Lyrical lockdown : rappers respond to coronavirus

As cultural institutions and the arts sector struggle to adjust to their new roles during the coronavirus outbreak, one strand is proving particularly resilient : rap music.

Article mis en ligne le 30 mars 2020
dernière modification le 9 avril 2020

par Kader Boufertala
  • Since the outbreak started, artists from the genre have created a series of humorous, popular and informative songs, which range from cautionary tales about hand-washing to a rant by Cardi B about the outbreak being repurposed into a song that entered both the US and UK charts.
  • But some tracks have taken on a more serious public health role as well as entertainment. South London rapper Psychs’s track Spreadin’ is about the pandemic and features lines about the importance of using no-contact greetings instead of traditional handshakes It warns against the hubris of young people who think it will not affect them.

The song, which has more than 275,000 views on YouTube, features lyrics including “wash your hands, don’t touch me, please. Please don’t hug me” and “we can make a handshake using our feet … I’m not trying to catch no virus”.

  • The 18-year-old rapper told the Guardian that the idea to write a song about the outbreak came from his manager. He said : “The first draft was just me rapping about the events that have happened so far. I sent it to a friend who said : ‘If you’re going to do this, it should be an awareness thing.’ So I changed a couple of lines and that’s how we ended up with the song we have today.”