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Musicians & tQ Writers On Anti-Fascist Anthems
Luke Turner , October 4th, 2016 08:32

Featuring contributions from Ben Durutti, Penny Rimbaud, Bobby Barry, Jeremy Allen, Ben Myers, Kevin McCaighy, Stewart Smith, Neil Cooper, Matt Evans, Tony F Wilson, Leo Chadburn, Emily Mackay, David Bennun, Phil Harrison, Arnold De Boer, Joel McIver, Russell Cuzner, Jeremy Bolm, John Doran, TV Smith, James Sherry, Jonathan Meades, Tristan Bath, JR Moores, Julian Marszalek, Captain Sensible, Andy Moor, Christine Casey, Nic Bullen and Stewart Lee


Credit To The Nation - ‘Call It What You Want’

History and harsh critics alike may had judged Matty Hanson as being naive and idealistic, but what is the point of youth if naiveté and idealism can’t be explored and exercised to the fullest? As MC Fusion, teenage leader of Credit To The Nation (essentially Hanson flanked by two gloriously straight-faced windmilling dancers, Tyrone and Kelvin ), he pushed an anti-racist/anti-sexist/anti-homophobic agenda via a smartly executed mix of hip-hop and swing beat with rock stylings which linked back to members of anarcho punks Chumbawamba, who helped nurture his early career.

Credit’s key single, 1993’s ‘Call It What You Want’, layered Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ guitar riff over the barrage of noise lifted from Public Enemy’s ‘Welcome to The Terrordome’, while showcasing a dextrous and self-assured lyrical flow. Hanson unapologetically rapped in his Brummie accent at a time when G-funk stylings were the dominant tone in hip-hop, and was unafraid to preach the truth as he saw at as a black teenager growing up in England at a time when the far-right were on the rise again. Seeing him perform throughout 1993 and 1994 – including to ten thousand people at a rain-lashed Anti-Fascist Action event in Newcastle, numerous major festivals and a tour support with the Manic Street Preachers – was never less than thrilling. The fearlessness required by a young black kid to stand up in front of audiences that were 99% white (and often rap-sceptic), while also critiquing the materialism and sexism of the genre itself, should not be underestimated. ‘Call It What You Want’ is a classic of street-level, rebel music.
Ben Myers