Four years after the Grenfell Tower fire, rapper and activist Lowkey revisits the tragic fire that tore through the North Kensington tower block on June 14, 2017 — killing 72 low-income residents of housing owned by real-estate moguls.
LONDON — Four years after the Grenfell Tower fire, rapper and activist Lowkey is drawing attention to the tragic fire that ripped through the North Kensington tower block on June 14, 2017 — killing 72 people in a low-income community.
Lowkey takes aim directly at Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the country’s neoliberal establishment and greedy corporate interests, blaming them for the tragedy and the lack of accountability that followed.
Meanwhile, primarily low-income residents in London’s largely immigrant communities have been saddled with huge bills to replace aesthetic cladding put on their buildings by greedy developers to boost property values and rent. The same type of cladding that caused the deadly inferno at Grenfell.
Thousands across London are still living in buildings covered in this flammable cladding. And despite years of protests and calls for the government to intervene, it has instead put this crisis in the hands of the same major real estate corporations that caused the problem in the first place.
Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera
Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic, political campaigner, and a MintPress video and podcast host.
As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique, and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network, and The Peace and Justice Project founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album Soundtrack To The Struggle 2 featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.
His critically acclaimed music has received millions of streams on Spotify, sold over 25k albums digitally, and garnered over 45 million YouTube views. His independently released album Soundtrack to the Struggle (2011) charted #6 in the UK RnB chart, #9 in the UK Indie chart, #14 in the UK Download chart, and #57 in the UK Albums chart. He was included in MTV Base Best of the Best UK MCs two years in a row. Charting at #10 in 2010 and #7 in 2011.