CVN: What are your thoughts on the current political situation including the protests?
“Well (sighs) I’m disappointed. Let me start by saying this. I’m very disappointed in our current situation. I feel like we made so much progress as a Country and we were headed in such a beautiful direction. I also think that it was needed and here’s why I say that. I think a lot of us were unaware of just how Racist America still is. I have dealt with being harrassed by Police, I have been wrongfully accused of things, I have been wrongfully arrested and not given a fair shake by the system. I have brothers who have been abused by this system. And it affects a whole family on so many levels. So for me it’s personal. I get frustrated because I feel we are overly criminalized. You know that Karen attitude is a thing. So many Black Men are accused of crimes they don’t commit. And a crime is slapped on them and because an officer says it, it’s law and that person isn’t given a fair shot. I was once told by a public defender “I know it’s messed up. But it’s your words vs 6 cops.” To me she was saying you’re a Black man and it’s your word against 6 white cops. Which automatically makes me guilty. It’s like what do you do? Our police today are more militarized than they’ve ever been. Thanks to Bill Clinton who I remember playing the saxophone and black people thinking that he was for them. Then he militarized the Police. I went to Natick High and stayed out there because I played Football. Natick from sports to school is where I vividly remember experiencing Racism for the first time and a lot of it. I remember getting eye rolls and the “go back to Africa” I once got suspended when I was called the N word because I chased the kid into the principal’s office. Even though i was born in Roxbury and my Family had been in America longer than the families of some of the White Kids that were saying that to me. I remember feeling out of place. I was so pro black and never fitting in. I have a lot of white friends and spent the night and weekends at my Friends family’s house and they were so nice to me. I still to this day have White Friends that I love to death. But they also agree with me that the current state of our country is terrible. I want to make it clear that I do not hate white people. Because that seems to be a Gas Lighting thing done to Black Men who speak up about injustices we face in this country. But I do feel offended by the white classmates that cheered for me during football games, that cheered for my friends and other black people in the NFL, NBA. The white people that love and indulge in black culture, our fashion, our foods, our language and are not fighting hard for us. The ones who have something to say but indulge in American Culture which was created by the same people they can’t stand. I take that as a slap in the face. My Parents went through Desegregation and the Boston Bussing situation. So it’s just hurtful to know those things and to think we have someone leading the country and some others in high positions that are doing everything in their powers to stop us from moving forward. I think this whole system needs to be reformed. It’s Human decency. We built America and continue to Build America. You look at Covid and who’s working these jobs that allow you to eat out, who’s playing these sports. Who’s losing their housing? Who’s gonna benefit from those Black people losing their housing in the impoverished neighborhoods? Who’s at a disadvantage with schooling. And when I talk about schooling let me say resources. Because the teachers aren’t always better in the suburbs. Some of the best teachers I had were in the “Hood” It’s the resources that make life easier for those kids. I think Black people need to have their own Political Party. I don’t agree with Black Lives Matter as a Political Organization; it doesn’t represent me. They don’t Mention the Straight Black Man. I agree with the phrase Black Lives Matter, because my Life matters and so do my friends and Family. So when I say Black Lives Matter it’s because mine does and so does my family and friends. Caucasians that say “All Lives Matter ” we know they do but if you feel that way then you should be just as mad about Black Lives Mattering if you really felt that way. I just think as a whole we need a party we need political candidates. I know firsthand how politics can influence things. With all the information my generation has at their fingertips we need more politicians. I helped get Deval Patrick elected as the first black governor with Chip Greenidge (National Black College Alliance, vote or die) I’ve helped Barack Obama raise money to gain the senate. Also, to see the first Black president was amazing. It was a great feeling to see my Grandmother who was in her 90’s and everything she’s seen get to see that, and I was glad to be a part of that for her. But I think that’s why we are here today. I just hope Americans wake up. And realize how peaceful America was when he was president and see how much chaos the country is in right now. The country is a reflection of leadership. Being in business all my life I understand this, America is a business and this president doesn’t care about people he cares about business and White Supremacy. And business wise someone who’s seen their families business last for 65 years. America is really not being run correctly at all. Look at how perfect Obama had to be and this current office has been worried about bashing him so much and has yet to really do anything but make empty promises that he hasn’t fulfilled and actually brought back a pandemic, a civil war and a great depression. America wasn’t great to begin with because of the rape, looting and genocide. And now he’s made it worse than it was when Obama was in office. I feel like as Black people we have to vote our behinds off come November. We have to organize our brothers and sisters of non-black ethnicity and vote. We need more diversity in all businesses. We need more jobs for black ppl. It’s just a lot. I hope in my Lifetime we get to change the whole system. But idk if that is gonna happen. But if I lay some tracks down and we lay some tracks down the generations behind us can see Racism gone.
