Portraying a realist view of the lives many live on estates, Top Boy’s plot narrates the story of two social OutKast’s, Dushane and Sully, as they look to guide their family to the top of Summerset house’s drug-fuelled economy. Since it’s release in 2011, the programme has gained a cult following because of its comparisons to America’s hit HBO show ‘The Wire’, and how it illustrates the gritty underbelly of British youth culture in the capital.
Roman Bennett’s portrayal of problematic London managed to combine realism with fantasy in a plot that interpreted the Capital as ruthless and restless. It told us that money is there to be made; if you have enough courage to risk your life and fuel the addictions of the underclass.
Top Boy’s brutal depiction of council estate culture tells you a lot about the country we live in today. The bleak landscapes and colours that Ashley Walters and (rapper) Kano, find themselves in are the subject of the state’s little care for their community. In this sense then, the return of Top Boy couldn’t come at a better time. Hate crime is at an all-time high, as well as knife and teenage crime too, raising questions to what the fuck is actually being done to help increase prosperity for the future generations of our country.
The programme’s new season has had a lot of hype recently. Since Drake brought its rights in 2016, and grime became a global phenomenon, everyone has been eagerly waiting for its return. The trailer ‘s premiere was aired at Drizzy’s London show and revealed an updated cast including Dave and Little Simz, both (respectively) the most talented artists in the U.K. urban scene right now. Their new albums are some of our pics of the year and tell stories that only a show like Top Boy, visually, could.
We all want a true portrayal of London, an idyllic alternative would rip the heart out of the programme. Although, with Drake as the executive producer and Netflix being the new televisors, we could see a diluted perspective of the East London Streets we fell in love with prior to the third series. Reportedly, Drake has drafted in global grime stars like Skepta to look over the authenticity of the new show, the cultural influences he could bring are endless. It would be nice to see an acknowledgement to street style and what ‘men on the road’ actually wear today; the style illustrated in 2011 is quite dated: TNs and full branded tracksuits, whether they are Gucci or Nike, all need to make appearances considering their absence from the last two seasons.
I’d love to see an acknowledgement to drill and jungle too; the London influenced genres are both on the rise and would broaden the plot into underground rave territory, a culture that is not impartial to drugs by any means.
We are as gassed as you are for the new series, I personally don’t think I’ve been this excited for the return of a TV show in a long while. Watch the Dave and Little Simz starring trailer below.