Slowthai has hit out at cancel culture, saying it kills all art and creativity.
The Northampton rapper, 26, spoke of how he found being in the public eye “suffocating” and admitted it had affected both his confidence and mental health.
Slowthai, real name Tyron Frampton, shot to fame with the release of his debut album Nothing Great About Britain in 2019 but made headlines and suffered criticism after a number of public stunts.
His follow-up album, titled Tyron and due for release this month, reflects on his own mental health and the importance of community.
He told the PA news agency: “People are just so much more critical when you are in the public eye fully.
“It can be suffocating because if you are scared to be yourself because of what people think of you, you won’t be confident in your abilities, you won’t be confident in your personality.
“That’s part of the reason it leads to such problems in mental health because people are so judgemental and quick to rub people out, that people are scared to fully be themselves.
“That is the problem with it. It kills art.
“It kills all creativity because freedom of speech is something that is annihilated by a pack wolves on the internet, or more a pack of hyenas because they are like scavengers.
“They ain’t got nothing more interesting in their life to feed on so they thrive off one thing.
“They will still be talking about it without being advocates for change anyway.”
Slowthai made headlines after he posed with an effigy of Boris Johnson’s severed head at the Mercury Prize ceremony in 2019.
The artist, whose debut was nominated for the prestigious album award, later said his act was merely metaphorical, and said he does not advocate violence.
He also apologised to comedian Katherine Ryan for his “shameful actions” on stage at the NME Awards in 2020.
The rapper, who was awarded the hero of the year prize at the ceremony, had asked her to smell his cologne, referred to her as “baby girl” and also put his arm around her waist in front of the audience.
Slowthai said he was making an effort to improve himself following those incidents.
He said: “No one can control my destiny at the end of the day.
“As long as I am taking the steps to better myself and learn from every mistake – and you have to make mistakes to learn from them.
“People can’t ruin me ever.
“I will never allow it to happen.
“I will just come back stronger.
“If you lose a fight you go and train 10 times harder.
“You train until you break your hands, until you have seen every blip, every mistake you made, and you get it corrected.
“There is nothing no one can bring you down about.
“I have learned from everything.”
Tyron is released on February 12.