I have thought long and hard about writing this post. Not because I don’t believe in the cause, the truth is to the contrary. As a white man in my 30s, I don’t feel it is appropriate to be seen jumping on any bandwagon, for the sake of social media. Noted this isn’t entirely the case for everyone, but certainly for a few.
I am passionate about Black culture. Whether that is music, the arts or the esoteric spirituality that the island of Jamaica has given the world via Rastafarianism or its most famous inhabitant, Bob Marley.
I grew up in West London, on the border of Shepherds Bush and Acton. African-Caribbean culture was everywhere in the 80s and 90s. You could go to Bush market on the weekend and hear reggae playing out of the market stalls or smell the spices from the food stalls. The mid to latter part of the 90s and early 2000’s, my life was dominated by hip-hop, jungle, drum & bass and grime music which are all part of the black cultural sphere of music, which continue to dominate British music culture in 2020.
The music and culture of Black Britain and New York hip-hop, changed my world view, gave me confidence as a child that no other music form could have given me. This confidence has remained instilled in me for over 25 years. It is the reason I am sat here, writing this and the reason I am working with the Austin family on feature documentary on Stevie Hyper D. It is the reason, I started my company, Beat Culture. It is the reason I have and continue to work with Navigator, Liondub and countless other artists and it is the reason I am the person I am today.
The killing of George Floyd, is a deeply saddening case. One that further highlights the structural, systemic and racial inequality that continues to exist not just in the USA but also in the UK and further afield. This is something that has sadly been seen time and time again, in & out of the public eye and something that needs to change systemically and culturally.
We can truly start to address the issue head on, when we have a deep objective look at the legacy of slavery, colonialism and imperialism.
Black Lives Matter.
Jamie BC / Team Hyper D