This is ‘Government Issue’ by Loki.
It is a stinging attack upon social alienation, inspired by Jimmy Reid’s famous ‘Alienation’ address of 1972. Like Jimmy Reid, Loki’s lyrics lead to a call for Scottish independence.
Loki is a Glasgow rap artist. This track is alongside his new album ‘Edging Gods Out’, which is available ‘here’. Loki is also a member of National Collective. You can listen to the song above.
‘Government Issue’ deals with many of the same themes as Reid’s address: alienation, addiction, class, inequality, hopelessness and, ultimately, empowerment. It draws allusions to Reid’s phrases, recalling the lines “blind economic forces”, “exclusion from the process of decision making”, “lust for money”, “rat race” and “The insidious pressures of life financial/is forces to hold people to suspend their critical faculty.”
This restates some of Jimmy Reid’s most stirring statements:
“Alienation. It is the cry of (those) who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It’s the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies.”
“Reject these attitudes. Reject the values and false morality that underlie these attitudes. A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement. This is how it starts and before you know where you are, you’re a fully paid-up member of the rat-pack.”
A clip of this speech is available ‘here‘.
Some reviews of his music:
“Whether Rapping on the serious or launching into one of his side splittingly funny freestyles Loki is the all round Emcee people dream of being”
The List Magazine
“Loki may be the first great Scottish Rapper, he’s got a hard Glasgow stare and a Southside brogue, raps like an elastic band snapping paperclips into the dark. With a suppleness that faulty recalls Nas or The Streets. Melancholy without being trite, honest without being sentimental. Heart breaking Hip Hop that reveals… ‘Dry your eyes’ for what it is: Candy floss, Soap opera, anachronism”
The Skinny Magazine
“In our Restorative Justice Project we work with juveniles who have gotten in trouble with the law. Most of them are poor, many of them are involved with drugs or alcohol, and most turn to others close to their age for guidance (whether good or bad). Hip Hop is a language that can reach them. Loki’s approach is solid and promising.”
T. Richard Snyder
“Loki is a local hero. Passionate, articulate, with his own, unique voice and a commitment to encouraging others to find their voice. We’re lucky to have him in Scotland – this project and the guy himself deserve our vote. Good luck!”
Janice Forsyth, BBC Scotland, TV, Radio presenter