Premiere: The Herbaliser – A Sad State of Affairs

If you've been with us from the start (or near then), it's likely you'll be aware of one George The Poet, the Cambridge student, turned polically conscious poet social entrepreneur. We recorded one of our first sessions with him last year and since then he's blown up after winning a £20,000 prize from The Stake to set up a poetry school. Shooting an advert with the BBC for Hackney 2012, appearing on Channel 4 (tonight) and numerous appearances on radio have followed and it's been humbling to watch the reach and impact of his work grow.

He's also started to take his poetry into the sphere of popular music, opening for Nas and Wretch 32 for Adidas's #TakeTheStage and stars in Naughty Boy's debut album. Now, in a more unexpected turn, he's leant his voice to the first single for veteran beatmakers

The Herbaliser's latest album. On A Sad State Of Affairs, George bemoans the current state of Hip-Hop, calling out rappers who lack talent and originality and staking the claim for poetry as its own artform, not music's poorly-regarded warm-up act. His choice to air this grievance over the beats of such seasoned producers is a clever one and being granted such artistic freedom at the end of the track is testament to his talents and perhaps a sign that he won't be having to campaign for poetry's legitimacy for much longer.

We bring you an exclusive on the first official stream of Sad State of Affairs, released in its own right on 29 October. It is also taken from The Herbaliser's There Were Seven, out now on iTunes.


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