The rappers took to the stage at London’s O2 Arena to perform Headie’s hit single Ain’t It Different, although Stormzy who features on the track didn’t make an appearance.
Instead, Headie replaced his verse to take aim at the Government over the free school meals controversy, while also highlighting coronavirus pandemic key workers and drill music’s disenfranchised roots.
One new lyric included: ‘Team work keeps the dream working. It’s only right we show love to the key workers.’
Referring to footballer Marcus Rashford’s successful and tireless campaign to feed disadvantaged school children, another line stated: ‘The government is saying eat out to help out but won’t help out Rashford when he’s feeding the youths.’
Headie also addressed his previous jail stints and said: ‘What else can a drill youth rap about part from my worst days? You see me on stage but I was in jail for three of my birthdays.’
Tackling systemic racism in the UK, they also rapped: ‘Two Black Brits stand here at the Brits but still we ain’t seen as British.’
Headie and AJ performed in a set designed by Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh and wore clothes from the brand.
Virgil said of the collaboration: ‘Supporting next generation’s talent is a part of my ethos. Watching Headie One build his career in music while being a voice of evolution makes his art practice important in contemporary art.’
It was a particularly iconic moment for drill music which is often portrayed negatively and blamed for fuelling violence in major cities across the country, particularly London.
Headie was nominated for British male but was beaten by rapper J Hus, who wasn’t able to accept his award in person.
The Brit Awards 2021, hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall, is available to watch on ITV Hub.
Brit Awards 2021 winners and nominees
Winner: J Hus
Winner: Dua Lipa
Lianne La Havas
Winner: Little Mix
Young T & Bugsey
Young T & Bugsey
British album with Mastercard
Winner: Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
Celeste – Not Your Muse
J Hus – Big Conspiracy
Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?
Winner: Billie Eilish
Run The Jewels
British single with Mastercard
Winner: Watermelon Sugar – Harry Styles
Rain – AJ Tracey and Aitch ft Tay Keith.
Don’t Need Love – 220 Kid and Gracey
Physical – Dua Lipa
Head & Heart – Joel Corry ft. MNEK
Ain’t It Different – Headie One ft AJ Tracey and Stormzy
Lighter – Nathan Dawe ft KSI
Secrets – Regard and Raye
Rover – S1mba feat DTG
Don’t Rush – Young T & Bugsey ft Headie One
Winner: Taylor Swift
MORE : Brit Awards 2021: Jack Whitehall’s best moments, from Piers Morgan shade to Little Mix baby jokes
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