Dave Wins Mercury Prize For His Debut Album Psychodrama

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Dave Wins Mercury Prize For His Debut Album Psychodrama

Rapper Dave has won the Mercury Prize for his debut album, Psychodrama.

A thought-provoking reflection on his upbringing in London, it has been hailed as “the boldest and best British rap album in a generation“.

https://www.bbc.com

The Streatham-born star beat the likes of Foals, Anna Calvi and The 1975 to win the prize, which recognises the best British album of the last year.

Released in March, Psychodrama entered the UK charts at number one and has sold 129,354, copies to date.

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Its lead single, Black, focused on the perception of black people in Britain.

“Black is pain, black is joy, black is evident,” Dave rapped. “It’s working twice as hard as the people you know you’re better than.”

When it was played on BBC Radio 1, the song provoked complaints from a small minority of listeners who said it was “racist against white people”.

Annie Mac spoke in defence of the song, saying: “If you are genuinely offended by the idea of a man talking about the colour of his skin and how it has shaped his identity, then that is a problem for you.”

The rest of the album is framed as vignettes from a year-long course of therapy, as Dave grapples with grief, pain, domestic abuse, depression and his brother’s incarceration.

The 21-year-old’s music is as thoughtful and introspective as his lyrics, dusted with melancholy piano chords and textured beats that set it apart from the grime scene he rose up through.

The rapper previously won an Ivor Novello for his 2018 track Question Time, which railed against Grenfell, drone warfare and NHS cuts.

 

I find it [expletive] that the government is struggling / To care for a person that cares for a person,” said the musician, whose mother is a nurse.

“This is surreal, a massive honour” he said backstage after the ceremony. “I’m glad I’ve been able to repay the faith that people have put into me.”

Controversy

Complementing Dave’s victory, this year’s Mercury Prize ceremony had a chaotic urgency that has been missing from award shows since the heyday of Britpop.

Post-punk band Idles leapt into the crowd, while one of the members of Black Midi ran headfirst into a piano, before attempting, and failing, to perform a somersault.

Dave Wins Mercury Prize For His Debut Album Psychodrama

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