“Stop Killing the Mandem” by Novelist

It has been pointed out that the term “mandem” is actually a colloquialism for a group of males. Said term reads as if it is likely a contraction of ‘the man them’, i.e. the type of phrase you would hear spoken in Patois or pidgin English, which means the same thing, i.e. a group of men. 

So more simply phrased, the title of this song would be something like ‘Stop Killing the Men’. And the men Novelist would be referring to most specifically would be those in his ‘hood of London. 

London, the capital of the UK, may not be as notorious as Chicago, L.A. and some other major cities in terms of its street violence. But from the perspective of people like Novelist, who has actually lived there, it is a dangerous place nonetheless, especially if, like the vocalist himself, you fall into the Black youth category.

Chapter I of “Stop Killing the Mandem”

And the above is exactly that general reality that Novelist uses the first line of the intro to speak to. Here, he talks about Black people seeming to be in sort of particular type of danger “worldwide”. But again, at least as far as the first verse is concerned, he’s referring more specifically to what he has personally witnessed as a “Black boy from London”. 

And what Novelist is basically saying is that on the city streets, the culture of his peers is such that one can get into very serious, dangerous trouble quite easily. But as for the vocalist himself, he’s not a thug or anything. And it is such an intellectual character, if you will, that also has him wondering how things came to be so in the first place. 

So even though the narrator has yet to answer that question, in the meantime, as a concerned citizen, he has lent his voice to curbing the violence in the ‘hood via the slogan “stop killing the mandem”.

Chapter II

The second verse does reveal however that Novelist has been doing some serious thinking on the matter. And the way he apparently sees it is as though there are external forces compelling his people to behave so. 

And with that in mind, he dedicates quite a few lyrics to letting his peers know that being a criminal or a murderer isn’t their actual culture. Beyond that, the narrator admonishes them to find something positive to focus on as opposed to the street life or what have you. Or as Novelist further concludes, it’s like the mind of the youth have been corrupted with totally misplaced, may we even say perverse, ideologies.

But of course at the end of the day, well let’s just say that by the looks of things it’ll be a long time coming before a song like this proves to be more popular than, say the latest gangsta rap tune. 

And even some forms of entertainment outside of rap music per se have been compelled to regularly present young Black men as thugs and accordingly perpetrate such behavior amongst them (and others). 

So in the end, we’re not compelled to presume that Novelist actually thought this song would end gun violence or anything like that. But perhaps it will cause an affected individual here and there to question the state of things and subsequently shun a life of thugism, which appears to be the more realistic goal of this piece.

Novelist, "Stop Killing the Mandem" Lyrics
Novelist explains "Stop Killing the Mandem"

Novelist

Novelist is a grime artist from the UK who traces his parentage back to Ghana and the Caribbean island of Antigua. Being 24 years old as of the writing of this post, his first song came out in 2014. This was when the emcee would have been in his mid-teens. 

His chart history isn’t really anything to speak of. However, as such realities sometimes go, Novelist is apparently considered one of the more authentic grime artists in the game amongst the genre’s purists.

When did Novelist release “Stop Killing the Mandem”?

To date Novelist has only released one studio album, entitled “Novelist Guy”. It came out on 13 April 2018 via his own indie label, MMMYEH Records. And it is from that project that we get “Stop Killing the Mandem”, which the vocalist both wrote and produced. 

And to note this song was actually recorded in Abbey Road Studios. This is the same facility that The Beatles and other famous British musicians have used throughout the years.

Stop Killing the Mandem

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