The song's title "IC3" refers to a British police identity code for "Black male." Over an icy beat, the two deliver a stinging criticism of the racism that they have experienced.
Skepta specifically addresses refusing an MBE (an order of the British Empire award) from the Queen of England in favour of going back home to receive a chieftain title in Nigeria: "The Queen offered me the MBE/I said no and I raised my fist/I went home, got my chieftaincy/Now I'm back on the strip."
Ghetts is similarly fired up: "Don't tell me to go back where I came from while the queen sits there with stolen jewels/cool, I'll go back with a chain on/and light up the place like I'm Akon/I got a bullet with your name on."
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Who would've thought back then
We'd be some powerful Black men
Back when we was in estates, I was trapped in trapping
Y'all don't know how this impacted us
Can't look a n**** when flats are us
Abandoned flats where the mandem trap
I took a few L's in my Champion hat
Came back like a champion and landed jabs while being branded Black