Slowthai has responded to criticism after he performed while holding a dummy of Boris Johnson’s decapitated head during the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019.
The ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ rapper, presented the dummy head to the awards show crowd last night (September 19). “Fuck Boris Johnson, fuck everything, and there’s nothing great about Britain,” he shouted, after performing ‘Doorman’.
While the stunt prompted cheers from fans within the Eventim Apollo, It immediately provoked condemnation on social media – with some branding him a “disgrace”.
Responding to his critics in a statement posted on Twitter, the rapper said his performance “held a mirror up to this country”. He also stressed that he doesn’t condone violence”.
“Last night I held a mirror up to this country and some people don’t like its reflection,” Slowthai wrote on Twitter.
“Yet this is exactly where we’re being taken, cut off and at all costs. The people in power who are trying to isolate and divide us aren’t the ones who will feel its effects the hardest.
— slowthai (@slowthai) September 20, 2019
“They’re not the ones queueing at the food banks, not the ones navigating Universal Credit and not the ones having to deal with systematic oppression and hate crimes at the hands of privileged politicians who say what they want without fear and consequence.”
He added: “We as a people are not being looked after and our best interests are not being served by those in government – this is their job and they’re not doing it well enough.”
Describing the stunt as a “metaphor”, he explained: “This ‘act’ was a metaphor for what this government is doing to our country, except what I did was present it in plain sight.”
Slowthai concluded: “No Boris Johnson’s were hurt in the making of this Slowthai performance. I don’t condone violence in any form.”
The artist – whose real name is Tyron Frampton – has been vocally critical of the British Prime Minister before. Speaking to NME in July shortly after his Mercury nod, Frampton described Johnson as a “lesser version” of Donald Trump.
He branded Johnson “a twat” and said that he should be considering retirement instead of entering Number 10.
“Boris Johnson! Look at his haircut. He’s a twat, but he seems like he’s changing his life. I don’t know how late in your life you can do that, but a leopard don’t change its spots,” he said.
— slowthai (@slowthai) September 19, 2019
“This cunt keeps popping up and now he’s there! He’s gonna be there for a good few years, I thought he was near retirement. But he’s not. Fuck him!”
Additionally, slowthai has announced a range of ‘Fuck Boris’ T-shirts.