EMELI SANDE PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENCE BLACK, GAY & PROUD PLUS: SWAY ILLUMINATI UNCOVERED STREETSTYLE
A Letter from the Editors
but quickto bond over a passion for journalism. But this is no ordinary magazine. Its contents reflect the concerns of these young team and their peers. Not Blackberry Messaging and XFactor but black gay rights and the importance of independence for young Palestinians. Oh, and an exclusive interview with up and coming soulstress Emeli Sande in for good measure.
Collectivism is a powerful tool. Over the past nine months itâ€™s helped to overthrow dictators in North Africa, catalyzed a student break into Tory HQ in Britain and most recently led to destruction during riots in London. Whatever its aim one thing is certain: When a group of individuals speak in unison their voice resonates much further.
Talk about being thrown in at the deep end. Carving out editorial ideas and hijacking the Guardianâ€™s morning conference from its senior staff was no mean feat.
Partnering with The Guardian and Observer, Live Magazine provided mentorship to 13 young journalists giving them the opportunity to speak together through Deadline. This is our voice.
Yet, through passion and determination we managed to keep our head above the water so we could pass on the results of our honest and fearless journalism to you. Special thanks goes out to Fiona McKellar for setting this up and giving us the chance to write.
Live Magazine, which distributes to 35,000 young people across London on a quarterly basis, decamped to N1 for two weeks to create a version of its established publication specifically for north Londoners.
Enjoy our magazine and remember to log on to www.live-magazine.co.uk for all our extended features. To get involved email us at live@live-magzine. co.uk
Decamped to N1 to put their stamp on North London. The editorial team were whittled down to this crack Live crew, strangers at first,
04 Street Style 05 Stereotyping 06 Palestinian Independence 07 homophobia in the black community 08 Emeli Sande 10 Young Black Male 11 Starkeyâ€™s rap contrasts 12 Young Entrepreneurs 14 Interview: David Vujanic 15 Olympic Effects 16 Anarchy In The UK 17 Illuminati Uncovered 18 Exclusive interview: Sway 19 Meet The Team To read the extended versions and much more visit www.live-magazine.co.uk
We had our street team go out and scout for the weird and wonderful fashions on the streets of London’s Kings Cross…
Photographs BY Stephen & Trim
On the run from
immigration Funny man Trim Lamba talks stereotypes.
be of a particular ethnic group. Well this was just wonderful, a bunch of us colored folk in a corner, resembling a re-enactment of the civil rights movement. All we required now was a KFC bargain bucket and some banghra music and we were good to go!
I’m Asian. My parents have been trying to get me into medical school ever since I slipped out the womb. As an Asian boy, one would expect me to greet you with ‘Wargwan fam, wah you sayin?’ and hold my fist out. But as I’m not a Neanderthal I will simply say ‘Hello’.
I was clearly agitated by this whole scenario and wasn’t afraid to express it. I shouted (in a blatantly sarcastic tone) ‘I have explosives on me!’, Lucky for me, a white middle class suburban family were there to lend their ears: highly embarrassing. At that point I thought I’d back down.
To pay for my alcohol consumption and bacon cravings, I act. However, I’m always typecast as the Lonsdale-tracksuit wearing thug, when actually I’m as threatening as a chicken mayo from the pound saver menu at McDonald’s. This has left me increasingly embittered and so I wish to share my frustration with you kind folk.
I guess everyone’s going to be judged on first appearances. I’m Asian. I do have a spicy samosa fetish. But aside from that I like music from the ‘50s. I like polaroid cameras, I enjoy traipsing around little villages in France. I like discovering little dainty bohemian hubs. I like good wine. And I love to write. Likewise not all Caucasians spend their lives watching Songs of Praise whilst eating carrot sticks.
Because I come with olive skin why can’t I play an ordinary person who likes chess and sandwiches without the crusts? I long for the day when I can clothe myself in the skin of a simple being but alas there is no simplicity when you are an Asian boy in the film industry. Is this a bad thing? No, perhaps not.
Beauty can come through the oddest of things. Having a preconceived perception of someone, getting to know them and crumbling that perception to deposit is one of these beauties.
I always find it slightly eerie when everything is going well in life. I find that I always need a bit of thunder outside to make me appreciate my warm radiator indoors, and so, with this in mind, I should appreciate the spontaneity of the industry. I do, but when it slithers into my outside life I tend to find it troubling. My most recent experience of stereotyping came when some chums and I were made to go through security at the 02 Arena. “It’s completely random,” muttered a security officer who, ironically enough, happened to
What makes us different makes us beautiful. Let’s bathe in our differences and celebrate them.
