Ill Manored Streets Of London City

June 1, 2013 8:18 pm

Living in central London, you start to get used to the lifestyle it offers. Whether it’s the cockney rhyming slang always at the end of your tongue, the hoody you wear on your back, or the rainy weather we, as Londoners, love to hate!

London has a lot to offer. However, have you stopped to think about the hoodies-stylenegative connotations that come with it? Well, allow me the opportunity to suggest otherwise. As opinionated as I am about the world, and the society that tags along, I strongly believe with all my heart and soul, that it’s purely the media’s responsibility for society’s done-sided perception of the world. Three words for you; “Ignorance is bliss!” Someone sees a 15 year-old in a hoodie with jeans sagging, holding on for dear life; held together tightly with a belt. Most people would assume that child is dangerous. How accurate is that statement? Society, let alone the media, who has forced us to associate these stereotypes for your eyes to materialize. It’s almost as if a gun’s forced to the head, insisting that audiences should think a certain way! Why is it this way? I think, in some ways, music has a lot to do with it. (This is something I’m going to express in a future article!)

As painful as it might sound to some people, an individual’s characteristics can be easily mapped out with the clothes on their back. Is it right to suggest that every individual who dresses in a hoodie is lethal? The society seems to have such a strong perception of stereotypes, it’s like they’re satisfied with what the media tells them. As if they’re happy being injected with a hypodermic needle, and controlled by the media. Is it fair to suggest and encourage these stereotypes? I guess, the clothes really do make the man. It’s funny how people believe they can easily expose one’s personality and characteristics just by the clothes they wear, then, all the ‘chavs’, hoodies, and working to middle class people living in council estates should be labeled. Sooner or later, someone’s going to feel like the odd one out, isolated, and left outside alone in the cold just because they don’t feel accepted within society.

Automatically, you can tell which genre of music they listen to. Sometimes, though, this thought process can be passed off as ignorance, but it’s as true as blue skies. Another set of words for you; “American influence!” OK, I brag about ignorance being bliss, but who’s going to listen to me? Saggy pants aren’t the only stereotype that’s screaming out like yesterday’s news! How do we know that these stereotypes are in existence and consistent? Well, it’s everywhere you turn, almost as if you’re in a maze with no exit.

Ill-ManorsIf you think about it, music has a lot to do with it! Particularly the ‘rap game,’ an epic example of this has stepped into the spotlight by Ben Drew, better known as Plan B – a strong candidate to represent the UK hip-hop / rap scene. I have to admit, this track was screaming out at me to completely demolish its metaphors. ‘Ill Manors’ conveys a true representation of how we, as a society, see London today. Plan B’s interoperation of London’s dirty streets is typically accurate as he cleverly describes the characteristics and individual profiles of Londoners, who are prioritized and also catagorised in order to further understand how society’s system of stereotypes work. The more I listen to this song, the more ‘Ill Manored’ I become, or shall I say, disgusted at the possible accuracy that this track resembles. It’s over-flowing with controversial statements that would any simple-minded person cringe at the portrayals being painted, even if it is bombarded with facts, instead of fiction.

Let’s all go on an urban safari / We might see some illegal migrants / Oi, look there’s a chav, that means council housed and violent. / He’s got a hoodie on give him a hug, on second thoughts don’t you don’t wanna get mugged. / Oh shit too late that was kinda dumb. / Whose idea was that…stupid… /He’s got some front, ain’t we all be the joker, play the fool. What’s politics, ain’t it all smoke and mirrors? April fools!

When you read this chunk of lyricism, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Besides the witty metaphors, it is decorated with cleverly put together words, as if it were chocolate sprinkles sitting in a cup of cappuccino. I’ll tell you what appears on the surface: the hateful truth. I guess this is where the phrase ‘the truth hurts’ comes into play.

It’s interesting how the chorus, or the hook as some might like to call it; validates a diversion with social class. It further suggests a significant level of differences.

What you looking at you little rich boy! / We’re poor round here, run home and lock your door, / don’t come round here no more, you could get robbed for real (yeah) because my manors ill.”

…And it goes on…

Lets go looting, no not Luton. / The high street’s closer cover your face, / and if we see any rich kids on the way we’ll make ’em / wish they stayed inside, here’s a charge for congestion, / everybody’s gotta pay do what Boris does… rob them blind.”

This track has a lot to say for itself. It stresses on media’s portrayal of people. How we, as an audience are used to seeing London. Local shootings, drug rampage, and looting, let alone other crimes. Maybe it’s easier to remember that London isn’t the only one with ‘Ill Manors.’ Now do you see how ‘Ill Manored’ we have become…? Looks can be deceiving, not everything is as it seems!

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