LONDON MAYOR’S OFFICE JOINS SO SOLID DEBATE

A special advisor to Ken Livingstone says he's concerned about a link between street violence and the language used in the collective's music...

The office of KEN LIVINGSTONE, LONDON’s mayor, has become embroiled in the debate over So Solid Crew and the culture of guns and violence that has grown up around them.

Lee Jasper, a special advisor to Livingstone, has said he is concerned about a link between street violence and the language used in So Solid Crew ‘s music. He feels the band glorify guns and thug culture in their music.

“Somebody needs to say ‘Actually we are singing about these things but we are not suggesting you go out there and do it. We are not suggesting we are those bad boys. What we are talking about is a way of life and reflecting it’,” he said.

Jasper was speaking to the BBC for a show entitled ‘Dangerous Dancing’, exploring the links between guns, weapons and club culture in London. The programme will be broadcast tonight at 7.30pm, BBC2. (February 28)

Two men were shot and hospitalised during a So Solid Crew show in London’s Astoria last October. The resultant furore led to the cancellation of the collective’s winter UK tour as venues were reluctant to book them and police forces throughout the country grew increasingly concerned about public safety issues.

Addressing the shootings, So Solid Crew leader Megaman hit back, telling ‘Dangerous Dancing’: “That’s normal man we been around it from day one… shootings, people getting killed, people getting stabbed… you expect it to happen.”

There were 14 shootings in and around London’s music events last year, accounting for a third of the capital’s gun crime, according to the BBC.