Krept and Konan: We Are England – 9 June 2021 – 9/6/2021 – Wednesday – BBC

As we emerge into the sunlight from the long shadow of lockdown, the UEFA Euros Tournament in June is one of the world’s most highly anticipated sporting events. And, with the final on July 11th taking place on the hallowed turf of Wembley, football really is coming home this summer.

In We Are England, Krept and Konan, two of the UK’s most talented and successful rap artists, are setting out to mark what is sure to be a huge shared cultural moment by making a track to celebrate the England football team. But first they need to investigate what Englishness actually means in 2021. It’s never been a simple question for those of non-white British heritage, but it’s a question they’ll need to tackle if they are going to create an authentic track to celebrate the national squad.

Because instead of the traditional cheesy sing-along, featuring a former soap actor or long-retired left-back, Krept and Konan are going to create an anthem for our times: representing the modern diversity and forward-looking culture in which where our chart-topping rap stars and the young stars of the England team are cut from the same cloth. Rap culture is the culture of young Britain, and today’s top tier teams now move to a whole different beat than they did when the Three Lions anthem of Euros 96 had them tapping their toes in the changing rooms and their fans chanting on the terraces. The lifestyle, attitude, slang and swagger of rap culture is replicated in the national football team – itself now one of the youngest and most diverse it has ever been – and many of the country’s biggest rappers came up honing their football skills and their rap lyrics on our city streets and in the ‘cages’ of the UK’s estates, just as top ballers grew up surrounded by hip hop culture, looking up to rap stars.

So if they’re going to create a track to celebrate the pride of a new nation, it’s these stories that Krept & Konan want to tell, and this bold, aspirational culture they want to reflect. On their journey into exploring national identity they hit the road, striking out beyond the streets of the capital as they get to know the England squad meeting players including Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings and West Ham’s Declan Rice as well as retired Lioness legend, Eni Aluko. They also seek advice from fellow artists including chart-topping Manchester rapper Aitch who they meet at Old Trafford, and West London rapper Big Zuu as they watch some football anthems from days gone by to see just how much our national culture has changed. They also go to St George’s Park, home of the England team, where they get an exclusive audience with England manager Gareth Southgate to find out what ingredients he’d like to see making it into the final song.

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