At the 2020 Brit Awards, Dave added a hard-hitting verse onto the end of his performance of “Black”. After performing the track/race history lesson at a piano, the rapper rose to add: “It is racist whether or not it feels racist. / The truth is our prime minister’s a real racist.”
As well as Boris Johnson, the additional verse namechecks a variety of contemporary issues that disproportionately affect black and working class British communities, such as Grenfell and Windrush: “Grenfell victims still need accomodation, and we still need support for the Windrush generation.”
The British media’s treatment of Meghan Markle in comparison with Kate Middleton is also put under the spotlight, along with a tribute to Jack Merritt, the prison rehabilitation worker killed in the London Bridge terror attack in November 2019.
In the spirit of the original song, however, the verse also includes a more positive (or at least hopeful) message. This is a kind of call to action: for “unity”, “equal opportunities”, “no more immunity”, and “more conservation”, among other key messages.
Dave also took home the prize for album of the year at this year’s Brits, for his debut album Psychodrama, while Stormzy won in the Male Solo Artist category, along with Tyler, the Creator and Billie Eilish in the International Male/Female categories.
Watch Dave’s performance of “Black” at the awards show in full below.