MC Riz, Heems and Redinho to play Glasgow as Swet Shop Boys
- Niki Boyle
- 14 November 2016
The funny yet political hip hop group are an antidote to post-Trump depression
I'm writing this shortly after Trump's day of victory (which, thanks to some nameless Twitter wag, will forever be known as #OrangeWednesday), and it still hasn't quite sunk in. I mean, as a serial loser in recent questions of public opinion, I should've seen it coming. I voted Yes to Scottish Independence, No to David Cameron, and Stay to the EU referendum. I might've guessed I'd be wrong on this too.
There's some reassurance in knowing you're not alone though, which is why I'm really looking forward to the Swet Shop Boys gig in Glasgow this month. Comprising Heems (ex of NY stoner rap group Das Racist), MC Riz (aka Riz Ahmed, star of Chris Morris' Four Lions) and Numbers-signed producer Redinho, SSB are fiercely political: their debut album, Cashmere, tackles the dual-edged experience of being brown and famous in the Western world. Songs titles from Cashmere include 'Phone Tap', 'Shoes Off' and 'No Fly List'; in that last one, Riz says he flies 'first class, so they serve champagne when they search me'.
As you might guess from that line (and their perfectly chosen name), there's a lot of humour mixed in with SSB's politics. They rap about radicalisation in recent single 'Zayn Malik', only to note that the former 1D singer has 'got more than 80 virgins on him – there's more than one direction to get to paradise.' In 'T5' (aka 'Terminal 5' – as a transatlantic outfit, there's a lot of stuff about air travel), Riz – who also stars in the forthcoming Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One – holds up his success as a middle-finger to those who'd reject him: 'Trump want my exit but if he press the red button to watch Netflix, bruv, I'm on.'
That's as good a cure as any for post-election despair, right?
The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, Wed 23 Nov