UK rapper Stormzy said the UK is “definitely, 100%” racist in an interview with an Italian newspaper.
The grime artist, 26, who released his second album Heavy Is The Head earlier this month, made the comments to La Repubblica.
Asked if the UK was a racist country, he said: “Definitely, 100%. It’s like: ‘Oh no, we’re not racist’. But there’s a lot of racism in the country.
“The difficult thing with the UK is, as you said, in Italy it’s a clear problem, whereas trying to explain that Britain is a racist country is the most difficult thing ever.
“They think: ‘No, it’s not. Stormzy you’re successful. Look at London, there’s loads of black people’.
“It’s a more difficult case to fight.”
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Stormzy had backed Labour at the last general election and said Mr Johnson was a “figurehead” whose comments sparked “hate among others”.
Mr Johnson has previously come under fire for offensive language he had used in the past.
He has previously used derogatory terms such as “piccannies” and compared Muslim women to looking like a letter box.
Stormzy said: “If the top person can openly say this racist thing – the ‘piccaninnies’ remarks, ‘watermelon smiles’, comparing Muslim women to a letter box.
“If that is our figurehead, the top man, the leader we have to follow, and he openly says these things, he encourages hate among others.”
Stormzy, real name Michael Omari, said he was unsure whether he would accept an MBE or OBE if he was offered one.
He said it would be difficult to accept the honour “because of the British empire”, but that his mother would be proud if he did.
He said: “It’s got a very dark history. You know, Britain colonised everywhere. It’s something I’d look into and decide in case of.”
His number one single Vossi Bop takes aim at the Government and Boris Johnson with the lyrics: “Rule number two, don’t make the promise / If you can’t keep the deal then just be honest / I can never die I’m Chuck Norris/ F*** the Government and f*** Boris.”
And earlier this week, he argued with Piers Morgan on Twitter after the Good Morning Britain host took issue with him criticising Mr Johnson to a group of children.
Stormzy was talking to young pupils at his old primary school in Thornton Heath, south London, when he was asked why he was not a fan of the Prime Minister.
He replied that Mr Johnson was “a very very bad man”.
Morgan was quick to comment, writing on Twitter: “He shouldn’t have done this, and shouldn’t have been allowed to do this.”
This is misleading. What @stormzy said is there’s indisputable racism in the UK, not that everyone in the UK is racist. A big difference.
And he’s right – there IS racism in the UK. Not as much as there used to be, but it still exists & it needs to be eradicated. https://t.co/YSD6nNGepF
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 22, 2019
As I am the author of the viral interview with @stormzy, here are his actual words from the transcript, as BTW reported in my original piece in @ilvenerdi of @repubblica and then correctly by @guardian, among others
Me: Is Britain still racist today?
Stormzy: “Definitely, 100%”
— Antonello Guerrera (@antoguerrera) December 22, 2019