Exclusive Newspaper Interview Rejoicing My Tenth Book Publication

By Wilfred Kanu Jr.


I just had an extensive interview today or yesterday. It was another of those mainstream articles. I’m not going to mention the name of the paper now, but it was good. The reporter wanted to know a lot of information as if she thought my music was gangsta rap. Why haven’t I released a new album since 2014? How do I make money with COVID – 19 out there? What do I revile about racism? And what motivated me to write so many books in such a short time? I could see that the straightforward reporter knew she was in the presence of a god, but like everyone else, she didn’t want to give me my flowers. Instead, she urged me to tell her how to get mine. She wanted my formula. What’s new? Taking candy from the baby? Here is some of what I told her.

It is a strong feeling that I cannot explain. I see black women advocating for black men.

At this point in my life, I believe that I found my peace of mind when I stopped striving for what I don’t have and started accepting what I have. What do I have? I have warmth. For example, when I go to these protests against social injustice or see them on TV and on social media, I feel chills on my back. It is a strong feeling that I cannot explain. I see black women advocating for black men. Should I suffocate when I realize we’re not alone? Our women heard our complaints and comforted us that we were not alone. It is powerful. It shows that our efforts have paid off. I don’t think a lot of people understand what it’s like to be a black man. A brother in the UK described it as being a superhero. My warmth comes from knowing that our women fight.

To be a black man today requires enormous strength on all levels – psychological, mental, emotional, physical, spiritual. Being a strong black man is like being a supervillain who comes under attack wherever he goes. Some of your black people want to kill you. The police won’t hesitate to hurt you, and there is a possibility that you’re unwelcome at home. If you don’t run on the water and can piggyback many people across this creek, you have a good chance of losing at school, at work, or on almost any platform. We get even more of our usual uncomfortable confidence when these riotous police killings take place. While everyone is shouting, “Black Lives Matter!” We live a black life that is supposed to matter when the protests indicate that it may not. 

Black men attract even more attention during times of protest. You walk by, and its like, there goes the black man whose life is supposed to matter, but it does not. There is always that surreal moment. You let your guard down cautiously, even when you see people supporting you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly fulfilled. Probably more than most think. My lyrics have not been gangsta since 2008. I was remarkably insecure in my twenties. During my mixtapes days, I had accomplished a lot for someone from the beginning. But I still felt and behaved like a vagrant. Back then, my views were set on what I didn’t have – which was self-worth. I wanted everyone to respect the tough situations I had endured, acknowledge the possessions I’d gathered, etc.

Of course, I also love storytelling and documenting the facts about how we live during our time.

So I charged my lyric with poignant street talk. In 2009, when I met Carvin Winans, he described to me who I was. He showed me my correct level and station. Since then, I rearranged my rhymes to a conscious elevation. Since that time, my music has been about fulfilling the legacy of my higher purpose as opposed to being in the middle of an idle spat. Granted, I have a history in the streets, and I was heavily influenced by gangsta rap. You can say I still use those types of beats and cadences from the mid-1990s. That might be why my music still has that gangsta feel even when the lyrics are conscious. I hope I’ve explained this correctly. When we spoke about my rationale behind why I haven’t dropped a new album since 2014? My answer was artless.

After 2014, I was more thrilled to build on my writing career than to continue rapping. I started rapping when I was ten years old. I’d rapped in dozens of freestyle ciphers, battles, live performances, etc. for a long time before I started recording mixtapes and albums. By 1998, I had further aims in life. Like playing a musical instrument, I’d perfected the craft and set my sights on other interests. That’s why I named my debut album, “While I’m Still Young.” That record was long overdue. It should have dropped in 1995 or 1996, but I released it in 2008. I’d already gone to college, worked, performed in other businesses, and completely forgotten about rap, until an unexpected opportunity presented itself. At least, I was still young enough to correctly record it.

Of course, I also love storytelling and documenting the facts about how we live during our time. 

Once I unlocked the recording plane, I dropped a couple of more albums, and that was that. The pressure was gone. Whenever I record now, it is with peace of mind. I’m not chasing a dream. By the way, I released some new music in 2017. Today, I’m more focused on building my bibliography and to secure a career in Bollywood. There will be more new albums, but at this point, the need is not as crushing as it used to be like, twenty years ago. Since we also live in a “cancel culture,” I’ve decided to keep my family and my finances out of the public’s eye. That is why you won’t find me explaining how I earn my coin or showing off my family members on social media. You already know, when the haters come to shut you down, they come at your family and your paper.

As an artist and author, how do I make money during COVID 19? The truth is that I’ve never lived off my art. These music and books are more of an expensive hobby. My real hustle (which is NOT a 9 to 5) is separate from this, and it was not influenced by the economic downturn. When it comes to the question of racism, I think it is despicable! I want to see an end to it! What motivates me to write? It is my narcissistic fantasy. My father is a writer and a book hoarder. Seeing that as a child inspired me to become an author. Look at writers like Sydney Sheldon, John Grisham, Langston Huges, Shakespear, or John Bunyan, to name a few, you’d see that they left behind a sizable body of work. That’s what I want, a Wilfred Kanu Jr. section in the bookstores.

During my mixtapes days, I had accomplished a lot for someone from the beginning.

Of course, I also love storytelling and documenting the facts about how we live during our time. Because of my extensive travels, I am an American, Canadian, Sierra Leonean, and Grenadian. I want my legacy to be something that makes each of these countries proud. These books are some of the footprints that I will leave behind when my time is over. Reminder: For those who may have forgotten. Remember, in 2014, after authoring the third book, I promised to give you all a little insight into my artistic process as a writer. I wanted you to witness my conception in real-time. So, I asked you to help me to conceive The Sandmann’s Journal as a part of my blog. The process I used was to write the draft of each chapter directly on my Facebook wall.

After that, I’d edit that on my blog, and then publish those blogs in seven volumes. If you have been following me, you have watched we write seven books. These inscriptions that you see on my wall are the drafts of the final volume of The Sandmann’s Journal. That will be the end of this literary journey. I can’t tell if you enjoy it or not, but you witnessed history in the making. I will eventually unpublished the articles on this blog, clearing up for a new phase. The Freddy Will Blog will continue, but the current content would be in The Sandmann’s Journal, erased from the website. One of the subjects that I wanted to explore before the end of this literary journey is The Book of Revelations in the Bible. Here is hoping you all enjoy this.*

About Wilfred Kanu Jr.

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