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Stormzy pledges £10m to fight racial injustice

The UK grime artist will be giving cash to various undisclosed organisations over the next decade. It comes as other artists speak out about the music industry’s racial biases and discrimination.

In a statement released yesterday, Stormzy has promised to donate £10 million to ‘organisations, charities, and movements that are committed to fighting racial inequality, justice reform, and Black empowerment in the UK’ over the next ten years.

He will do so through his record label #MERKY and has promised that his financial support will be a ‘lifetime commitment’. We don’t know which organisations will receive the funds as of yet, but his team has assured the public that they’ll reveal more soon.

This is great news for the UK, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Stormzy is getting involved and helping out. He has a track record of giving out financial donations and aiding charitable causes, including two Cambridge scholarships for black students in 2019, launching a #MERKY deal with Penguin to highlight young authors in 2018, and publicly calling out the UK government on its poor handling of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

#MERKY’s newly announced financial aid is a response to ‘the uncomfortable truth that our country continuously fails to recognise and admit that Black people in the UK have been at a constant disadvantage in every aspect of life’. Stormzy continues to say that ‘we have to fight against the odds of a racist system designed for us to fail before we are even born. Black people have been playing on an uneven field for far too long and this pledge is a continuation in the fight to finally try and even it.’

Other artists have also expressed frustration at the societal racism that is still prevalent throughout the industry. Gucci Mane stated on Twitter in a now deleted tweet that he is to leave Atlantic Records in July, describing them as ‘polite racist’. H.E.R released a song titled ‘I Can’t Breathe’ as a response and tribute to the death of George Floyd, and Tyler The Creator’s criticisms of the term ‘urban’ all the way back in early 2019 are only now being addressed and remedied.

Creators and musicians speaking out about the racial injustices and biases that still permeate our everyday lives is nothing new. George Floyd’s untimely death and the subsequent worldwide outrage has finally pushed industry leaders and big companies to do something meaningful to tackle the issue. Stormzy has spoken out against government for years and his latest pledge will be good news for the UK charities that are making a difference.

There’s a lot more that needs to be done, but the world’s response in recent weeks is a start. Plus, this is a great reminder to go listen to ‘Vossi Bop’, an absolute banger that insults our current prime minister in wonderfully blunt fashion.