If there’s one issue with grime’s domination of the mainstream, it’s the way it has embarrassed commentators who have no idea what they’re talking about.
We saw this in the Evening Standard’s write-up of a Skepta show, where the concept of the reload – a common practice in Jamaican music where a song is stopped midway through, brought back to the beginning and started again – went straight over the head of the reviewer, and now Stormzy has been the victim of a misunderstanding that could have been cleared up with even the most basic bit of research.
Stormzy was presented with the ‘Solo Artist of the Year’ award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London, and Jeremy Corbyn was on hand to honour the South Londoner.
With the leader of the opposition watching on, the 24-year-old took aim at Prime Minister Theresa May, but suggestions he called the PM a pig were very wide of the mark.
Yet the allegation spread like wildfire, presumably among those unwilling to do as much as watch a clip of his acceptance speech for confirmation.
Imagine the outrage (rightly so) if a celebrity had called a female Labour MP a "pig". Stormzy, to Corbyn's amusement, called T May a "pig".— Joel Harris (@Joel_E_Harris) September 5, 2017
As shown here, Stormzy clearly says ‘paigon’ not ‘pig’, and it’s hard to imagine anyone who heard the speech concluding otherwise.
Apologies and retractions were issued after the fact, most notably from former Labour Director of Communications Alastair Campbell, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that the discussion should never have even made it that far.
Apols for tweeting last night Stormzy called May a pig. Seems it was 'paigon'. Good to learn new words— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) September 6, 2017
“I do want to use this to say Theresa May is a paigon…it’s awkward, innit, when I say that,” Stormzy said.
‘Paigon’ is slang for a person who is fake, similar to how you might call someone a snake. So what Stormzy is doing is accusing the PM of being two-faced, not spending her time rolling in mud and eating from a trough.
Makes a lot more sense. If only people had bothered to check before having a go at him online...
(Images: Rex Features)