The collective break their silence after being labelled "idiots" by a government minister...

SO SOLID CREW have finally broken their silence over gun violence, insisting the band did nothing to glamorise it.

The south London collective had remained mute for a week after been singled out for criticism following the new year shootings which saw two teenage girls gunned down in a gangland shoot-out in Birmingham. Culture minister Kim Howells labelled them “idiots” and claimed they “created a culture where killing is almost a fashion accessory”.

Now member Romeo says its “crazy” to blame the collective.


“Pointing the finger at artists that are trying to let younger ones know it’s possible to achieve something big in life, and put your heart and soul into it, is crazy,” he said. “With me, as a so-called spokesman forSo Solid, you can’t blame So Solid for all the gun violence out there.”

He called on the government to stop looking for scapegoats and for individuals to act as individuals.

>”People have to realise everyone is an individual and take responsibility for their own actions,” he told the London Evening Standard.

He added: “The way I see it is you can’t really link one particular type of music to gun crimes because it (violence) happens all over the world with rap, rock music and lots of other types of music. It’s like a football match: the footballer doesn’t get the blame for trouble in the crowd.

Eminem represents urban music and that does not get slated: he is like a god now. He walks on stage with a chainsaw and you don’t see kids running around with chainsaws like that. If they want to slate us, do it but don’t point the finger at us. It is real life and as for what is happening out there, obviously they need to clamp down on it.”

Home Secretary David Blunkett announced last week he planned to talk “to those who are actually engaged in the music business about what is and isn’t acceptable”. Using the furore surrounding guns and the glamorisation of violence in music as a smokescreen, he appears to be attempting to sneak in changes that would see a governmental influence on the lyrics artists can release. For a special report, see this week’s NME (January 18), in shops in London today (January 14) and nationwide from tomorrow.


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