Open Conversation & Mark Duggan

Album: Growing Over Life (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • This song references the Tottenham man, whose shooting by police was a major cause of the 2011 England riots.

    According to the Metropolitan Police, Mark Duggan was a member of a gang known for violence and drug dealing, a claim which has been disputed by his family and friends. On August 4, 2011 police officers attempted to arrest Duggan on suspicion of planning an attack. Believing he was in possession of a handgun, the police fired twice, hitting Duggan in the biceps and chest, killing him. The circumstances of Duggan's killing sparked riots in Tottenham, which escalated across London and other English cities.

    A public inquest concluded that Duggan's death was a lawful killing.
  • Speaking to BBC Radio about the track, Wretch 32 said:

    "I grew up with him so it's not a news story; for me that was a real phone call that Mark had been killed - I didn't have to see it on the news, it was real.

    To some people, you see the news or you read Mark Duggan was a gangster and he deserved to die. That's what the news told you, so when you hear police killed him, you think, 'Okay that's what's supposed to happen'. But in actual fact, he wasn't a gangster and the reality was that it didn't happen that way.

    It's important and if someone like myself doesn't speak on it, then who will? Entertainers and artists you have to represent something, you can never veer too far from where you've come from."

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