This is a pretty cool exploration of gentrification or as Jaz puts it ‘colonisation’. There’s alot of quotables in here, especially this excerpt from the second verse that we can all relate to
We lost the whole ends, cos now its colonised – oh I mean gentrified, but I’m desensitised, more time I roll my eyes.
Growing up in South London, I’ve seen the gentrification with my own eyes. A lot of places like Brixton, Deptford and Peckham have become unrecognisable over the course of a decade. I’m not saying these places weren’t a bit rough around the edges but imagine being in some parts of Hackney or Tower Hamlets. I observe it as swings and round-a-bouts to be honest because there was a time before we came and settled, others were here who began to take flight and move on. There’s a distinct difference between us though because we tried to assimilate and were shunned from being apart of the society we were settling in to. As Jaz summed it up…
They don’t assimilate, but we accliimatise.
That’s the thing. It’s a tale of two places. We have actually adapted to the fact that they choose not to occupy the same spaces as us. They wish to exist as a seperate entity in a fraction of the same space, whilst defragmenting the fragile make-shift infrastructures built on foundations of leaseholds and council tenancies, as opposed to their power structure of ownership; knocking down the old community centre building -which lost funding and became derelict, and build a high rise exclusive gated community in its place where new residents look down upon the residents of old from their stratospheric balconies, converting what once was a place of refuge and worship into post modern conversions which house architects and hedge fund managers.
Every flag planted in the soil of what was once an underfunded and deprived area, the local authority begin to make the changes long requested by the previous residents as the newcomers come with more spending [unsubsidised] power. They begin to make the area safer, convert a school into an academy, and move the Job Centre somewhere far away from the boom. The corporations move in, the local grocery stores begin closing down and before you know it, an area once revered for being a cultural hot spot is nothing more than a washed out ghost town of its former self with a bunch of boutiques, absentee owners, and above average rate of council tax.
Chill out dude, it’s only a song. Jeeeeze.
I know it is but in order to enjoy it and understand the lament I had to paint the picture…
Directed By Jordan Grant
Originally published on Up In The Ear.