BBC played rap referencing guns and knives after Notting Hill death

BBC Radio 1Xtra ‘glorified violence’ by playing grime rap songs referencing use of guns and knives after Notting Hill carnival stab death

  • Critics have blasted the BBC for being too lax by allowing the music to be played
  • Sir Spiro played Pre-Season by So Large with lyrics ‘I make drug dealer anthems’
  • Takayo Nembhard, a 21-year-old rapper, was stabbed to death at the carnival 

A BBC radio channel repeatedly played grime rap songs that openly glorified gang violence before and after the Notting Hill Carnival where a man was stabbed to death.

Critics have blasted the Corporation for being too lax by allowing the music to be played, claiming that they legitimise violence.

Music broadcast on BBC 1Xtra described violent clashes between gangs, with references to the use of guns and knives.

On the eve of the carnival last weekend, which saw more than 200 arrests, stabbings and one suspected murder, presenter Sir Spiro played Pre-Season by act So Large with lyrics that began: ‘I make drug dealer anthems, come from a drug dealer family, re-up come from Los Angeles, born and bred in Tower Hamlets . . . Man swing fist, man swing weapon, anything . . . I’ve got a set of toes that you don’t want to step on . . .’

BBC 1Xtra has been acused of playing songs glorifying gang violence during the carnival, despite one man being fatally stabbed. Pictured: Flowers laid at the scene of the fatal stabbing at Notting Hill Carnival 

And just hours after Takayo Nembhard, a 21-year-old rapper from Bristol, was stabbed to death at the carnival last Monday, DJ Snoochie Shy played a tune on her show billed as a ‘Carnival After Party Spesh!’.

It included the lyrics: ‘I take aim, I’m a sniper. I hit that. Outside with the trap boys. Circling the block with shooters too . . . ’

The BBC bleeps out swear words but does not get rid of phrases that glorify gun and knife use.

Former gang member Simeon Moore, an ex-rapper from Birmingham known as Zimbo, criticised the BBC.

He said: ‘I want to know what these strict editorial guidelines are. From where I’m standing, it’s as if it’s OK to speak about violence if it’s black-on-black violence.

‘Urban gang wars are deadly, they destroy lives and whole communities. So when you have the biggest urban radio station in the UK playing music that legitimises these activities, it really does mean that these things have become part of our everyday life.’

The BBC was approached for comment.

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