Rapper, activist and poet Lowkey has released a new song/ video in tribute to the victims of the Grenfell fire. Titled ‘Ghosts of Grenfell’, the sees the outspoken artist dissect the events of the 14th of June and their aftermath, both paying homage to the residents of the tower and taking the local council and British government to task over their response to the fire.
The video for the song features local residents and survivors of the fire and was filmed in the surrounding area, the burnt-out remnants of the tower block itself looming large in the background of many shots. The residents themselves deliver Lowkey’s lyrics to the camera, guiding the viewer around the area of Knightsbridge and Chelsea where the fire took place.
The song questions society’s response to the fire, calling for official figures on the number of missing and dead and proper compensation for the survivors of the fire. Lowkey hones in on the story of Yasin, his friend who died in the fire. Lowkey himself lives in a neighbouring tower-block to Grenfell.
Speaking about the video on Facebook ahead of its release today, Lowkey said “we have completed the music video for ‘Ghosts of Grenfell’ thanks to the sweat of literally hundreds of people. Much love and respect to all who participated in the process which was not easy or painless on any level. The video will be out very soon and we hope it will contribute in some small but meaningful way to the wider struggle for justice. In attempting to define the narrative and cultivate an ambience welcoming to radical societal shifts we have no choice but to confront the culture of power with the power of culture.”
The song concludes with an appeal to the council of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, asking for information about residents that are still missing following the fire. These final minutes drive home how little has been done to aid the victims of the fire in the last two months. No families have been permanently re-housed, the former residents of Grenfell have only received 30% of the money donated to them, and hundreds of former residents have been referred to mental health services due to the trauma of the fire and the difficulties they’ve faced since losing their homes. To add insult to injury, earlier this month it was announced that the government enquiry wouldn’t look into the broader questions on social housing surrounding the fire. Watch the video for ‘Ghosts of Grenfell’ above.