Lowkey: 'You want your music to serve as a mobiliser but I also want it to serve as an accurate historical document'
- Arusa Qureshi
- 2 April 2019
British-Iraqi hip hop artist returns with the follow-up to his highly acclaimed Soundtrack To The Struggle
There has always been a natural symbiosis between hip hop and activism, with rappers throughout the history of the genre rising up to speak about key issues of race, poverty and injustice. As a heavyweight of the British hip hop scene, Lowkey has long been recognised for his candid and politically charged lyrics and masterful dissection of social inequalities. Following a hiatus that saw him take time off to focus on studies and activism, the rapper will soon be making his long-awaiting return with the follow-up to 2011's highly acclaimed Soundtrack To The Struggle.
'What I am seeking to do is mobilise people in specific causes,' the British-Iraqi hip hop artist notes about his return. 'In terms of the situation that I was in before, we didn't have any kind of political alternative towards which I was able to push people to be active. I feel like at that time, I could have continued making my music while sort of alienating and isolating myself, not really having had the chance to get educated in the way I felt I needed to be. And so taking that time out was essential for that. In terms of coming back now, I think we're at a stage where progressive ideas have more traction than ever before and things are more polarised than they were. Coming back, I really have a lot more space to move.'
Soundtrack To The Struggle 2 is a continuation of Lowkey's mission to challenge the status quo, but as he explains, the album represents a sense of personal and artistic development too.
'The album connects to Soundtrack To The Struggle 1 in that I have developed as far as my political education goes. Back then, I was more knee jerk and instinctive in terms of my rebellion, I don't think I really necessarily understood the social forces that were behind some of the things that I was making songs about. I think now I have a deeper understanding of how social forces function and the way in which structural violence affects people's lives. I now have been able to identify the way power operates through people and above and below people as well. So I think Soundtrack To The Struggle 2 has more depth to it; it's more complex.'