WRITTEN BY TRIM LAMBA ILLUSTRATION BY BERTIE SIMPSON
an Official Piece of Palestine What independence means to young Palestinians
You are walking to school but all is not what it seems: An armed military official has replaced the lollipop lady and you wonder where her smile’s gone.
The state of Israel was officially formed in 1947 when the UN awarded a section of land around Jerusalem to the Jews. Previously, the same area that had been known as Palestine was occupied by Arabs, Jews and Christians alike under the rule of Ottoman and British Empires. However, since this date, disputes have been unresolved.
Forget UCAS, university has closed its doors to people like you. If you’re lucky you’ll just about catch a glimpse of its ivory tower peaking above the checkpoint that’s barring you from a future. Whilst London may be under constant watch, at least it’s by CCTV rather than armed military.
Tasneem also believes that independence will allow Palestinians to develop their own economy. “Just yesterday, I walked into Tesco’s to buy dates. They were advertised as being from the West Bank, presumably Palestinian. However, on closer inspection it turned out they were grown by Israelis.”
This scene is a daily reality for young Palestinians and a familiar one for 23-year old Tasneem Alhadi, who grew up in occupied Palestine.
Currently, Palestinian farmers can’t sell their products internationally. Tasneem asserts that independence would give young people jobs and prospects that they would otherwise not possess.
Zarah Hussain talks to one young Palestinian as her country braces itself for independence. If their bid is successful what will it mean to young people?
But a change to this life might lie just around the corner. The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is taking his country’s bid for independece to the UN later this month. The decision could single-handedly put an end to the daily issues described by young people as a result of living in occupied land. Tasneem, 23, now lives in Leeds but believes independence means everything to her counterparts back home. “Freedom, socializing, the chance to go to university and the opportunity to travel.” “At the moment, if I tell people I’m from Palestine they reply – “Don’t you mean Israel?” Young Palestinians feel robbed of their identity. An independent Palestine would give us the chance to tell people that we have a country to call home.”
However, even thinking about independence has required a step-change in attitude from one generation to the next. Tasneem describes how her parents feel differently. “They are skeptical as they worry it will involve in giving up a lot of land.” Young people it seems are less consumed by what has gone before and more concerned by their future. As the nation of Palestine waits for a decision, back in Leeds Tasneem quietly believes that the benefits of independence will improve the lives of future generations of young people the most.
WRITTEN BY Zahra Hussain PHOTOGRAPHY BY WHEWES
h⚢m⚣ PHOBIA Chevelle Gooden-Smith investigates the global impact of homophobia in the black community.
Despite the legalisation of same sex marriages in the UK and parts of America homophobia continues to be a big issue in black communities worldwide.
song by Buju Banton, “Boom Bye Bye” has been banned from all radio stations, festivals or public places for its derogatory message. Buju Banton chants “Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head/ Rude bwoy nah promote no nasty man dem haffi dead.”
Homosexuality is deemed immoral in the black community and black gays are more likely to be targeted and disowned by their families than their white counterparts. But why?
However, It seems that being black and gay is widely accepted in the Western world, particularly the United States. Atlanta is known as the gay capital of Georgia holds the second largest population of black same-sex couples in the world. Black homosexuals from around America move to Atlanta, simply to live without abuse. They feel it is a safe place to live their life without fear of being attacked or ostracized. Yet, surprisingly gay marriages are not legal in the state of Georgia.
This is because black culture is largely based around traditional religious values and a distinct minority condemn homosexuality. “The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay” (BBC Three), which aired on 14th February 2011, exposed the severity of violence directed towards homosexuals in Uganda. Gay rights activists have recently won the battle against proposed legislation to execute gays or anyone supporting or aiding them there. Sadly, gay rights campaigner David Kato was found beaten to death after he sued the Ugandan newspaper ‘Rolling Stone’, for exposing him and several other Ugandans as gay, printing pictures of them beneath a headline that read “HANG THEM!”
In London, there is an increase of homosexuals within the black community. Some may be sceptical and believe that it is becoming more of a trend rather than more acceptable. “If you’re not gay you’re not cool. It’s almost being seen as a fashion statement,” one man said whilst walking through Soho. “People are associating sexuality with lifestyle and the two must not be confused.”
