Beyond the Grenfell Horror 

Rapper Lowkey’s  music video “confronts the culture of power with the power of culture”
By Thomas L Blair 17 September 2017©




The Grenfell Tower tragedy deeply wounded Black London. Rapper Lowkey’s haunting music video Ghosts of Grenfell is a survivor’s litany of people’s anger and betrayal. Scenes of the tower tragedy drive home the true horror of the inferno and its devastating aftermath.

  • At least 80 lives lost.
  • Hundreds of grief-stricken survivors.
  • Childhoods scarred.
  • Pupil’s schooling disrupted.
  • Families destroyed.
  • Dreams of a good life and equality incinerated.

Lowkey, a local resident, raps for “the heroes that generated relief and support”. People videoed in “De Grove” mouth his lament “where are all our friends and neighbours who are still missing”.

Beyond the horror,  Lowkey (born Kareem Dennis), a 25-year old of English and Iraqi descent, lashes out at the “political class, so servile to corporate power”.

 “The blood is on your hands, there’ll be ashes on your grave, like a phoenix we will rise.”

 Moreover, Lowkey raps for a spiritual awakening, a revival of togetherness in the traditional North Kensington haven of London’s Blacks.

In conclusion, Lowkey’s testament on Facebook is a trailer, or end-credit of the music video. This modern African griots’ tale Ghosts of Grenfell signals his hopes for change:

  • “We have completed the music video for Ghosts of Grenfell thanks to the sweat of literally hundreds of people. Much love and respect to all who participated in the process which was not easy or painless on any level”.
  • “We hope the video will contribute in some small but meaningful way to the wider struggle for justice. In attempting to define the narrative and cultivate an ambience welcoming to radical societal shifts we have no choice but to confront the culture of power with the power of culture”.


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“De Grove” is the popular community term for Notting Hill’s Black settlements. Today it is the Carnival Zone visited by millions. However, in the 1950s and 60s good housing was hard to get. Council officials, property owners and landlords blocked their access. This was evident in both the private sale and rental market and publicly provided housing, according to surveys and housing studies (See the UK section in John Rex, “Race and ethnicity in Europe


Official Video GHOSTS OF GRENFELL by Lowkey ft. Mai Khalil-Ahmed

Photo/ Lowkey ft. Mai Khalil- Ahmed/Genius


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