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Grime 4 Corbyn: A testament to his influence on young people

The music man JME himself, the centre of Grime 4 Corbyn

In the Venn diagram of people who listen to grime regularly and those who follow politics loosely, I am the only person who sits in the middle. However, recently grime and politics seem to have mixed: during the general election we witnessed a widespread social media campaign called “Grime 4 Corbyn”, headlined by grime artist JME who met Jeremy Corbyn and filmed their conversation.

If you are unfamiliar with JME’s work I would highly recommend him, as his lyrics are some of the best music has to offer. His lyrics, along with those of other grime artists such as Kano and Ghetts, mention that in some areas of east London people don’t tend to vote as they believe nothing will actually change if they do. This is further touched upon by JME in his video with Corbyn, which emphasises the image of Corbyn as the new hope many young voters see him to be.

This campaign has also been very effective not just for Labour (check a map of London constituencies – the east is very red!) but I would argue it is effective for politics in general, as I imagine that while there may have been those who chose to listen to JME without doing their own research, there will be others who decided to properly engage with what is such an important subject in our current time and political climate.

One very interesting thing to note on the subject of young people voting is there was virtually radio silence from the Conservative party when it came to telling people to register to vote. This is in stark contrast to campaigns such as Grime 4 Corbyn associated with the Labour party. Why would Theresa May and her ephemeral allies not want to encourage the youth to register to vote and exercise their democratic rights? I’ll leave you to make a judgement.

JME did receive criticism on 9 June for his actions, as some argued that he wasn’t open enough in bringing people into politics. He did point out, however, that he tweeted out the manifestos of all the major parties and at the end of his interview with Corbyn (which was for a magazine, much like similar interviews with other celebrities for other magazines, he added) he told people to do their research and vote for who they judged to be the best.

Whether you view grime or celebrities telling people how to vote as a bad influence, I think that the fact both have inspired a new group of people to vote who previously felt disassociated from politics, Corbyn being the catalyst, is testament to one of his greatest qualities as Labour leader. He manages to inspire not only with his policies but also with his campaigning. The result of the election has shown this, as Labour managed to gain seats for the first time since they were last in power.

Remind me, who wrote the article saying he was electable?