In Jamaica, gays and lesbians are shunned by some of their peers and are referred to as “battyman” or “battyboy”, a derogatory term used for homosexuals. Jamaican musicians, such as Buju Banton, Vybz Kartel and Elephant Man have intensified the hate toward gays in the form of homophobic lyrics. One particular
But is this all that needs to happen for the black community to wake up to homosexuality. I fear not.
WRITTEN BY CHEVELLE GOODEN-SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHEVELLE GOODEN-SMITH
OUT OF THE SHADOWS ON THE ROAD TO MAKING HER DREAMS COME TRUE, MONIQUE TODD SPEAKS TO EMELI SANDE AHEAD OF HER RELEASE OF HER DEBUT ALBUM 8
Indeed, industry moguls can’t seem to get enough of her. Alicia Keys told her 4.2 million followers that Emeli is a “Bad Giiirrrl” and one of her favourite singers...she still hasn’t recovered from the shock : “It feels incredible, I remember being completely obsessed with Alicia Keys since I was 14 or 15 and it’s great that someone I’ve been looking up to for so long appreciate what I do. Opening for her at The Royal Albert Hall this June was one of the highlights of my career, I thought I was going to be nervous but I felt quite calm and serene walking onstage.”
he put Chipmunk and Wiley in the top 10, she’s been praised by Coldplay and Kylie and now she’s on the verge of superstardom but had she finished her degree, the Scottish soul goddess could’ve easily ended up pursuing an entirely different career. Emeli Sande, whose debut soared to the top of the charts, spent three years studying neuroscience at university, but the temptation of music eventually proved just too attractive to ignore: “I really enjoyed studying in Glasgow and I thought it was an amazing course but when I saw people who really wanted to be a doctor and put so much work in to learning, it dawned on me that medicine wasn’t what I had dreamt of since I was a kid, so...I felt I had to go for music.”
But it’s not just music that’s attracting a wave of attention. Her captivateing stage presence and striking bleached Mohawk and array of tattoos (especially the one of her heroine, artist Frida Kahlo) helps too. “I think I’ve always done things dependant on how I feel, I don’t like following any type of rules or trends, I just like to express myself – so if I feel like having bright blonde hair, why not! You only live once! When I left medical school, I felt a bit rebellious – you know, kind of felt like I wanna do what I want now.”
So she packed up ready to head to London. where the urban scene received her with open arms. “I really love how creative the urban scene is here, and I felt that when I first came down I was embraced by so many people, you know, a lot of MCs like Chipmunk, Wiley – I felt was really exciting, there were no real rules!”
Emeli’s album Our Version Of Events is to be released on 20th January 2012, showcasing her songwriting genius and her relatable honesty. She starts a UK tour in November in Glasgow.
Though, a further look at her C.V and names such as Cher Lloyd, Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis serve as unusual contrasts to her urban clientele. Sande found writing for talent show contestants...“Really cool to be honest. I never wrote for someone based on where they come from, really I’m up for anyone singing my songs as long as they understand what it’s about.”
Sande doesn’t seem at all phased. “ I love performing live and enjoy putting on a good show, it’ll be the first time that some people have seen me live and I’m just hoping it goes fantastic...fingers crossed!” One listen to her voice and it becomes clear that she really doesn’t need luck.
Despite those collaborations she still questions whether talent shows are a good option for artists.“I don’t really know if talent shows prepare artists properly for the music industry. I feel you can never fully prepare anyone - it must feel so daunting to come out of that show, I mean they have to learn on the job. I’m glad I had more time and experience and get what I needed from the industry.”
Stephen Isaac-Wilson expresses his frustration over his apparent cultural identity. British media would have you believe that because I’m black and grew up on a council estate; I’m unemployed and I probably want to be a MC at best. At worst, I’m part of a gang, have been involved in knife crime and have probably done some jail time. Not one of these applies to any aspect of my life, nor the lives of an overwhelming majority of black youths. The fundamental problem with young black British males is their lack of visible role models. Black people seen on TV are often rappers, athletes or footballers. While all of these professions comprise of wonderfully talented people, the lack of diversity only serves to narrow the youths’ aspirations. Unlike the U.S. British black boys do not have the catalogue of educated and inspirational figures in the public eye. People such as Cornel West (Philosopher), Barack Obama (US president) and Al Sharpton (Civil Rights activist and Broadcaster) do not have equivalent UK counterparts. Even the UK born Gary Younge (Journalist) is based stateside. Frankly speaking, black people are rarely seen in UK media as serious individuals. They are seen as the walking poster-boys for consumerism or comedy. We are rarely present on debate shows, news programmes or documentaries, unless it’s to talk about ‘gang crime’ or ‘black on black violence’.
