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article imageWe Are Not A United Kingdom— We need change not 'Independence' Special

By Lesley Lanir     Apr 8, 2014 in Entertainment
Glasgow - Danny Quinn, known as Scottish Hip Hop emcee, Wee D, continues his chat with discussing the video, ‘We Are Not A United Kingdom’, produced by Omar Al-Zidjali of Redtree pictures. Danny explains why this piece is not only about Scotland's future.
In a previous article, Danny Quinn, better known as emcee, Wee D, talked about Hip Hop and his reasons for using and defending this frequently misunderstood musical genre.
The conversation continues with Danny discussing in more details his video, 'We Are Not A United Kingdom' and his choice of direction, topic and tone for his video and why the topics in this Hip Hop polemic are not only directed at the future of Scotland.
How did you come to release 'We Are Not A United Kingdom'?
This video came about with the help of an extremely talented and innovative producer called Omar Al-Zidjali of Redtree films, a film division operating exclusively under KGZ Entertainment. Omar is one of people in my small circle of musical associates who continues to push and inspire me creatively.
Omar had recently spoken to me about an idea he’d had, a one-shot spoken word poetry video called, ‘We Are Not A United Kingdom’. We had spoken briefly about it and determined that what we would like to do is to stay clear of the political ambiguity surrounding independence and Scotland’s future in the UK and focus on other important issues which are globally significant: suicide, homophobia, war, famine, disease, hate crime, misogyny, substance addiction and so on.
'We Are Not A United Kingdom' was originally agreed to be 4-5 minutes long. When we decided on the length, even then I feared it may be difficult to write and memorise a piece like this in the short timescale which we had.
How did you feel when you were writing 'We Are Not A United Kingdom'?
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Danny Quinn - Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Kerr Armstrong
When I started writing, I felt anger, sadness, pity, passion - a range of exploding emotions and yet I comfortably constructed seven minutes worth of material. Although, in all honesty, I could have carried on all day with it.
Can you say something about the subject of 'We Are Not A United Kingdom'?
While Scotland and England are squabbling over oil, taxes and land there are numerous issues that we should be addressing other than trying to line our own pockets.
Every day people are killed, raped, starved, contaminated, bullied, fraudulently incarcerated and/or tortured by the negligent hands of an ignorant government.
What both Omar and I wanted to do was show Hip Hop in its rawest form, no beats, no props; no special video effects - just a lone voice speaking.
What does this lone voice represent? What is it speaking for or against?
This voice is not just for those living in the UK but for the millions of people worldwide who have the same problems in common. It’s for those who are denied their legal obligations; for those whose lives are put at risk by those who they should trust; for those whose only escape is to surrender the greatest gift anyone could ever have given them, life…usually by their own means.
Danny Quinn - We Are Not A United Kingdom
Danny Quinn - We Are Not A United Kingdom
Omar Al-Zidjali - Red Tree Films
So is this video about Scotland's need to be independent or the referendum?
Contrary to what some may think, 'We Are Not A United Kingdom' is by no means a propaganda effort for an independent Scotland - quite the opposite. The project efficiently highlights the need for a better partnership: A better partnership between political professionals, a better partnership between authorities and a better partnership between us, the everyday people of the earth who are the ones that are truly capable of making a difference.
So what encouraged you to make this video?
There is a terrific and inspiring documentary on YouTube called The Bullying Experiment which demonstrates how far people will go to avoid conflict, even if another person is in serious danger, due to our apprehension to tackle authority; the video does bring out a shameful side to humanity. All of these factors, from the traumatic stories on the news to what I witness in everyday life fueled the inspiration behind 'We Are Not A United Kingdom'.
What do you hope to achieve with this video?
What I hope to achieve with 'We Are Not A United Kingdom' is to send a strong message that we need to change; change in the way we conduct ourselves; change in the way we look at the homeless and those with addiction troubles; change in our approach to racism and homosexuality.
We are in 2014, equality should be at the forefront of our minds.
Do I think that the video will change the world? Convince the British Prime Minister David Cameron to pull his socks up for a moment? No, I don’t. But if just one person stops, takes a few minutes to listen and takes in what I’m saying and maybe sees what I see, that much like the idea of ‘Scottish Hip Hop’ we are a living in an oxymoron — we are stuck in a continuous contradiction of ourselves and our beliefs. If one person could just be generous, treat others equally, have some humility — then that would be good enough for me.
Danny continues his conversations with Digital Journal and moves on to talk in the next article about why he is "firmly in the Better Together camp" meaning 'no' to Scottish independence and his new free EP, 'Damage Control', coming out soon on Subfriction records.
Danny Quinn  Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Danny Quinn, Hip Hop emcee Wee D
Victoria Black
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