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Tzu is a Belfast / Mancunian rapper that transcends genre to emit a raw poetic power. On a volcanic scale when heard live!

His song ‘The Bridge’ should be a hit but no commercial outfit will dare to promote this revolutionary metaphor of human division because its too in tune the zeitgeist of those young people who want to move on from ‘The Troubles’ and a bunch of politicians whose take on democracy is noting but insulation for the blood letting of neo-liberal corporate agendas. To do this we need solidarity. And to achieve  solidarity we need to move on the internalised oppression that keeps us divided as people. And no better example than Northern Ireland.

“The Bridge was the dividing line between us and them”

He talks about an “ill tempered stalemate” in Northern Ireland. The deep effects of the troubles  on those young people who had to grow up through them needs to be acknowledged and aired in all its gory detail and language – which is what Tzu sets out to do. Using the idiom of ganzsta rap he can articulate difficult feelings like vengeance. But he can use other idioms as well and reggae alliances and a background of traditional Irish music are also evident, but any nostalgia is not.

He breaks through the deadening effect of a political ‘settlement’ that is not backed up by any cultural creative process that deals with what individuals have been through is just going to bury the trouble to fester into the future. A last track on this CD deals with his childhood memory of seeing hooded figures burst into a house get someone for a knee-capping … its just too close to what’s going down in Libya as I write.

This man has the guts and courage to communicate what is most important. He shows music can be a tool to articulate difficult feelings and bring an individual experience into a politicised public speech. He’s enough of an artist to speak universally; even if the stories are from Belfast his message goes out to all people struggling to recover from harsh oppression

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