Zephaniah (poet) and Clive Myrie (broadcaster) to name a few; but these are hardly household names. Their presence is not strong enough to act as identifiable role models. Although, the riots had appeared colourless, David Starkey’s blaming of black culture for the violence has been hard to stomach. When I think of Black culture I think of great food, intelligent poets, talented musicians, political figures and skilled dancers. Not gangsters. When you think of Italians, you don’t think of the Mafia do you? I don’t, anyway, but then I’m not a racist. Perhaps I was too busy learning patois to make the connection. Probably the saddest judgement, according to the historian Starkey, was that being educated and well-spoken would mean that you no longer sounded black. This is a ludicrous statement to make in an age where race rows have been rendered redundant. In a heated 10-minute bout of ignorance, Starkey disenfranchised an entire ethnic group. So to conclude what it means to be a young black British male this answer is many things. However, so long as views like Starkey’s persist then a narrow window on an entire race will represent us all.
It would be naïve to suggest influential black male figures do not exist. We have Richard Ayoade (Writer and director), Benjamin
written by stephen isaac-wilson photography by jendella hallam
What does it mean to be a
young Black British male? 10
A Stark Contrast We’ve all heard it by now. “The whites have become black…you glorify rap!” squalled David Starkey on BBC Newsnight days after the London riots. In Starkey’s eyes, the ‘whites’ who glorify rap are minstrels, and for Starkey it is much darker than that. The ‘whites’ have literally become black and they are not ‘taking the mick’! Starkey’s class of 1899 are out of touch with the youth culture and its relationship to rap. Misappropriations of comedy programmes such as ‘Ali G in da House’ inspire Starkey’s view. American rap has influenced people’s speech all over the world and the UK’s local version has done the same to youngsters here in British slang. So, what is the relationship between rap, black culture, and the way young people speak? A new generation of white rappers are emerging in America. Columbia Records have signed Kreayshawn and Eminem’s protege Yelawolf. But rappers of varying ethnicities are not a new thing. Matisyahau, a renowned American Hasidic Jewish rapper, has long been relating the Jewish experience of life to those of the black and Rastafarian. Rap, at its best, is able to make experiences and identities interchangeable. It makes people
Deadline journalist Clarrisa Pabi gives her view on David Starkey’s outrageous remarks and explores the cultural impact of rap music on white rappers understand common goals, regardless of background. To say the whites have become black makes no sense - part of the success of rap is its embracement of different identities. Rap is a style not a race and it allows for almost anyone to represent their unique backgrounds to rap culture - even Starkey himself! Just check out Starkey Rap 2: Even Starker on Youtube, in which the David Starkey is transformed into the rapper Star-Key, reciting mad lyrics such as, “For me the key was listening to Jeremy Paxman/Turn the screen off you’d think I was black man.” The globalisation of rap and the ways in which black rappers speak has in turn lead to the ‘glocalisation’ of an ideology that local young people can identify with. If anything, Hip Hop has made young people value black culture, and their own youth culture, more than people like Starkey ever could. As Nicki Minaj would say: ‘Be lee dat woah!’ (Believe that woah).
written by clarrisa pabi illustration by gino cullen
Self Starters Nicole Gordon and Susan Karanga explore the alternative routes to success
With university fees trebling and the latest youth unemployment figures peaking at 119,000 you may think success is dependent on gaining that all important degree. But a torrent of entrepreneurs are proving that having ideas and being persistent is all you need to make your mark on life.
The Young Entrepreneurs
The Best Black entertainment blogger Alice Gbelia, founder of Catch A Vibe spawned her black culture webzine from her love of the arts. Noticing that events listings were not always up to date Alice circulated her own newsletter amongst friends. Catch A Vibe, which won Best International Blog last year at the Black Weblog Awards is breaking into the mainstream: currently the webzine attracts an impressive 16,000 new users a month. â€œThe best thing about owning a business is the freedom to experiment with new ideas,â€? Alice says.
