Idris Elba has shared a new single, demanding the UK government to take more concrete action to ban ‘zombie knives’ and machetes.
The new track, titled ‘Knives Down’, sees the actor put pressure on politicians in the UK to crack down on the number of knife-related crimes across the country, in a bid to reduce the number of young people losing their lives.
Speaking with the BBC, he also accused politicians of not giving the issue “the focus it deserves”.
Zombie knives are defined as weapons having “a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting they are used for violence”. They were added to a list of prohibited offensive weapons in 2016, but criticism still followed, as the sale of the knives still exists online.
Featuring DB Maz and produced by Fraser T Smith and FaNaTiX, ‘Knives Down’ features hard-hitting lyrics which urge Parliament to take urgent action, more so than ever before.
“My guy, you don’t look fly with the samurai and its blood dirty/ Eyes cry in the neighbourhood when the blood spills when they die early,” read the opening lyrics. Check out the full track below.
The song comes as part of Elba’s ‘Don’t Stop Your Future’ campaign, which works alongside local communities and famous brands to tackle serious violence in the UK.
As well as the song, clothes have also been displayed in London’s Parliament Square today (January 8), containing the attire of victims of knife crime. This has been done in the hopes of providing a visual representation of the cost of knife crime to MPs.
“[I] can’t stay silent as young lives are lost to brutal and heartless crimes,” the Luther actor told the outlet, discussing the motivation behind the campaign.
According to the BBC report, the government said it remains “committed to further intervention measures” and is giving “tougher sentences” to those carrying the weapons. Similarly, last August Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled plans to give police extra powers to seize machetes and zombie knives.
Despite this, Patrick Green from the Ben Kinsella Trust claimed more action is needed. “Four months have passed since we were promised the legislation we so desperately need to ban these weapons, yet the Bill has only just started its agonisingly slow journey through Parliament,” he said.
Responding, a government spokesperson told the outlet: “Knife crime tears families apart, and we know more needs to be done. Though hospital admissions for assault by a sharp object have fallen by 25 per cent across England and Wales, we remain committed to further intervention measures.
“Through our Criminal Justice Bill, police will be given new powers to seize, retain and destroy knives found on private properties that are likely to be connected with unlawful violence.”
‘Knives Down’ isn’t the first time that Elba has gotten involved in the music world.
Previously, the actor has released music in the form of collaborations, including work with James Blake and Jay-Z. Back in 2019, he also provided guest vocals to Wiley’s hit track ‘Boasty’.
More recently, however, it was confirmed that Elba features on the original soundtrack for Cyberpunk 2077‘s Phantom Liberty expansion, contributing his unreleased tracks to make up a whole new radio station in the game.
In other Idris Elba news, last October the actor revealed he had been going to therapy for the last year after forming some “unhealthy habits” to do with his work schedule.