Riz Ahmed's powerful rap about missing family during Covid-19 makes waves on social media

'I miss seeing you, being with you, breathing with you, eating your food,' raps the British-Pakistani musician and actor

epa08235292 British actor Riz Ahmed attends the 'Mogul Mowgli' press conference during the 70th annual Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), in Berlin, Germany, 21 February 2020. The movie is presented in the Official Competition at the Berlinale that runs from 20 February to 01 March 2020.  EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER

The effects of newly heightened lockdowns are being felt in the UK, with people across the country unable to mix with friends and family in three different tiers of rules. The changes make the timing of Riz Ahmed's newly released I Miss You feel even more profound.

The spoken-word performance features musician and actor Ahmed, 37, speaking to the camera for almost four minutes about life during the coronavirus pandemic. The rap, he says, is "dedicated to the ones we miss and the ones we lost".

The piece starts in a melancholy tone, lamenting the distance between himself and family members, his mother in particular.

Riz Ahmed has released 'I Miss You', a rap which pays tribute to 'the ones we miss and the ones we lost' during the coronavirus pandemic. YouTube / Riz Ahmed 

"I miss you. I miss seeing you, being with you, breathing with you, eating your food," the British-Pakistani actor and musician raps. "I miss you telling me to wear a scarf before I go out, now I am telling you to stay home, putting my foot down.

"You tell me, 'Keep my prayers,' and yeah, I guess we need them now but when I tell you to take care, you best believe I mean it now. You've always been my shield, mum come, it's my time to shield you now," the Emmy-winning actor continues.

He goes on to reference ongoing restrictions in London, clapping for the NHS and even missing the formerly busy London Underground.

"I miss the hustle that you had me on, so quick and so cruel ... Now I feel I see you differently, you gave me a taste of your quiet side, your tired eyes made my heart break," he says. "Thursday night we came out to clap ... My city's on the ropes but I can't wait 'til we spar."

In the third and final part, the tone shifts to raw sadness as he talks about lives lost to Covid-19, particularly those of members of black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) communities, which have been impacted hardest by the pandemic in the country.

"I miss you most of all, the ones we lost ... the possibilities," he raps. "They say corona means crown, you're kings and queens in our hearts.

"My tongue will stay spitting to live up to the task of making sure we don't forget, you're not a point on a graph," he says.

He goes on to speak about the importance of caring for those in need, saying, "We're kicking off to build a world where those in need don't come last."

As the video comes to an end, Ahmed becomes impassioned and angry, discussing the ways he perceives the British government has let the country down, touching on the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy as well as the attitude towards immigration and migrant workers in the NHS.

"[You've been] saved by the same people you say you don't want," he raps. "Your lies cost our lives, they took parents from kids."

Watch 'I Miss You' by Riz Ahmed here: 

 

Ahmed has spoken frankly about the effect the coronavirus and regional lockdowns have had on his mental health.

In April and May, he took part in a number of moral-boosting initiatives on his social media as many around the world stayed home in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

Held under the banner #TheLongLockdown, The Night Of star tackled everything from identity and politics to entertainment in the digital discussions.