WRITTEN BY Nicole Gordon
The Morden twist on Historic Jewels Semhal Zemikael, co-founder of luxury jewellery company La Diosa, says, “I wanted to experience what the world had to offer.” Semhal and business partner Natasha Faith travelled to Mexico, visiting the awe-inspiring Mayan ruins and soon after launched La Diosa. “We lived and worked with a small group of artisans learning how to make jewellery, it was sporadic but it all flowed,” she says. The duo travelled from Thailand to Hong Kong, fusing their cultural experiences into elegant jewellery. She says, “Our design philosophy is to make empowering, striking jewellery.” Within just three months of their business launching they received an order from Harvey
Nichols. “That really gave us the confidence to keep going.” Starting up was difficult for the pair who received mentoring from the Princes Trust. “We needed to understand and research our business market.” The Royals and former first lady Sarah Brown are avid supporters, but winning Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2007 Precious Awards marked a cornerstone. “It was great to be acknowledged by the business community.” For the young entrepreneurs, being based at the historic jewellery district Hatton Square marks the end of a strenuous yet rewarding journey. She says, “There are lots of opportunities for young people, all you need is the selfconfidence to start.”
WRITTEN BY Nicole Gordon
The five figure fashion blogger Catherine Kallon is the founder and editor of redcarpet-fashionawards.com she explores and critiques celebrities’ style, and is able to instantly identify dresses due to her photographic memory. “I have had a passion for fashion. Coming from a traditional African family, my dad discouraged me from pursuing it, but these days when I come back from fashion week, my mum is the first to pester me for goodies.” Catherine marketing degree upon realising how competitive the fashion industry was. For 5 years she worked as a PA in an events company, in the 2009 recession Catherine was made redundant, “It was the most demoralising time of my life.” Ironically her motivation to start blogging full time came from her fortnightly visits to the Job Centre. Catherine received Job Seekers Allowance but decided, “If people make money from websites why can’t I?”
Catherine saw an opportunity in the industry as she occasionally saw incorrect or untitled credits on garments. “By 2010 I had capitalised on this and started earning revenue from my blog.” The day after she was made redundant her blog traffic doubled from 6000 to 12000 hits and now it peaks 2 million hits a month, now I make five figures a month. “I’ve learnt through trial and error that the more you put in the more you get out. No one can put in as much effort as you because most employees only work for a pay cheque.” On her success and advice to young people everywhere. “To those who find themselves without work don’t expect things to just happen, go out there and make it happen, force it to happen. Tell yourself I am better than this, it took me a long while to get there but I got there and so can you.”
WRITTEN BY Susan Karanja
The sad side of
comedy. Why did you decide to start doing comedy?
I didn’t get into university by one mark last year, so I decided to take a gap year. I was always a bit of a class clown, doing something stupid, so I basically took being a class clown and made it into something productive.
Your alter ego ‘Bricka Bricka’ is a stereotypical eastern European- do you think you are projecting casual racism?
The character is based on my life; I am from Eastern Europe and my dad’s a builder. It’s just comedy! I think a lot of comedians use stereotypes and they are funny to an extent because there’s always a bit of truth in them unfortunately. I don’t think my character’s is at all malicious, it’s just harmless fun.
You say your inspiration is the ‘streets of London’, what are your views of the negative perception on youth?
It’s far too negative and it’s an image that I feel we don’t deserve. We need to concentrate on the positive things the youth are doing, and there is a lot of us. My comedy can be seen as taking the mickey out of street life but its to raise awareness that us youth are not all bad.
What are you currently doing?
I’m going to university this year to study International Relations. I guess my parent’s influence encouraged me to have some sort of academic stability. I want a degree to prove to myself that I’m not just a funny guy that clowns around.
Good comedy is an art form. So what is it called when the punch line offends you to the point that the awkward moment of silence overtakes the whole purpose of humour? Diamond Abdulrahim, editor of Deadline speaks to up-and-coming viral comedian David Vujanic about his work and the limits of comedy. Does a joke depend on the context, your ethnicity or simply your conscience?
The million pound question- do you think there are limits to comedy?
Generally, I don’t think there are boundaries, unless it’s blatant racism, but I guess there are double standards in comedy and ethnic minorities do get away with a lot more. I like being a bit risky and edgy with my jokes but I try not to go too far. I think society as a whole is becoming too politically correct and holding back from being open. That’s a bad thing but that’s how it is.
