – a man who’s genius I am so in awe of that it makes me go to studio and try to emulate him. Raleigh Ritchie – one of our country’s greatest musical talents thank you my brother. Dave & Fredo – I love you my brothers, UK’s finest rappers, thank you from my heart for helping me light up the stage and making one of the most beautiful moments our culture has seen. Thank you to my lil brother @djtiiny theres no way in hell I could do this without you you have my back always and I’m so proud of you – you are my brother in arms we go to war together I appreciate you. To Bronski, Amber, Misty, Trev, Kojo, Tim, James, Sam & my whole tour/creative/production team I appreciate you all and I’m forever grateful. To my band and to my amazing choir who have worked tireless and given this their everything all whilst sounding flawless, effortless and amazing I appreciate you all very much I can’t do this without you. Massive thank yous to: the W.A.R dance crew you lot are now my brothers thank you for bringing a God-sent energy that I truly needed. To Princess K – you are a superstar, the crowd went absolutely crazy for you and I’m so excited to watch you take the world by storm. To Ballet Black, the grace, beauty and feeling you blessed the world with yesterday was felt in the hearts of millions. To Mac, Trizzy, Bobby, C1, Flipz my BikeStormz family I’m so happy the world got to see you lots talent and skills – you just showed the world about bikelife – be very fucking proud. To Big TJ & James for getting me ready and prepared for the energy this set would need. To the whole of my #MERKY team – my family who hold me down and have my back till the end. THANK YOU GUYS, THANK YOU GOD. I am proud of myself and I feel blessed and fulfilled and purposeful. Your Glastonbury 2019 headliner, over and out. 🎤❤️
Photo Credit: Stormzy