“Definitely, 100%,” he replies when asked if the country is racist. “There’s a lot of racism in the country. The difficult thing with the UK is, as you said, in Italy it’s a clear problem, whereas trying to explain that Britain is a racist country [to a British person] is the most difficult thing ever.”
The rapper explains that racism is a “more difficult case to fight” in Britain due to its hidden nature, and the public perception that it’s not an issue. “They think ‘No it’s not. Stormzy, you’re successful. Look at London, there’s loads of black people.”
He went on to say that racism in the country is encouraged by prime minister Boris Johnson’s public comments. “If the top person can openly say this racist thing… if that is our figurehead, the top man, the leader we have to follow, and he openly says these things, he encourages hate among others.
“Before, people had to hide their racism. If you felt something bad about about black people, about Muslims, you had to shut up. Now these people have the confidence to come out in public to say everything. This is scary to me, that scares the shit out of me.”
Upon the news, multiple publications were accused of “spinning” the rapper’s words – taking his comment out of context by alleging that he called the UK a “100% racist” country, a (potentially deliberate) misconstruing of his response. Stormzy went on to call out these publications on Twitter.
Stormzy has long been a critic of the Conservative government in the UK. On recent single ‘Vossi Bop’, he sang ‘Fuck the government, and fuck Boris,’ referring to Johnson.
Stormzy released latest album Heavy is the Head earlier this month.