We look at Half Decent's 'Broken Britain'

Review by Anthony Johns


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Plagued with more forms of mental illness than you’ve had hot dinners, Half Decent has depicted himself, through hip hop lyrics, as a symptom of an unsustainable western culture.


Combining the unstable psychological state with the everyday, his videos present images of a paranoid, claustrophobic Britain, populated with quick n’ easy breeze-block constructions commissioned by the sort of pink faced, grey-suited men usually found glancing over their shoulder getting into a cab outside an endless stream of staple and seedy, stomach-churning pole-dance clubs strung across the country.


Half Decent seems perpetually on the edge of a nervous breakdown, failing a job interview at a Westminster office in his video ‘Broken Britain’. Trying to call his mum outside the building, our sidelined protagonist’s phone stops working before he tries a non- functioning phone booth.


We next see him losing his balance exiting an off-licence near the brutalist Trellick Tower in West London clutching a half-bottle of Smirnoff.


Part of a new underclass of perpetually jobless university graduates having been used as shark-food for a ferociously carnivorous cardboard-cutout university system, Half Decent eloquently shows us what Britain can become after the illusory comfort of substances fades away: an absolute shit-hole.



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