Rizzle Kicks star Jordan Stephens attacks 'misogynistic' and 'homophobic' rap music

The 21-year-old took issue with Kanye West song Clique, but has he forgotten about his own hit single Mama Do The Hump?

Reared on the mean streets of Brighton, their talents polished at the Brit School fame factory, hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks have always traded on their good-time likeability rather than seeking to exude the menace of the old school rappers.

In their latest interview however the pair revealed that they have finally lost patience with stars including Kanye West and the genre's continued reliance on misogynistic and homophobic lyrics.

"I can't listen to hip-hop at the moment … I really struggle," Jordan "Rizzle" Stephens told the BBC. "The stuff I'm hearing in the mainstream... it's overly-misogynistic and it's still homophobic," he added. "It does my head in."

The duo, best known for their infectious party anthem "Mama Do The Hump", have become standard-bearers for an updated hip-hop sensibility in which women and sexual minorities enjoy equal respect – even if some of their own lyrics have been called into question.

However, Stephens said he was nonplussed at the reliance of stars on the use of outdated language. "I don't understand why you'd bother. Think of something more inventive to say. It's a cultural thing that needs to p*** off, basically," he said.

Eminem's latest single "Rap God", released last month, contains references to "fags" and "gay-looking boy". Meanwhile, hip hop tracks and videos such as Nelly's "Tip Drill" – which features the rapper throwing cash at scantily clad dancing women – and Dr Dre's "Bitches Ain't S***" have long enraged feminists for their aggressive misogyny.

But Stephens told the corporation that the women he and musical partner Harley Alexander-Sule knew were no longer prepared to tolerate such sentiments that were still being espoused by top artists.

He said: "I think it's even worse for women. I had an ex-girlfriend who was seriously up on her hip-hop, and I played her this song "Clique" with Jay-Z, Kanye and Big Sean.

"The first lyric is 'I tell a bad bitch do whatever I say'. And she just turned around and said, 'what's that?'"

"I don't think we know any women - smart women, who you'd want to be friends with, that would proclaim themselves as a bad bitch."

Rizzle Kicks grew up in north London. The pair met up again as teenagers in Brighton where both families had moved. They began making music at charity AudioActive before studying at the Brit School, whose alumni include Amy Winehouse, Adele and Leona Lewis.

They were eventually signed by Island Records after releasing a homemade video on YouTube.

Their first album went platinum and they went on to support Ed Sheeran. It emerged that they had consulted lawyers over references to former England captain John Terry in a track on their second album, entitled Lost Generation, while they found themselves at the centre of a media spat with Miley Cyrus after criticising the twerking craze.

Despite their noble sentiments their own lyrics have caused some eyebrows to be raised. "Mama Do The Hump" contains the words: "Yeah lemme touch back down/Slap her on the bum until it comes back round."

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones