Monday, 7 November 2011
-Music Videos on my Mind- Toddla T’s ‘Take it Back’
This weekend Barnardo's children's' charity issued a worrying statistic claiming 38% of British adults don't believe that children who get into trouble need to be helped in any way.
The British have never been very comfortable with the idea of childhood. If you're rich enough then you can send your kids away to boarding school, and if you're too poor, then you let them roam the streets in gangs where they can get up to things like underage drinking, shagging and general misbehaviour. I guess you can say that Britain is not a very child-friendly culture. If you really want to be controversial, you can argue Britain does not like its children at all.
Sheffield DJ Toddla T released an album during the height of summer rioting called Watch me Dance. It featured a track titled Take it Back on which Shola Ama and J2K provided the vocals. The video to accompany the song brilliantly taps into the unique way British working-class kids have created their own community which, in the right circumstances, inspires and supports one another without the need of adult intervention. It's a world in which adults are superfluous. At best, grown-ups are nothing more than a pestering inconvenience that just pisses and moans. At worst, adults are a legitimate threat whom needs to be feared.
It's a fun video but there's more subtext to it than you might think. It is saying a lot more about British life than initially meets the eye.