Performers against street crime

Almost a year after London-based Grime artist Tinie Tempah released his single, ‘Put the Knives and Guns Down‘ – co-written with the father of 15-year-old knife crime victim Kiyan Prince – still teenagers are losing their lives, it seems, every week or so.

But the theme of Tinie’s release was, like the horror it highlighted, not merely a passing trend, nor a ploy to pull in the fans. During the Saturday leg of the video shoot for new single ‘Tears’ in Camberwell, 19-year-old Tinie, who prefers to be called an artist rather than MC, took time out to share his thoughts about the recent spate of ‘gang’ crime, the effect media coverage has on the situation, his views on why teenagers get pulled into a life of street crime, and how he’s stayed out of it.

Tinie was joined on set by 18-year-old vocalist Clea, who sings on the track, and also Adam Deacon and Femi Qyeniran, who played Moony and Jay in 2006’s Kidulthood – a film very much about street culture – who both had cameos in Tinie’s music video. (A sequel to ‘Kidulthood,’ ‘Adulthood,’ is set for release in June – with Moony, who carried a flick knife in the first film, one of the only characters taking the straight and narrow six years on). And like Tinie, Clea, Femi and Adam all had much to say about the culture of street weapons that appears – if the media’s portrayal is correct – to dominate inner-city streets.

Interviews with all four performers will be posted on the Truth About Street Weapons blog site soon.


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