In just three minutes, ENNY, a British rapper of Nigerian descent, covers toxic relationships, systemic racism, gentrification and mass incarceration through her new single “Same Old”. The song is upbeat and has a catchy melody, so it is easy to overlook all the emotions and meaning which ENNY creatively weaves into the lyrics. Personally, I had to see the music video to fully understand the complexities of this song. First, ENNY opens the song with her own experiences as a Black woman in Britain stating her desire to, “be free from Brexit society”. She walks down the streets of London looking confident and positive even as she passes a white man who is culturally appropriating African culture. As a backdrop to this scene, ENNY raps, “f**k you and your gentrification” to show how Brexit has altered British society and how she casually sees systemic racism occurring all around her. To represent her lyrics “I keep going with the same old, falling for the same old boys”, the artist passes a girl saying to her best friend, “I can calm him down”. Just as ENNY is forced to accept the systemic racism, which is occurring around her, she reveals a habit of accepting toxic relationships and that she desires to grow beyond it.
One could also argue that Same Old represents a challenge to Western capitalism and I admire the subtleties which ENNY was very intentional in incorporating into her song and video. She sheds light on the hustle economy in her lyrics, “look at all these bills, I’ve paid … the days I’ve slaved”, representing Black women are not adequately compensated for their work. Furthermore, I believe that ENNY’s lyric, “why I missed a bill and then you went and called this bailiff” intends to point specifically to systemic racism under racial capitalism. A landlord would likely not call the police on a White man for missing one payment. Not all listeners may pick up on the utter thoroughness which ENNY executes but I very much appreciated her perspective on the hustle economy in the U.K.