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George Osborne gives Ed Balls a lesson in rap

George Osborne and Ed Balls on their podcast, Political Currency (Persephonica)
George Osborne and Ed Balls on their podcast, Political Currency (Persephonica)

It’s not every day you get a lesson in rap from George Osborne. On their podcast Political Currency, the former chancellor proudly told his co-host Ed Balls that Dr Dre once came for tea at Downing Street. “Who?” came the response. “He’s like, the world’s top rapper,” Osborne explained, before saying “Straight Outta Compton!” in his best LA accent. The impression didn’t ring any bells for Balls. “Dr Who?”

Osborne said that Dr Dre brought “a Santa’s sack” of Beats headphones as presents for the Downing Street staffers. “This was years ago when they were even cooler than they are now. Like they were brand new, really cool things,” he informed Balls. Dr Dre created Beats in 2006, alongside music producer Jimmy Iovine. Osborne is said to have arranged the tea after meeting Iovine at a party in LA in 2012.

“He has a song called F**** Tha Police?” asked Balls incredulously, after looking through Dre’s musical oeuvre. “It’s quite a famous song, Ed. Oh my god, he needs an education!” said Osborne, who appeared to be both cringed out and pleased with his co-host’s comparative lack of street cred.

Osborne isn’t the only former Tory minister to be a fan. Therese Coffey had to get her phone out during an LBC interview after her Dr Dre alarm started going off.

It clearly isn’t Balls’ cup of tea though. After listening to a snippet of one of the rapper’s songs, he swiftly steers the conversation to the time when he interviewed pop singer Natalie Imbruglia.