Plan B: The Voice of The Disaffected Youth
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Plan B is back and angrier than ever. The rapper/soul singer released Ill Manors this month, a track that attacks a frequently overlooked prejudice in society, lambasting the stereotype of the ‘chav‘ and what Plan B calls ‘the forgotten people of society’. When Plan B released Ill Manors it was met with shock, with a propo rtion of Ben Drew’s fanbase unaware of his hip-hop roots and many misunderstanding the message behind the song. The track and indeed the video are expressly designed to be shocking and to take them at face value is to miss the point. They fearlessly address controversial issues such as society’s view of the underclass and last year’s riots in a way that is difficult to ignore. In an interview with radio one extra, Plan B cites middle England’s view of the lower class as a big problem in society, stating: ‘we have a big issue in society from certain ignorant sections of middle class people towards the underclass’. He then goes on to use the example of the word chav, meaning council house and violent. He says it is ‘a derogatory term used...to define people from poor and unfortunate backgrounds... and the term is no different from similar terms used to be derogatory to race and sex.’ Yet it is an umbrella term that is actively and thoughtlessly used. Drew attacks the hypocrisy of such labels, and says: ‘just because you were lucky enough to be born into a family that can afford to give you a good education doesn’t make you better than anybody.’ Clearly many people see hip hop as a destructive force, and one that glorifies the violent side of street life and Plan B’s new song is seen as being of that vein, yet his new song is what he calls ‘conscious hip-hop’. It seeks to deal with life on the streets in the same way a cancerous lung is used to discourage people from smoking while speaking to them in a manner and medium that is likely to get his message heard.
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