Music

“I’m So Heartbroken”: Fans Are Disappointed By Slowthai’s Shocking Behaviour At NME Awards

While accepting 'Hero Of The Year', Slowthai aggressively hit on co-host Katherine Ryan, and then got into a physical fight with an audience member who called him out on it.

Slowthai at 2020 NME Awards

UK rapper Slowthai should’ve left the 2020 NME Awards with his head held high, taking home the Hero Of The Year award off the back of last year’s Nothing Great About Britain, his searing, funny and innovative debut album.

But his set of off-colour behaviour on-stage — including physical altercations and lewd comments towards a female host — have overshadowed his success, with die-hard fans wondering whether the rapper’s ruined his career.

The 25 year old was accepting the award when he began hitting on comedian and presenter Katherine Ryan, at one point grabbing her and telling her to smell his cologne.

Another host can be heard yelling, “What is going on? Mura Masa come up onto the stage and perform something!”. He then begins to ‘shhh’ both presenters when Ryan rebukes him, and he later says she wants him to “tend to her flower”.

In response, Ryan begins mocking him by calling him the “hottest guy I’ve ever seen” and that “she is so thirsty for his cock”, prompting laughs from the audience.

Later, Slowthai got in an altercation with a member of the crowd who heckled to call him a misogynist during his acceptance speech.

The 25-year old rapper says “thank you for ruining my speech” before dropping the mike onto the audience: the man soon lobs it back on stage. Slowthai throws his sparkling wine down and jumps into the crowd to fight, and is pulled back then escorted away by security. NME has confirmed he was removed from the awards.

After the awards, Twitter users bemoaned the moment after audience-recorded footage went viral, with many describing Slowthai’s behaviour towards Ryan as sexual harassment.

In response to one comment, Ryan downplayed the incident, writing that Slowthai “didn’t make me uncomfortable” and that she felt in control of the situation.

“This is why we need women in positions of power,” she wrote. “I knew he had lost from the moment he opened his mouth like any heckler coming up against a COMIC – not a woman – a COMIC. I was operating 2/10. What a sweet boy. I defused it. Tonight was fun!”

Regardless, many of Slowthai’s fans (and, of course, detractors) remained disappointed by the rapper’s behaviour, taking to Twitter to express it. “I know his persona is shithouser,” wrote journalist Moya Lothian-Mclean, “but there’s a line and he fully crossed it.”

Slowthai is an incendiary figure in the UK, as his anti-Tory and anti-monarchy views are splayed across Nothing Great About Britain, including a moment where he calls Queen Elizabeth a “cunt”. At last year’s Mercury Prize, he performed ‘Doorman’ with a model of Boris Johnson’s decapitated head, yelling out “Fuck Boris!” while holding it at song’s end. Predictably, he was lambasted by the UK’s conservative media and politicians, though Johnson himself laughed it off.

Slowthai, as of yet, hasn’t commented on the NME Awards. He is probably sleeping it all off. Watch the footage below.