This short Stormzy film titled ‘Gang Signs & Prayers’ explores the realities of youth and the desires of riches.

Taking the same title as the critically acclaimed album, ‘Gang Signs & Prayers’, this short film from Stormzy and director Rollo Jackson tells the story of Thomas, a youth caught up in the gangland cycle. The film switches from different era’s of the story to performances from Stormzy like some sort of grime musical shot on location at La Muralla Roja in Spain. Going with the grime musical feature film thing, this is most definitely the first of its kind.

The short Stormzy film exposes the reality of the lives of black youths growing up on London estates and the desire to have the biggest gold chains, nicest cars and best clothes. Easily influenced youth are easy prey for the gangsters further up the pecking order, without really knowing what they are getting involved with. The reality is they are now caught up in a materialistic cycle that also controls them.

With gang crime at an all time high there is nothing glamorous or honourable about any of it. Standing on street corners all day selling crack and heroin probably doesn’t even net them minimum wage. These kids are willing to kill and be killed all in the name of rep and to get the latest material possessions. But what other options are there? The authorities don’t seem to care, the local councils simply don’t have the funding, anyone who wears a black North Face jacket is gang affiliated according to the police. Poverty is sadly still a serious issue for some minorities and more awareness needs to be raised to tackle it.