From top: Hot Press 2019 Annual; instagram post from 2017
…Yesterday, I read many powerful testimonies about the impact of racism, both overt and casual. It is something that has no place in any civilised society and I have no hesitation in condemning it in every respect. Unequivocally, black lives, and how they are lived, whether in Ireland or across the world, matter deeply. Never for a second, in my entire life, have I felt anything different.
However, on the basis of the feelings of genuine hurt it has aroused, then I clearly got it wrong in the original opinion piece – for which I apologise.
In particular, the article – and the Hot Press cover story on [Ringsend rap duo] Versatile back in 2018 – were both published long before a photo was brought to our attention of a member of Versatile at a party dressed in blackface, alongside someone clearly posing as Eazy-E of NWA – the photo was taken before they started to become a phenomenon.
Whatever way you look at it, the photograph puts accusations of racism in Versatile’s lyrics into a very different light. Clearly they do have a case to answer.
If we been aware of that photograph, would my opinion piece have been written in the same way in 2019? No.
Stuart Clark, deputy editor of Hot Press [more at link below]
Previously: Straight Outta Conleth’s