Nigerian-American rapper, Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi also known as Mr. Flint passed away June 2014. He was down with Krip-Hop Nation and we use to talk about our dreams of making Hip-Hop and Africa more open to people with disabilities. June 1st was his birthday. Today, June 16th/17 Krip-Hop Nation shares that interview. R.I.P. Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi aka Mr. Flint
Krip-Hop Nation (KHN) – Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi aka Mr. Flint, I’m so happy to get to interview you. I’ve been following your work/music for some times. You are from Nigeria, Africa and now live in New York USA. Why did you relocate to NY and are you still active in Nigeria?
Mr. Flint: More opportunities to broaden my music in America. I have my Nigerian sound always. I go back home every 4 months. So I go back and forth all the time.
KHN: We’ll get to your music soon but also you are an advocate for other people with disabilities. Tell us what kinds of campaigns you are working on.
Mr. Flint: I have the Second Chance Foundation and I’m working in Nigeria to open an office there.
KHN:http://secondchanceinlifefoundation.com/ From the site: “Description Second Chance in Life organization founded by Nigerian native, Leroy Fagbemi, is movement catalyzed by strength, determination and passion for life. Paralyzed from the waist down in a freak, 18-wheeler truck accident, Leroy, popularly referred to by his stage name 9Ja Diddy, has overcome tremendous obstacles and impediments as a disabled individual. In his quest to create awareness of the struggles paralyzed individuals encounter in the United States of America, equally his birthland, Nigeria, Africa, Leroy chronicles his time on Earth, from going to bed at night, to waking up in the morning. He grants the public, a first-person perspective on the arduous routine of showering, putting on clothes, opening the door for guests and getting around his Brooklyn neighborhood via New York City transit. Graphic/real video footage depicts firsthand, what life is like in the eyes of Leroy Fagbemi…and in truth, the purest form of preseverance and faith in a greater tomorrow, are the only driving forces behind his partial integration into “normal” society.
Through Second Chance in Life, the voices of those who go unheard, are amplified for all over the world to auditorily witness. Leroy seeks to end the discrimination against such persons who are disabled, and assist in the mass promotion of regular lifestyles for ALL people, despite physical shortcomings.
We cannot achieve results alone. Second Chance in Life calls for US residents, and citizens of the global community at large, to raise their hands in support of this project. This is not a political situation. This is a human situation, and it is our responsibility to fortify a cause which advocates the greater good of mankind. Join this page, and be sure to inform your friends, about Leroy Fagbemi- the global ambassador for the voiceless, the enabler for the disabled.”
KHN: In your country tell us what is it like for people with disabilities who want to do music like you. Are there opportunities in not only entertainment but in other avenues?
Mr. Flint: Disable is a state of mind. When I’m performing I don’t feel disabled. Everyday life has different issues. Opportunities are everywhere for everyone. A performer with a disability does bring more attention. Politics, Management there is no limit.
KHN: How can people with disabilities in both countries, USA & Nigeria support each other and make art/music together.
Mr. Flint: THROUGH THE SECOND CHANCE FOUNDATION KHN: I also notice that you do journalism behind the camera asking questions to many people about their views of people with disabilities.
KHN: Tell us about your video interviews and why did you do it?
Mr. Flint: I DO THAT TO SHOW YOU. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE DISABLED. WE ARE HERE. AND I’M BRINGING IT TO THE FOREFRONT KHN:
KHN: Do you see that African Americans have a role in improving the lives of Africans with disabilities and if you do then what is that role?
Flint: FAMILIES WHO HAVE A DISABLED LOVE ONE/S IN THEIR FAMILY TEND TO SHOW MORE COMPASSION. WE ARE ALL AFRICAN.LOL KHN:
KHN: I first saw your video/song, You Think My Life Is Easy, on youtube and it brought tears to my eyes because finally I saw and heard a real song about how many people with disabilities live 24/7. Tell us more about that video/song.
Mr. Flint: IT’S JUST THE ROUTINE I DO. EVERYDAY TO GET OUT OF BED. IT’S A PROCESS YOU KNOW. (Video below)
KHN: Many of your videos like so many male rappers have women hanging around/dancing. Do you think disabled Hip-Hop artists need to overstate their sexuality by having women in music videos just to make a point.
Mr. Flint: NOT REALLY. I JUST WANTED GIRLS IN THE VIDEO . I LIKE THEM. KHN:
KHN: What kinds of reaction you get from music industry in both countries?
Mr. Flint: GREAT RESPONSE. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE VENUE IS WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE. KHN:
KHN: Have you seen disabled women doing Hip-Hop in New York and in Nigeria? If not how can we increase the awareness of the talents of disabled women in Hip-Hop?
Mr. Flint: I CANT ANSWER THAT ONE. IF YOU KNOW ANY GIVE THEM MY EMAIL.
KHN: Tell us about all of your names. We share the name Leroy. Tell us more especially your nickname.
Mr: Flint: SKINNY JOE. (WELL I USED TO BE SKINNY) MR .FLINT(NOW IM FAT).LOL KHN:
KHN: What is in you future and have you perform with other disabled Hip-Hop artists?
Mr. Flint: YES A COUPLE. 4 WHEEL CITY.
KHN: I have to ask about your work in the adult entertainment industry. Please give us the 411.
Mr. Flint: I’m proud of what I did I have no regrets. I was trying to show that disabled individuals can have a regular sexual lives just like everyone else. And I introduced the world to a chair that aids disabled people sexually. plus I liked doing it. lol They call me the King of The Wheelchair Porn
KHN: Off the top of your head give us some lyrics that talk to Hip-Hop industry
Mr. Flint: LAGOS CITY TO BROOKLYN MR .FLINT ALWAYS LOOKIN UNTIL I REACH THE TOP . MENDE BOYS WILL HOLD MY SPOT KHN:
KHN: Any last words & how can we get intouch with you?
Mr. Flint: LOVE ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY NEW ALBUM. MRFLINTMUSIC. YOUTUBE I WILL LIKE TO THANK , MY PRODUCTION TEAM , FIRST , STEEV AWSTON, SKILL P ,SOUND SULTAN, LIL PRINCE AMEEN, AND EVERYBODY THAT SHOW ME LOVE AND SUPPORT
Pic From HIS YOUTUBE CHANNEL. Nigerian native, Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi sits in his wheelchair with a mic