WRITTEN BY Diamond Abdulrahim PHOTOGRAPHY BY Diamond Abdulrahim
the past couple of years all we’ve is ‘2012 Olympics’ but already Are you excited about Forheard it’s failing to live up to the hype!
the Olympics? It’s been dubbed by many as the greatest show on the earth. Next year, London will play host to the 2012 Olympics and is expected to be the most exciting event to take place in Britain since it’s previous stint in London in 1948. When news first broke in July 2005 it brought a wave of excitement and anticipation between people both young and old. A never-ending list of opportunities came to new light including apprenticeships, chances to volunteer and a good opportunity to tackle unemployment. On the whole, many of us were looking forward to purchasing a ticket to watch the games with our own eyes for the very first time. The reality today falls short of our expectations. Though anticipation remains high, many individuals, including myself, who were looking forward to getting involved with the Olympics, feel in some way let down. Purchasing tickets proved to be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack, jobs and apprenticeships were nowhere to be seen and a majority of those who volunteered have yet to receive a response. “I’m very disappointed that I haven’t been given the chance to volunteer for the 2012 Olympics.”
One man added, “I thought the Olympics were designed to encourage us to take advantage of all the new opportunities that were being created.” The disappointments felt by young people appear to be synonymous with Education Maintenance Allowance cuts and the rise of tuition fees, which sparked protests across London. For some of us, perhaps it is fair to conclude that Olympic hype has been just that. On a lighter note, one organisation, Legacy Trust UK, aims to leave a sustainable legacy from London 2012 by funding projects to help 16-25 year olds find spaces to do the things they love. Provided by social marketing company Livity the project already encourages young people to pursue what they love. Fear not, this isn’t going to be another Millenium Dome affair. Instead, by embodying the Olympic spirit of regeneration communities – just like athletes – will be encouraged by 2012 to fulfil their full potential.
WRITTEN BY GRACE NZITA-KIKI Photography by Jendella Hallam
Will the real
narchists please stand up?
Charlotte Stebbing-Boulet explores how the media’s negative connotation of ‘anarchy’ is destroying its original meaning. With the recent London riots and anti-cuts protests, the same question keeps popping up in my mind - Why does the media portray the violence as ‘anarchist’ work, when the violence was arguably caused by a bunch of restless people fed up of their situation?
misunderstanding of the political ideology behind it.
The word anarchy itself means an absence of government or political authority and derived from the Greek word “archos” meaning “ruler” and “an” meaning “the absence of”. Only until recent years has the word been associated with chaos, due to the headlines such as “ANARCHY IN THE UK” printed by The Sun.
As an anarchist myself, my personal interpretation is being self-sufficient enough and having enough respect for others not to need a ruler or rulers to legislate laws. In order to gain a set of norms and values that are ingrained into us, so eventually there is no need to have a government, as we would all have respect and an understanding for each other- not such a radical idea!
Time after time, anarchists have been portrayed by the media as a violent group of people who enjoy nothing more than chaos and uprisings. At the anti-cuts protest in London, I witnessed a male being arrested simply for having an anarchist symbol on his clothing. By simply labeling yourself, you come under scrutiny from the police and the public whose misunderstanding of the word has led to a
One tweet I received said, “Being an anarchist in this day and age means building a new world in the shell of the old.”
Living in a capitalist society, does not mean believing what the media throws at us. As the Haymarket anarchist August Spies once said, “Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all.”
WRITTEN BY Charlotte stebbing-boulet
“I said I was amazin’, not that I’m a mason’’ The headline is a quote from probably the best rapper alive…Jay-Z. Yet 16-25 year olds are becoming increasingly obsessed with the Freemasons but why? Abigail Ababio decided to go directly to the source and ask some questions.
cartoons as Dora the Explorer. “I understand the desire to expose celebrities and authority figures for what they are, but children’s cartoons as well? Really?!”
After talking to those involved, I can’t see where people get their ideas from. The next thing they will be saying is the fraternities in universities also worship the devil too; really it’s not that different.
The Freemasons welcomed me to their building with no secrecy and no secret handshakes to get in, plus they answered my questions. So next time you go on YouTube and start posting comments on Jigga’s videos, do some research first!
