Jordan Stephens: If I Ruled The World

Jordan Stephens 24 March 2022

Formerly one-half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks, the multi-talented musician, TV presenter and actor shares his vision of a world he would like to lead

I’d destroy modern phones. 

Modern phones are too much. Over the top. They feel necessary now but never were. I think a lot of technology peaked in the Nineties or early Noughties.

And since then we’ve just been convinced we need stuff when we don’t. Right? We get tricked into feeling like we’re missing out when there was never an issue [in the first place]. [It’s] the opposite of the phrase, “If it’s not broken don’t fix it.”

Technologically speaking, we’ve been breaking loads of things that have been working fine and then charging people for the updates. I never watched television in my teens and thought, I wish this was more defined.

To be honest, I was at peace with a CD Walkman. And this new era has us hooked. And impatient. And wired. And I feel as though it pulls us from ourselves and our authentic beings and desire to connect. I think we were happy walking to the shops. Weren’t we? 

I’d ban billionaires.

Some people have too much money. Genuinely. It’s unnecessary. Do you know there are reasons to believe that the desire for accumulation is not actually an instinctive one? It appears to be mutation. An obsessive need to accumulate. If you replaced money with something else, that accumulation would instantly appear unhealthy. Look at this man who has 2 billion packets of crisps. Is he OK? Why has that woman got three billion leaflets? 

Jokes aside, let’s re-engage our sense of community. Maintain the level of responsibility that would naturally arise with accumulation. We live in a world of empty apartments and unhoused people. That’s not right. That’s all I know.  

We’d reconnect with plants. 

Plants are magic. I don’t say that lightly either. They have incredible healing properties—as we all know. But I worry now, with the imminent virtual abyss that we find ourselves in, that we’ve forgotten. We’ve forgotten that all around us are tools and signs. Maps and guides. Stinging nettles and doc leaves.

I’m reading a book called The Secret Life of Plants [by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird]. It’s mind-blowing. It catalogues evidence of plants being able to tap into our energy and read our minds. Scientific studies on fungi have revealed natural psychedelic journeys, be it through tree bark, mushrooms or toad poison can shift conscious states and save lives.

They remind us that we are genuinely all one of the same and our lives aren’t as weighted in self-obsession as we’re convinced they are. Apparently just looking at a tree calms the nervous system. 

Plants are gods. 

There should be more multicoloured buildings.

I’m near positive it’s to do with brick naturally being boring, but we need to liven things up a bit. The western world at least, is desperate for a lick of paint.

Just jazz it all up. It’s bad enough that there are buildings absolutely everywhere. Might as well make them exciting. 

"Plants are magic. I don’t say that lightly either. They have incredible healing properties"

All competition should be fair. 

I worry about our modern values. We appear to be the only species that believes in unfair battle. Bring back duelling. Bring back sorting out issues through competition that can end respectfully. No ganging up. 
No foul play. Restore honour in surrendering and the acceptance of loss. There’s grace in defeat but only if there’s fairness to begin with. 

We need to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. Understand that we’re part of bigger stories. And find peace in that realisation. I think everybody has a part to play on this Earth. There should not be single soul on the planet that feels disorientated. We need to restore some balance.

I’d stop people eating with their mouths open.

My tyranny would truly begin at this point. I don’t want to see or hear people eating. 

All people who eat with their mouth open would have to live on Chompy Island until they can prove otherwise. This rule would be fascist, unfair and terrifying. I don’t know what else to say, I’m just being honest. I am, after all, a petty human being. And perhaps I always will be. Even if I meditate.

Best known for being one half of hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks, musician Jordan Stephens is also an actor and TV presenter. His debut solo album, Let Me Die Inside You is out now

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