Neoliberalism Kills People (Music Video of the Week)

Music Video of the Week, 28 Aug 2023

Lowkey | a/political – TRANSCEND Media Service

Featuring Mai Khalil and Valeria Kurbatova (Lyrics below)

Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack to the Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.


How can I do a fire in the booth, when I’m trying just to maintain
And since June don’t hear the word fire in the same way
Heard screams, splutters and them gasping for air
That’s not bars in a booth it’s so hard to compare
If I use fire as metaphor
Does that disrespect the people that are never more?
How does that bomb sound sound to those that bled in war that we never saw?
Remember when they settled scores with metal swords like Skeletor
Chinese made gunpowder, Nobel invented dynamite
They say the guilt in his mind compelled him to design the prize
We know what Einstein’s mind was like
How many geniuses we never knew that were deprived of life?
I can’t philosophise on horrifying flames
We don’t have to apologise or qualify our pain
Degrenfellise our loved ones of the colonisers name
Should we let the corporate media lobotomise our brains
You are beautiful, no matter how this life disfigures you
You’re beautiful even if that image you emulate isn’t you
I don’t know if history is linear or cyclical
But know I’m ridiculed for making invisibles visible
That’s why Plato said banish poets from the republic
‘Cause they know that we can shake the social system and disrupt it
The land of liberty, they tell us leave it or lump it
When Trump comes to the country we hope he chokes on his crumpet
Before we sink in the ocean, consider this as an omen
Natures blessings aren’t ours just ‘cause we think that we own them
Never think that you’re broken, or think that you’re no-one
Remember a rope is strong because of strings interwoven

Would they love you more if you mock the people that you’re from
Self-orientalise and believe that you belong
Overcompensate and propagate the image of the imbecile
Not uninvolved though you’re further from the killing field
Take solace in the fact there’s always cracks in the monolith
Now we’re practically lobbing bricks like Asterix and Obelix
Distracted with gossip it’s twisted news an interlude to adverts no hidden truths to listen to it’s pitiful
Rosa Luxemburg gave us this simple truth
You won’t feel your chains till the day you begin to move
He photographed a corpse and they flung him in the cage
Those that signed off on the cladding are still receiving their wage
Helicopters hovered close, pictures for the front page
Tried to speak all I really felt deep was numb rage
How could they see this pain at such a young age
Leaning out the window, screaming for help but none came
If it bleeds it leads, trauma tourists they gravitate
Shock doctrine in effect, disaster capitalists salivate
Privatisation, deregulation and austerity
To zero hour contracts, exploitation and precarity
Adults didn’t make it, children to be fostered
Saved pennies on the block, dropped 20 million on the opera
We see through your cold plans, your programme is done
We don’t want a Prime Minister that holds hands with Trump
We don’t want DJs doing shows on military compounds
Can’t trivialise fire or hear any more bomb sounds
How can I smile when I know the remains are still not found
And echoing in my mind is exactly how the sobs sound

They say we’re criminals for the syllables and stanzas
When they subsidise the killers tools, the pillagers and bankers
Who are the engines of history, people like me and you
Who got massacred for the right to vote at Peterloo
It was imagineers, the poets and the artists
The miners, Tolpuddle Martyrs, William Cuffay and the chartists
Rebel and resist even through something small
Create windows with words and mirrors where once were walls
Manure contributes to the beauty of a rose
Why can’t we accept our pain as something that helps us grow
They wonder why songs that make you cry are more moving
‘Cause crying’s the only thing that we were born doing
They tell us tea is tradition to the English
When I look around this island not a tea plantation in it
Earl Gray gave 20 million to the slave traders
Multi-polar world now the Indians are space raiders
Freedom to be even or merely alienate labour
Freedom for fossil fuellers to desecrate and invade nature
Albert was an immigrant, Prince Phillip is an immigrant
Were the Celts, Normans and the Anglo-Saxons English, then?
The words Sugar, Cotton and Rice come from Arabic
Now we import democracy to civilise the Saracens
Analysing planets when this back water was wilderness
It seems we’re still obsessed with immortality like Gilgamesh
Pessimism of intellect, optimism of will
Wear the skin of their victims its syndrome buffalo bill
In times of permanent war there is always someone to kill
But when life and death are virtual almost nothing is real

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 Aug 2023.

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