Listening to songs like ‘Lucifer’ by Jay-Z, I find there are some interesting lyrics. For example: Do you ever wonder how people gather their in- ‘Lucifer, dawn of the morning! / I’m gonna, chase you out of Earth’. Now tell me, if Jay-Z worformation and create assumptions when trying ships the devil, why would he be trying to chase to expose these celebs? I mean seriously, think Lucifer (the devil) out of the Earth? Think about it. about it, no one has the right to pluck all these conspiracy theories from out of the air and think I’m not naïve. But all these ‘facts’ are just opinions they know it all and frankly, who cares? and all came from some individual’s beliefs. I don’t believe them in the slightest anymore The largest Freemasons lodge in the UK sits in because as they say, ‘You can’t believe everyCovent Garden and is there for anyone to pay thing you read in the papers’. It is ignorance a visit. So I did. I learned that the Freemasonry is actually the UK’s largest secular, fraternal and that causes people to latch onto other people’s charitable organisation, which teaches its mem- views, eventually leading them to believe them as their own. bers moral lessons and self-knowledge.
Celebrities such as Jay-Z and Beyonce are being associated with the Freemasons to the extent that Jay has written a denial into one of his songs. It’s ridiculous to think people have taken it to the extent of trying to find ‘symbols’ which are associated with the Freemasons in such
WRITTEN BY ABIGAIL ABABIO ILLUSTRATED BY BERTIE SIMPSON
sway with me The early game plan for you was to make five albums. Is that still the case?
It was a bit stupid of me to put a cap on how many albums I was gonna do but I didn’t really wanna be a rapper, my drive was to be a musician. I wanted to tell the fan base that I was only gonna do five albums. Which may not be the case, because I’ve got five albums worth of material and I’m only on my third.
What’s your method of writing songs?
My gift and curse is that I’ve got a home studio now. Before I might have loads of little ideas, then go to the studio and cane out three or four songs in a night. But now, I might wake up at 5AM with an idea then actually turn it into a song by 9AM. There’s no actual method to the madness, it just happens.
What would you like to do if you weren’t doing music? I definitely have an interest in politics. I don’t follow it religiously but I enjoy watching how people’s decisions effect our environment. I think after my music career, God willing, I will venture into politics to some capacity.
What’s the best thing about being involved in the music industry?
Well the other day this guy stopped me and said “You’ve really helped me get through a lot of things in life. Your experiences and words have inspired me.” That motivates me to go back in the studio and say I wanna touch other people, I want them to feel my pain and understand it and heal along with me. If I can achieve that, then it’s far greater than any monetary gain.
The UK’s original hip hop artist Sway catches up with ‘Deadline’ editor Martin on his upcoming projects…
What can fans expect to hear from your next album, The Deliverance?
The fans can expect to hear an undiluted Sway. Genuine, heartfelt, passionate, entertaining music. I love my second album, I think it’s some of the best music I ever made, but it’s very personal and I think I got caught up in my own world. Now I understand people wanna be entertained and that’s what The Deliverance is all about. Setting yourself free, setting your mind free of any restriction: be it physical, spiritual or emotional. It’s about having fun.
WRITTEN BY martin dunne
THE TEAM Editors Martin Dunne
art direction/design Andre ‘ZoOm’ Anderson
writers Abigail Ababio
mentors Susan Karanja
We would like to thank Kay Daylami for making this entire project possible through LIVE magazine. Fiona McKellar, for coordinating our time at the Guardian and Observer. Ben Ferguson, for helping with the editing when we needed you the most. Mark Calderbank, for being a his design guidance. You’re a legend. Our main photographer Jendella Hallam. Our artists Gino Cullen and Bertie Simpson. Daniel Onyia for recording all the video footage for this project and his behind the scenes support. A major thank you goes to The Guardian and Observer for providing the facilities we needed to complete this project and the following staff that took time out of their busy schedules to come and share their skills: Libby Brooks, Philip Oltermann, Phil Hoad, Patrick Kingsley, Kathryn Whitfield, Leah Jewett, Nicole Jackson, Simon Hattenstone, Sarah Lee, Sarah Phillips, Bill Mann, Paul Hamilos, Paul Lewis. And lastly, we would love to say a big thank to the wonderful chefs of The Guardian and Observer. Your food was just divine. Nice one. Copyright Livity. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in part or in full without prior written permission from the publisher. Live Magazine endeavours to ensure that all information enclosed is correct and true. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the writers and not necessarily the publisher or editorial staff.
deadline thirteen young writers. two weeks. one vision.
Voice of Youth. Live Magazine and the Guardian and the Observer got together to host two weeks of journalism workshops to create a North Lon...