- Title: British Hip Hop and Corbyn - an unlikely election pair?
- Date: 6th June 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) GRIME4CORBYN SPOKESPERSON, SOFIA, SAYING: "So they never have voted before because they've never felt like there's a politician who they can vote for. They've never felt like there's a politician who is worth turning out to vote for. And for the first time they feel like there is."
- Embargoed: 20th June 2017 21:50
- Keywords: election Turnout Youth Vote Labour Britain Hip Hop Grime Jeremy Corbyn
- Location: LONDON / BRADFORD / BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON / BRADFORD / BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Government/Politics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0076K563IF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Grime, British music's answer to underground Hip Hop, has become the unlikely ally of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of UK opposition Labour party.
Six weeks ago, when Prime Minister Theresa May called for an election on June 8, the polls and the pundits all predicted a massive landslide for May and possibly even the end of the Labour party.
With just over a day to go until Britain votes, according to some polls Corbyn lags just a few percentage points behind the Prime Minister, something considered improbable at the start of the campaign.
Grime4Corbyn, a collective of young activists using social media to promote their cause, have been campaigning for young people to register to vote.
In a campaign where May has been criticised for sticking to slogans and failing to engage personally with voters, young people at an event in North London said they felt the Labour leader appealed to them like no other politician before him.
Many will be voting for the first time. London Hughes says it is Corbyn who has inspired her to do so.
"He's upsetting the establishment, he's going against the grain, he's doing everything that... in my life, I'm 28 next week, I have never seen a politician in my life do the things that Corbyn has done and say the things that Corbyn has said," said Hughes.
"I don't think young people are buying these little robotic, polished 'leaders' that we've had so far. The thing about Corbyn is that he knows how to listen. He knows how to actually speak for those of us who have never had a voice before. So yeah, he's a different kind of leader, but he's the kind of leader we need right now," said Sofia, a spokesperson from Grime4Corbyn.
For many people Grime is counterculture, born from the council estates of London. British actor Femi Oyeniran sees similarities in the development of the genre and the meteoric political rise of Corbyn.
"They're both maligned, they both rose out of the ashes and even Jeremy Corbyn was widely marked and derided in the mainstream press up until this point," Oyeniran told Reuters.
Since the election was called, more than a million under-25s have registered to vote.
18-year-old Dylan-Jay Beckford will be voting in his first election.
"Other party leaders I haven't been too interested, but Corbyn really seems genuine and it's like he is actually pushing the young people to push their opinions," he said.
"What Corbyn focuses on, and in his politics who he cares about, who he shows he cares about, and he cares about the sort of people who listen to Grime. And so there's a direct link right there because people... people are disillusioned and angry with the government," said 23-year-old Grime MC, Luciferian.
Sofia thinks Corbyn's approach is the answer to young voters previously turned off by British politics.
"They've never felt like there's a politician who they can vote for. They've never felt like there's a politician who its worth turning out to vote for. And for the first time they feel like there is," she said.
According to Ipsos Mori, turnout among young people between the ages of 18 and 24 was 43 percent in May 2015.
68-year-old Corbyn needs a high youth turnout from the under 25s to win the election on June 8.
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