Kicking off the NME Awards 2020, Mura Masa and Slowthai (largely Slowthai, it must be said) proceed to use much of the O2 Academy Brixton as a glorified obstacle course, wreaking havoc throughout a blistering performance of ‘Deal Wiv It’. Any available surface is fair game for scaling.
The duo’s song ‘Deal Wiv It’ is up for both Best British Song and Best Song in The World tonight – and battering the cavernous venue, the pair’s link-up is a searing-hot force of nature live. “I went to the pub and asked for a pint for three quid,” Slowthai spits, goading the crowd “He said it’s a fiver, well that’s gentrification, you prick”. Mura Masa paces behind him, spinning a trail of thrashing, biting noise in his wake. It’s brash, angry, venomous punk at its finest.
Clambering over podiums, causing chaos among the tables, and eventually launching himself into the crowd for a final victory lap, the Northampton rapper also pauses along the way to pop a bottle of someone else’s bubbly. It must be thirsty work, scooping so many nominations.
When Slowthai eventually manages to find his way back to the stage, he hitches up his Union Jack boxers, takes a moment to gather some composure, and promptly moons the entire room.
One of the year’s best singles so far, with a bare bum thrown in for good measure? Slowthai and Mura Masa really have spoiled us all.
Later on, it turns out Slowthai isn’t just a pretty, erm, bum – collecting a gong for Best Collaboration with Mura Masa, he used his part of their acceptance speech to lead a drinking chant; and then he proceeded to call out the divisions in today’s society, telling the room: “It’s OK not to be OK.”