Gangstas In Uniform

Joely & Reeality make a timely and vital statement

File under F for fuckeries: The UK working public are being mugged off at untold levels right now, in every single direction. The lies, the greed, the brazen pocket-lining; it’s so out of control the government can’t even keep a chancellor in position for over anything beyond a few weeks and the economy has become a world class joke.

The hedge fund flexing, loophole-loving, self-serving 1 percent are winning and it’s clear they don’t care about the mess – or deaths – they leave behind them. After well over a decade of austerity, millions of hard working UK families are now experiencing both food and fuel poverty as we head into what could well be one of the bleakest winters the UK has experienced in over 40 years.

It’s time to take a stand. Numerous sectors are already saying enough is enough and have either taken, or are planning to take, industrial action: rail workers, the post force, schools, telecoms, refuse collectors, even lawyers have all made statements over the last few months while the Tory party try to convince us that ‘growth’ is the way out of this mess. The rate they’re going, there’ll be nothing left to grow. Including the music industry which is suffering its own crises with rising costs hitting venues, Brexit and fuel costs hitting touring artists and the cost of living making ravers think twice about buying their next event ticket.

We have every right to be angry. We have every right to call out these con artists who are currently at the top. And that’s exactly what Joely and Reeality have done with their forthcoming single Gangstas In Uniform. Dropping October 22 on Danny Styles24 Karat imprint. Loaded with a video that backs up the message, it captures the frustrating zeitgeist in which we find ourselves, you can watch it exclusively on 1 More Thing:

For more background on the legacy of 24 Karat and Danny Styles’ own forthright and frank take on life, music and the importance of realness see this previous interview in the meantime, get to know as 1 More Thing goes full rant mode with Joely and Reeality

The state of things right now!

Reeality: It’s a fucking shambles. I had another 32 but we didn’t need it. We wanted to keep the message straight to the point – they’re just robbing us!

You couldn’t make it up. Like the windfall tax on green energy companies but not fossil fuel energy companies. It’s brazen. Why do you think there isn’t more anger?

Reeality: The whole Covid bullshit took it out of everyone. It’s come off the back of that. No one is surprised at any of the shit we’re fed now.

Joely: I knew during lockdown there’d be fuckeries. How much energy did everyone use when locked in? They’ve been planning this.

Reeality: I literally just read Truss has sacked Kwasi. How many chancellors have we had in the last month?

This is something I’ve always been annoyed about – no accountability among politicians. If someone messes up then they just resign or get sacked and move to another job in parliament. They’re not held accountable at all.  

Joely: I feel used and abused really. It’s horrible. We’re puppets and it feels like we’re out of control.

Reeality: The working people are just being hit so hard. You’re better off being on benefits than you are working now. How fucked up is that?

No one earning a wage should ever be unable to afford the essentials. It’s tragic. How did this come about?

Joely: I messaged him saying ‘do you wanna write a tune that calls out the government?’ He come back to me straight away and we did the tune in a day.

Reeality: He sent me the tune and I was into it. I had the ‘gangsters in uniform’ lyric from an old project. I was in a duo with an MC called G Man and we wrote a lyric about the police at the time but we never really used it. I knew I’d use it at some point and when Joel sent over the tune I wrote some bars and it flew out.

Some of the best things come together and catch the right energy…

Joely: Definitely. The response to it has been interesting, it would be nice to see more people getting political with tracks or playing political tracks in their sets

Reeality: The higher up people are, the more conservative they become – they worry about losing followers, they worry about alienating people. The situation is so fucked up and the media have spun it in such a way that it’s 50/50 – no one can agree so artist don’t want to upset people but I think it’s at the stage where we have to upset people. We asked people to send a video clip for the video but a lot of people just didn’t want to get involved. They didn’t want to align themselves with a strong opinion in case of getting cancelled.

Joely: How can you cancel someone for speaking up against the fuckries though? I’d get involved with something like this if I was invited. I just hope it gets out to people and gets some traction.

Reeality: I wrote it because that’s what I was feeling, and I’m still feeling, but if it gets coverage and gets out there then good, I’m happy with that.

Joely: I think it should be the national anthem to be honest

Reeality: We’re saying we’re not standing for it. People should be more angry about this and say something. This is where we live. We’re being bled dry by leeches. If all of us stood up and said ‘no’ they wouldn’t have the power to stop us. That’s not going to happen….

It would be a dream, though. These problems run deep and go back over decades

Reeality: Yeah. The war in Afghanistan, Tony Blair and Bush. Them man there were the start of the fuckry.

Joely: They’re the root of the issue. All of them.

Brexit too and the deregulation of companies – giving them the green light to treat workers so badly. All greed. No one needs billions.

Reeality: Just as long as I’m living comfortably, maybe a little treat here and there.

Joely: But when you’re scared to put the radiator on, there’s no treats to consider.

Reeality: And they blame wars for it. They’re blaming Putin on this rise but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Joely: I’ve wanted to do a track like this for a long time. And not make it all sad or mournful, even though things are fucking depressing, I want to put it on a proper beat. Something I can play out.

Have you played it out?

Reeality: On October 25 we’ll be doing our first show together on a Code Red radio show so we’ll be playing it then.

Joely: Yeah man, can’t wait. We’ve made six tunes now in the space of a month. We got a good flow between us. I got the beats, he’s got the bars. It trips me out how quickly he come up with these lyrics, too. Insane work ethic! We’ve formed a collective now too

Reeality: Yeah, Legion. Originally the term meant a bunch of demons.

Joely: I love working with MCs. The first tune I properly broke through with was Backhand with Madrush MC and my favourite things I’ve done so far have been with MCs. I love sharing the success and the experience and working with MC is much better than working with another producer, I find.

You’ve both got clear roles. When you’re collaborating with a fellow producer the lines are blurred aren’t they?

Reeality: That’s right. And the beats Joel sends me! Man! They blow my mind and inspire me to write more bars, get straight in the studio and lay them down. Bang. We got loads to come.

What other topics are you hitting with future releases?

Reeality: I’m talking about mental health and tapping into my own experiences with one of the next tracks. That’s a 64 bar – the vocals are with Joel… So it’s over to you bro!

Joely: I’m on it. I’ve been in a different head space recently about drum & bass. Everything sounds so samey, the same tune has been written thousands of times. I want to hit people in a different way with my music. Not just the drum & bland I’m hearing on the radio. I want to do something unique and underground. And when it comes to working with Reeality, something with a message.

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