Now Grime Backs Labour, Here Are The Political Parties Of 4 Other Genres


Written by Dont Panic
16 Tuesday 16th May 2017

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour chief in September 2015, he was largely unknown to the general public. However, as time has passed, he's gone down as a divisive character; this ranges from his personal appearance to controversial policies, prior actions to lack of leadership. However, he's found wells of of support in a number of groups; trade unions, students, social media denizens and, of course, the grime scene.

Much as how Corbyn's brought leftism back into Labour over the last few years, musicians from London to Blackpool have pushed the irregularly-popular genre fully into the mainstream. As grime experienced a surge in notability over a decade ago - helmed by artists like Dizzee Rascal and Wiley - it clashed heads with the last Labour government, a government which had hit the working class with ASBOs and benefits reform, demonised what the media termed chav culture, presided over a gentrifying London and emboldened police with powers like stop and search, which disproportionately targeted young black men. Who can forget when Rascal referred to himself as a 'threat to [Tony] Blair' with Jeremy Paxman? So what has allowed the grime to embrace Corbyn?

There's a number of factors you could cite. For years Corbyn has represented an area of London with significant inequality which he aims to tackle, a vital issue to a genre which has long been associated with poverty. He frequently mentions the importance of young people in society and democracy, a message which resonates with the genre's huge youth contingent. Corbyn is highly personable, as a recent meeting with BBK MC JME shows. Lastly, Corbyn speaks to a genre which has become more openly politicised, with Skepta complaining of the police's behaviour and Novelist's support for Black Lives Matter.

So with socialism and grime now hand-in-hand, we considered which other music genres could support political parties...

Progressive rock - Conservatives

Choral music and classic rock are strong contenders as a Tory music genre, but it's progressive rock which really takes the crown. Think of the notable individuals; Kate Bush, Rick Wakeman, the majority of Genesis- they haven't been quiet about who they support. The genre itself possesses a number of conservative characteristics; an elitist fanbase, a strong emphasis on technical ability over feeling, ancient literature inspiring the conceptual narratives, the music as merely one aspect of a big commercial show. It's a revanchist form for listeners who think psychedelia is just too 'far out'. Plus Pink Floyd is one of David Cameron's favourite bands (so to is the Smiths, but delving into Morrissey's political views gets a bit sketchy...). 

Contemporary folk - Liberal Democrats

Apologies to titans of folk like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte, but this is the Lib Dems genre of choice. There's a reason contemporary folk has such sustaining appeal; it's straightforward, middle of the road, down to earth - overall very plain, which the Lib Dems take to be virtuous and, laughably, electable. They both hark back to good days gone by - a lost love, the 2010 - 2015 government - and look to a better future - getting a new saw to cut wood, a second EU referendum. Also Tim Farron looks like the kind of scrawny chump who'd belt out the acoustic standards in Covent Garden for change.

Hardline - Green Party

In the 1990s, a new movement sprung out hardcore punk called hardline. It embraced straight edge values - no drugs, no booze, no smoking - plus veganism, a dogmatic attitude to sex, homophobia, environmentalism, animal rights and drew inspiration from Islamic teachings. Relevant acts included Raid, Vegan Reich, Green Rage and Statement, bands who'd express their socially impassioned lyrics with screamed vocals, complicated guitar riffs and drums. If you don't see the overlap with these guys and Caroline Lucas' socially conscious hippy-dippy shit then we're on a completely different page.

Black metal - UKIP

It's safe to say that UKIP spent many years on the fringe of public acceptibility, much like the extreme music genre black metal. This scene contains a host of xenophobic views which the party would find acceptable, the fact that its origins are in Norway - a non-EU member - would appeal too. Black metal artists incorporate lo-fi recording techniques and rail against modernity's excesses, which matches up pretty well to a party that really wants to change the colour of passports and bring back imperial measurements. Overall, the soundtrack to Brexit is Burzum.

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