No more silence. My life has forever benefitted from the ‘Black experience’. Growing up in New Zealand my favourite athletes, musicians, personalities and video game characters were always Black. At a young age I became enamoured with Hip-Hop, NBA, NFL and everything that pertained to that culture. Allen Iverson, Chingy, Mike Vick: the swag they oozed through my TV set as a youngster sparked my passion for music, sport and video games. As I grew older I continued to immerse myself in Hip-Hop culture and rare Sports culture. Two things dominated by the ‘Black experience’. I have become so immersed in these two passions of mine that I have since travelled to the USA several times to link and live with fellow artists. I had immersed myself so deep into underground Rap culture that by 2017 I had worked with or linked up with some of my favourite rappers. All of whom are Black, or are People of Colour. Black people made me feel at home, they made me feel like I was really a part of the underground scene that I loved so much. They welcomed me into their lives like I was their brother when they had no reason to. Our mutual love for all things culture meant we cultivated friendships but as an outsider to the persecution and oppression that my friends have faced throughout their lives, there’s no way I could relate to the pain that they face on a daily basis. I have spent my teens, and early 20’s a mere participant in Black Culture. Although I am indigenous to New Zealand as a Maori, I really have no right to be a part of the Rap world. I may be knowledgeable of the plight of the Black man/woman. But I can never experience it myself. For me to not give back to the culture I treasure so much would me make complicit to the terror that the US Police Force and the Government is carrying out on a daily basis.
The recent acts of police brutality, and the acts of police brutality that have occurred throughout my life has caused me to be extremely triggered. Due to the global situation, I may not be able to get to the USA for some time. I can’t be in the field helping my Black friends fight the evils they face every day. Which is why it’s time for me to fully commit to giving back to the people, to the culture that has given me so much. From now on. All earnings from LO-FI: The Magazine and my clothing/art project d2a.lofi will be donated to various charities that assist Black people/ People of Colour in their daily plight. I have also started giving back by donating $50 USD to Black Lives Matter, $50 USD to the George Floyd Memorial Fund and $20 USD to Reclaim the Block.
I can no longer be complicit to such heinous acts of the Police, the Government in the United States and across the world. You have to embody the change that you want to see in the world. Don’t let casual racism exist in your families or your friends’ verbiage. Educate your peers on what’s really happening in this fucked up world right now. Go the extra mile to protect you coloured friends and family. The world is changing, surveillance is increasing and it’s up to us to bind together and stay vigilant. There is no one out there that is unaffected by the current situation. A lot of things you do were created, innovated or are staples of Black culture. If you are from a foreign country or you are white and you consider yourself a ‘creative’ then it is your obligation to help our Black Brothers and Sisters in this demonic time. Whether you DJ, perform or produce music you should be doing whatever you can to help. Whether you resell sneakers, collect clothes or partake in general streetwear culture you should also do whatever you can to help. If you’re a graffiti artist, or your art benefits from the ‘Black experience’ then you should be doing whatever you can to help. I’m not doing this for self-gain, I am simply doing what I feel is right. I have been biting my tongue for so long.
Black culture, Black people and Black past-times have filled my life with joy. Their culture, their experience has taught me more in life than any textbook or school could ever teach. Giving back is the least I can do. Giving back to Black people, instead of persecuting and oppressing them is the only step forward. I can not be complicit anymore. Black is beautiful. I will forever commit my creative projects to giving back to a culture that has given me so much throughout my 25 years on this earth. Whether you know me as an underground scene-kid, a kid that barely talked or just a straight up internet weirdo. Just know that I’m doing what I can to help create change. I suggest you do the same.
Carew Meyer AKA ‘Stevie Franchise’
Rest In Peace: George Floyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Koryn Gaines, Michael Brown and all other victims of senseless Police Brutality.