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Agitprop Rap? "Ill Manors" and the Impotent Indifference of Social Protest

Mera, M. (2015). Agitprop Rap? "Ill Manors" and the Impotent Indifference of Social Protest. In: Miller, T. (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture. (pp. 268-281). New York, USA: Routledge.


This chapter analyses the content and impact of Plan B’s protest song "Ill Manors" which was composed in response to the 2011 English Riots. I argue that, notwithstanding the musical and lyrical brilliance of the song, its political agenda was limited because of the complex socioeconomic climate into which it emerged. By aligning Žižek’s notion of post-politics with Bauman’s concept of the underclass as collateral casualties of consumerism, I investigate how the vestiges of political protest could be seen to be assimilated by liberal capitalist ideology. This chapter shows how articulate musical rage followed a series of inarticulate violent acts formed in an age of political indifference.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Companion to Global Popular Culture on 11/12/2014, available online:
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
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