Yeah man DSTNY
is a banger! Produced by my good friend Ara C it was literally destiny. I think anyone who works in the entertainment industry will know video shoots hardly ever go to plan and this isn’t to say DSTNY
didn’t come without its hurdles but I can confidently say that shoot went perfectly and what makes it even more of an accomplishment is the fact I funded, casted and directed it myself, a very proud moment for me I won’t lie. When I wrote the treatment for DSTNY
(a whole 35 slide presentation) I was very keen on making sure everyone was well represented and paid! Which is something black and gay creatives are too often robbed of when media or whoever else wants to use our stories. From the point of conception I had this idea of bright colours, high energy and great visuals. Words like pink, boujee, sassy, loud, outlandish, bold came to mind. After days of scouting, I found the location and I instantly knew it was going to be the one, it was just so perfect. I then went on to plan my outfit and of course I had to go all out, that shit cost me a pretty penny. Funny side note, my sunglasses didn’t come in time and I was actually devastated because I am such a perfectionist in literally every sense of the word so after arriving on set I took a little trip up Selfridges and bought these limited edition Chrome Hearts shades (which I now cherish) and boy they were not cheap at all but the show must go on right. So, here’s me coming back from Selfridges getting stuck in rush hour traffic on the way which made me late to my own shoot, bearing in mind I had already arrived early to set up the location, so I’m like trying to explain to everyone waiting outside that this isn’t what it looks like I was actually on time (with a Selfridges bag in my hand). Lord it was a mess but one that turned out beautifully and was the catalyst for what I’d call my feminine phase. I had hired a nail tech to come and do nails for people in the video and I remember everyone trying to get me to do my nails on set but I was like “no way, not happening'', little did I know 3 weeks later I’d be in her nail salon getting full set acrylics. I think something happened to me on that day, I saw such freedom in the people I had casted and introspectively had to ask myself, “am I afraid of my own femininity?”. So in order to find out I embarked on a journey that would see me painting my nails, dying my hair, trying different styles of clothing and just having fun really. During this phase I went clubbing for the first time ever, kissed a few frogs, didn’t find a prince but oh well and made some new friends. I mean the real question would be what didn’t I do? I was living my damn best life and I’m so glad I did because although I now know I’m just not a very fem guy that was a time I will always cherish for the rest of my life. So now you can see why I called the track DSTNY
Wow that was long winded but that track was so pivotal for me, it deserves a full explanation. Just to touch on the other part of your question yeah I guess in the past I have backed away from calling myself the first gay rapper but in all honestly I was more forced away from the title by other people. I remember doing interviews after I went viral and I would literally get messages from fans and other gay rappers saying “stop calling yourself the first gay rapper” and it was actual quite hurtful at the time because they said it with such resentment, almost like I was just this masc hood guy that didn’t care about the community, when actually it took heaps of courage to get in front of that mic and rep my community. It was a massive kick in the teeth to hear my own people disregard me I won't lie, especially even after I rejected the title placed on me. But that was then, and this is now and I’ve done a lot since then and have been the first to do it. So, if we're really gonna get into it if I’m not the first then who is? Because I’m the first gay rapper on [email protected]
and by doing that inspired two more gay rappers to use the platform. I’m the first gay rapper on GRM Daily, Link Up TV, Goodmorning Britain, Sky News, BBC 1Xtra, Capital Radio, the list goes on. I mean let’s keep it a buck no other gay rapper in history has done what I’ve done from music to television and I’m just getting started. I’ve spent the last two years silent allowing people to belittle my accolades and act like I’m not the first to do pretty much everything I’ve done, just because they’re stuck up on the idea of me being the first ever gay rapper in existence. It’s like what do I have to do to prove myself because I have been humbly pushing my community and culture for two years but still am expected to keep quiet about how I’m the first to do it in the spaces I’m doing it in. There is always going to be someone who says they are the first, but if that were the case everyone would know their name but the go to name that comes to mind when we think about gay rappers in the UK is Mista Strange and even if that could be disputed there is no disputing whatsoever, I am the best.