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Potter Payper releases politically-charged new single, ‘Blame Brexit’

The London rapper returns with his first track of 2023

By Joe Goggins

Potter Payper, 2022
'Blame Brexit' kicks off a promising 2023 for Payper. (Photo: Francisco Gomez De Villaboa)

Potter Payper has unveiled a politically-charged new single, ‘Blame Brexit’.

The London rapper kicks off his 2023 with the track, which reflects on his upbringing and background in typically unflinching style. The single is accompanied by an atmospheric video that was directed by Meeks and Frost – you can see it below. 

“I used to get my kicks from Barking Market, but every single time we made a pound we used to half it,” raps the East Londoner on ‘Blame Brexit’, nodding to the powerful sense of community to which he attributes his success. Last year saw the 32-year-old, real name Jamel Bousbaa, cement his rise to the top of the UK rap game, with his Tiggs Da Author collaboration ‘Gangsteritus’ propelled to number 12 on the UK singles chart by its appearance on the soundtrack to the fourth season of Top Boy.

Elsewhere, he launched a BBC Sounds residency, Unlocked with…Potter Payper, to which he welcomed special guests including Stormzy, Snoochie Shy and 0207 Def Jam label presidents Alex and Alec Boateng. In May, he featured on a remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘2Step’, before going on to make his debut at Glastonbury Festival the following month. More new music is expected later this year; his last mixtape, Thanks for Waiting, dropped in October of 2021.

The straight-talking politics of ‘Blame Brexit’ are nothing new for Payper; in an interview with Rolling Stone UK last year, he talked candidly about his time behind bars and how it shaped his worldview. “Once your liberty is taken, you lose yourself,” he explained. “The first time I was taken away from my family and sent to prison in my youth, I don’t know what at that point made me think that when I come out, I can break the law again and again.”

“There was something that outweighed that and I felt hopelessness,” he went on. “Remember, we are in England. Everything should be provided for you by the state. How can a child feel hopeless? And I was a child back then. Remember, poverty breeds crime and, before you know it, you’ve alienated a whole group of society.”