Blending punk and left-field hip-hop with an incisive political voice, the new single from South London based Wu-Lu is the sound we need for 2021. Appropriately named, “South” is a raw and ready attack on the forces of gentrification that Wu-Lu has seen first hand in the southern boroughs of the capital.
Largely based on growing up in inner city London, it’s a first hand account of witnessing everything you know about your city being broken down, with its opening refrain “I used to live in South London / There’s not much of it left” echoing a sentiment familiar to anyone who’s seen a beloved neighbourhood transformed by the unholy forces of property development and Pret a Manger.
While the track was penned before the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum in 2020, the gritty video from director Denisha Anderson, which features rising rapper and producer Lex Amor, draws parallels between the clear racial element to gentrification and the movement that swept that globe in the summer of last year. Credit to Anderson, who artfully highlights the fact that the track and the Black Lives Matter movement are both the fruits of thoughts and feelings that have always existed, bubbling below the surface.
It’s clear from this assured release that Wu-Lu has a unique ability to blend musical styles, marrying punk aggression, shoegazey walls of sound and off-kilter hip hop to devastating effect, and with so few new UK artists able to tackle such big issues so deftly, you’d be wise to keep an eye out for more from Wu in 2021.
“South” is available to stream on all platforms via Ra-Ra Rok Records on January 20th. Head to his Bandcamp to buy it!