Roots Manuva

Roots Manuva (also known as Rodney Smith) is a rap artist and music producer from Stockwell, south L

Roots first drew major attention in 1999 with his debut album, “Brand New Second Hand”, winning a Mobo Award that year. Since then, the Roots Manuva albums “Run Come Save Me” and “Awfully Deep” – steeped in his trademark downbeat, ragga-style hip-hop – have reached an international audience. With his own label, Banana Klan, he hopes to nurture young local talent. His new album, “Slime and Reason” (Big Dada), is out now.

  • 1 Does art make a difference?
  • Art is the sum of everything that makes us who we are, to the extent of who we can achieve, to attain an attainment of self. There is a painting in every shit that splashes on the bog basin. Art is everything, art is everywhere. Make money from your shit and give it to the poor.

  • 2 Should politics and art mix?
  • Art and politics mix by nature of being and existence. My flower, my caption, my slogan on the wall of Babylon is art and politics. Therefore, we are bedfellows fucking for freedom and light.

  • 3 Is your work for the many or for the few?
  • My work is for everyone. I love this world. If only the world could feel my love, there would be more peace.

  • 4 If you were world leader, what would be your first law?
  • Free weed and MDA for the needy. No more coke, crack or heroin.

  • 5 Who would be your top advisers?
  • Nelson Mandela and Jim Davidson.

  • 6What, if anything, would you censor?
  • Prudishness and sexual suppression.

  • 7 If you had to banish one public figure, who would it be?
  • David Cameron and Boris Johnson have to go. The Tories should be more like Margaret. At least she hated poor, work-shy fools like me. David seems to want my vote.

  • 8 What are the rules that you live by?
  • Judge no one, eat when you can, and never moonie outside Parliament Square.

  • 9 Do you love your country?
  • I love London so much it should be a country. London, love you until you die.

  • 10 Are we all doomed?
  • Life is infinite, as is time. Doom is merely a speck of dust on God’s willy.

This article first appeared in the 01 September 2008 issue of the New Statesman, The truth about GM food