The theme of this playlist is music to fight evil, but how do you really fight something as intangible and pervasive as ill will and immorality? Sure, you can seek out individuals who commit acts of evil but that seldom solves the problem. The answer is to eradicate the circumstances in which evil flourishes: poverty, ignorance and indignity.
It's easier said than done, which is why the fight goes on. And why most protest songs concern themselves with the symptoms of the problem rather than the problem itself. But Get Better by Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip takes a wider and more positive outlook, challenging young people to rise above their circumstances rather than be consumed by them.
In the wrong hands, this is a song that would have fallen horribly flat - anyone who's ever given advice to a teenager will know the kind of welcome it is likely to receive. But the bushy-bearded Scroobius Pip, a poet and rapper with a devilish sense of humour, relentless work ethic and ever-growing cult following, carefully sidesteps patronising his audience right from the start, breaking the ice with a bit of double entendre. "Imagine a song, that really reached out and touched kids," he says, before name-checking one of Britain's most salivating, muck-raking tabloids: "not in a Daily Mail way..."
Best of all, to sweeten the pill of advice from your elders and betters, Pip's charismatic rhyming is backed by a chorus of Dan's cheerful backing vocals, pulsing layers of electronica and a slowly building beat. Public information that makes you want to get up and dance.
The most direct message here to young people is that it's not a great idea to have a baby when you're barely an adult yourself. The subtext is that you should not be in such a hurry to conform to the expectations of a society that expects nothing more from you than binge drinking, street brawling and teenage pregnancy. "There are other choices," advises Pip, citing Billy Bragg's brilliant To Have and To Have Not: "Like Billy says, whether you have or you have not wealth, the system might fail you, but don't fail yourself".
You can learn more about Scroobius Pip here
You can learn more about Dan Le Sac here:
About the curator
After graduating from the University of Keele in England with a degree in Politics and American Studies, Jon worked as editor of a music and entertainment magazine before spending several years as a freelance writer and, with the advent of the internet, a website designer, developer and consultant. He lives in Reading, home to one of the world's most famous and long-running music festivals, which he has attended every year since 1992.