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UK rapper Stormzy gives political Glastonbury performance with Banksy-designed stab-proof vest

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UK rapper Stormzy gives political Glastonbury performance with Banksy-designed stab-proof vest
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A stab-proof vest, emblazoned with a Union Jack and worn by British rapper Stormzy during his history-making performance at the Glastonbury Music Festival, made waves in the UK on Sunday.

Stormzy, the first black British solo performer to headline at the famous festival, delivered a politically charged show addressing the inequalities he said were faced by young black people in urban Britain.

The stab-vest, as well as crime stats appearing on screens as he took the stage, were references to increased levels of knife crime in London, where the 25-year-old rapper was born, and other British cities.

The vest was designed by artist Banksy, Stormzy said on his official Instagram account.

"Last night I headlined Glastonbury in a stab-proof vest custom made by the greatest, most iconic living artist on planet earth, the one and only BANKSY", Stormzy wrote.

View this post on Instagram

Last night I headlined Glastonbury in a stab-proof vest custom made by the greatest, most iconic living artist on planet earth, the one and only BANKSY. I opened my set with words of encouragement from my hero and ultimate inspiration and the greatest rapper to ever grace planet Earth Jay-Z. I got to sing with the most incredible and legendary man I know - Chris Martin - a man who’s genius I am so in awe of that it makes me go to studio and try to emulate him. Raleigh Ritchie - one of our country’s greatest musical talents thank you my brother. Dave & Fredo - I love you my brothers, UK’s finest rappers, thank you from my heart for helping me light up the stage and making one of the most beautiful moments our culture has seen. Thank you to my lil brother @djtiiny theres no way in hell I could do this without you you have my back always and I’m so proud of you - you are my brother in arms we go to war together I appreciate you. To Bronski, Amber, Misty, Trev, Kojo, Tim, James, Sam & my whole tour/creative/production team I appreciate you all and I’m forever grateful. To my band and to my amazing choir who have worked tireless and given this their everything all whilst sounding flawless, effortless and amazing I appreciate you all very much I can’t do this without you. Massive thank yous to: the W.A.R dance crew you lot are now my brothers thank you for bringing a God-sent energy that I truly needed. To Princess K - you are a superstar, the crowd went absolutely crazy for you and I’m so excited to watch you take the world by storm. To Ballet Black, the grace, beauty and feeling you blessed the world with yesterday was felt in the hearts of millions. To Mac, Trizzy, Bobby, C1, Flipz my BikeStormz family I’m so happy the world got to see you lots talent and skills - you just showed the world about bikelife - be very fucking proud. To Big TJ & James for getting me ready and prepared for the energy this set would need. To the whole of my #MERKY team - my family who hold me down and have my back till the end. THANK YOU GUYS, THANK YOU GOD. I am proud of myself and I feel blessed and fulfilled and purposeful. Your Glastonbury 2019 headliner, over and out. 🎤❤️

A post shared by @ stormzy on

Banksy, the anonymous street artist from Bristol, 25 miles from the festival in southwest England, said: "I made a customised stab-proof vest and thought - who could possibly wear this?"

Stormzy's performance was hailed as a defining moment for British rap by tens of thousands of fans, political leaders and other artists, including previous Glastonbury headliners Ed Sheeran and Adele.

"Stormzy just monumentally headlined Glastonbury in his own right with one album!!," Adele said.

The Labour leader and leader of the British opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, who gave a speech at Glastonbury in 2017, said the performance was "political and iconic".

"It won't just go down in Glastonbury history - it'll go down in our country's cultural history," Corbyn said.

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