Racial bias in 2019 summed up in two tweets about AJ Tracey and Alex from Glastonbury

Racial bias in 2019 summed up in two tweets about AJ Tracey and Alex from Glastonbury

Alex Mann is the music fan who became an overnight sensation after he made headlines for his impromptu performance with rapper Dave at this year's Glastonbury.

However, some people online are arguing that favourable media coverage of him is an example of racial bias.

The 15-year-old was spotted wearing a Paris Saint-Germain football jersey with ‘Thiago Silva’ written on it – the name of one of Dave’s famous songs.

His rap game impressed Dave, festival goers and the internet, and what followed was viral acclaim that had him appearing on numerous shows, including Good Morning Britain.

While some people are praising the 15-year old for his rapping skills, others are pointing to a prescient double-standard in the way he was received and has been treated in interviews with the media, compared to black artists.

Twitter user @staybalanced_ posted two consecutive videos without comment: The first was an interview with rapper AJ Tracey by Chloe Tilley for the Victoria Derbyshire Show earlier this year, and the second was Mann’s appearance on Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan.

In the first clip, Tilley was criticised after she asked the star about the nature of his music, and “shout outs to gangs” in his songs.

She told an unimpressed Tracey: “It’s almost like a bit of a shout-out to gangs in London – I’m not suggesting you’re advocating gangs – but there does seem to be a lot of, you know, guys hanging out.”

The show host went on to ask: “Is that a conscious message or is that just the scene that you’re in?”

Tracey, who at the time looked taken aback, eventually managed to respond: “All my videos just have my friends in it – we’re just have a fun, good time in my videos.”

In contrast…

The 15-year-old Dave superfan appeared on Good Morning Britain where Piers Morgan lavished him with praise.

“It’s an amazing thing, you know,” Morgan said. “Some people, you get a chance in life and it can go horribly wrong and you’re remembered for it going horribly wrong.

You took your chance and you slayed it, you slayed Glastonbury so I salute you, young Alex, for a brilliant thing.

That’s what the youth of today should be doing more of - taking their chance and slaying it.

There was no mention of gangs – which is often associated with the genres of grime and rap.

Rap is often intersected with the politics of race, and people were once again struck by the stark contrast in the interviews

Others argued that had a black fan gone up on stage, perhaps the praise wouldn't have been so big - and therein lies the problem

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