“People are scared of the word ‘black'” – Annie Mac defends Dave after new single faced backlash on Radio 1

"It's so important that the song exists."

Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac has defended Dave, after the rapper’s latest single ‘Black’ attracted a barrage of negative comments to the station.

The upcoming star released ‘Black’ last week – a bold track that sees him tackling issues of racial identity and his own personal background.

Earlier today, Mac revealed that the song had received backlash from listeners who were “offended by the idea of a man talking about the colour of his skin and how it has shaped his identity.”

“It’s a real issue that a song so intelligent, so thought provoking so excellently put together can actually offend you,” wrote Mac on Twitter.

Now, the Radio 1 stalwart has elaborated on her original comments – and told NME why the criticism is being lead by fear.

“People are scared of the word black and the word, they seem reluctant to have conversations around it.  People are feeling on the defensive and act like it’s not necessary to talk about it any more,” she explained.

“I find that really depressing and an absolute justification for that song. It’s so important that the song exists and it’s only when you see the texts and tweets coming in that you realise how important it is and how much work needs to be done in this country for racial equality.”

While Dave himself is yet to comment on the criticism, the DJ described his latest offering as a “beautiful record.”

“People don’t like talking about it, but it’s very much a problem and I commend Dave for putting that record out. It’s a beautiful record,” Mac added. “He came on my show to play it and said it was a personal journey for him, to look back and discover where he came from and who he is. He went on a real journey to write this song and I’m happy to get this out of my system.”

Mac has also received solidarity from within Radio 1 – with Greg James responding directly to the critics after playing it on his breakfast show.

“I was chatting to Clara Amfo about it and she also found it frustrating while Greg James mentioned it on the radio this morning,” she said.

“It’s important for people who are white to talk about their opinions on race. It shouldn’t be down to black people to have to talk about it. So I had to get it out of my system.”

It comes ahead of Dave releasing his debut album ‘Psychodrama’. He’ll take the record on the road in April – taking in two shows at London’s iconic O2 Academy Brixton.