“Laden with racist stereotypes”: viewers slam Victoria Derbyshire show interview with AJ Tracey

An interview with the west London rapper has created a backlash

Viewers have reacted to a television interview with AJ Tracey which some people have labelled “racist”.

The west London rapper was speaking on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire news and debate programme on Tuesday (February 12) to promote his self-titled debut. During the interview he was asked questions about the nature of his music videos.

The stand-in host, who did not name a specific video, said: “It’s almost like a bit of a shout-out to gangs in London – I’m not suggesting you’re advocating gangs – but there does seem to be a lot of, you know, guys hanging out. Is that a conscious message or is that just the scene that you’re in?”

Tracey, who in apparent dismay had momentarily looked away from the presenter, said: “All my videos just have my friends in it – we’re just have a fun, good time in my videos.”

Twitter users were quick to point out what they called “prejudices” and “stereotypes” in the broadcaster’s line of questioning.

One user wrote: “This is disgusting big up for keeping it professional sometimes as a young black man in this country these are the prejudices and stereotypes we face on a daily basis.”

Another wrote: “Wow how out of touch. This was laden with racist stereotypes. A classic example of why the media needs to be more diverse.”

Someone else commented: “is this an episode of Brass Eye?”

But one Twitter user said: “Great to see the BBC indulging this genre that provides the soundtrack to the violence & misogyny for many in the black community.”

Earlier in the programme, the presenter – who was standing in for show host Victoria Derbyshire – quizzed the 24-year-old rapper about the music video for his song, ‘Psych Out’, which was filmed in Atlanta’s famous strip-club, Magic City. The visuals show scantily-clad women “twerking” inside the club.

AJ Tracey shot for NME

The host asked him: “Do you worry about the image it send out because – I mean, do you have any strong women in any of your videos?”

He answered: “Well, yeah, I think I do but to be honest with you I don’t intentionally put any imagery in my videos that’s going to portray women in a certain way.” Tracey explained that “stripping in Atlanta is their culture”.

“I thought, I wanna go out there and do a different visual,” he continued. “My visuals don’t usually look like that – and I can’t say my mum really enjoys that video!”

Tracey said that he wanted to share the “experience” that rappers have in the US and how they present their videos.