I mean you look at this current President and the way he runs the country it just isn’t how leadership should be. It makes me sad that people are still defending him. He keeps threatening to take us back to times where America was not Great. He ran his whole campaign on hate. I think he’s done a terrible job at his job and we should stop deeming the celebrity as these people who have our best intentions at heart. Because it’s not the case. The person who’s gonna care most for you is the one from your neighborhood. Someone who is in touch with the people. We need more politicians who come from the neighborhood. I think our most important agenda should be the end of Slavery the 13th. and getting our 40 acres and our reparations that means money. I think America owes every Black Person money for what they put our families through. The pain that has been caused. The lands that have been stolen and sold at cheap prices and withheld from people of color. I think white people should be taught the real history of this country. I think just like we don’t celebrate Hitler and the Nazi’s we shouldn’t celebrate Columbus and the Confederacy. It’s really crazy that we fly the American flag when the north won but the confederate flag is not treason. Confederate statues aren’t treason. Anybody with any basic Military knowledge knows that when one army wins the flag of the losing army is no more. So it makes no sense other than America has to do better. We are the leaders of the world. We can’t be acting like our stuff doesn’t stink while the whole time our stuff reeks.
Nubian Square • Roxbury, Boston, MA
CVN: Nubian square. Can you explain why this name is so important?
Dudley was changed to Nubian Square. The name is important because it gives us something in our own community. Thomas Dudley was a British colonial governor who died in Roxbury and was pro slavery. For me it goes back to that Notion Malik had. Now we have Nubian Square. I think what Roxbury did to make that happen was amazing. So with A Nubian Notion being the downtown for black people for so many years. It is empowering for a place we all knew and loved as far as the center of Roxbury being called Nubian Square.There is power in words whether we want to admit it or not. And I think anybody who loved A Nubian Notion should honor my Grandfather and give his legacy the respect he deserves by calling a place that was for them and named after them Nubian Square. As it is meant to empower them. He wanted black people to know who they were and live in their power. So that’s how you honor him. By honoring yourself. So for me Nubian Square is that Notion he set in motion and it’s being spread in so many ways. You look all over the country. I see all these stores that sell oils and incense all these black bookstores, now everyone is celebrating Kwanzaa. It just reminds me of A Nubian Notion. I remember celebrating Kwanzaa every new year’s day forever with my family. It was equally as important as Christmas and now it’s a thing in the black community. These are all examples of black people setting off this “Notion” and it’s beautiful to watch. Also we talked a lot about my Grandfather as he was the businessman. But i just want to give a shout out to my Grandmother Elva Lee Abdal-Khallaq because without her there would be none of this. She was the rock, the glue and Queen of our Family because of her the business lasted that long. She deserves just as much credit as Malik. I don’t think they could have done any of what they did without each other.
CVN: So we talked a lot about your Grandfather and the family business. But you had also mentioned you have some projects of your own you are working on….
Kaasim: Yes. I am an RNB Singer I have been in the newspaper a few times as a kid. I was in the play Black Nativity produced by the Famous Elma Lewis. I’ve performed at Howards homecoming. I’ve performed on the same show as J.Cole, Lupe Fiasco. I have performed at A3C (Atlanta Festival). I have done tons of shows. My Song 2 Weeks has over 160k streams, it trended on audiomac, I’ve had blog write ups on signers room, I’ve been in Travis Porter Make it Rain video that was on MTV, a few other videos. I’ve also helped shoot 2Chainz Music video with Motion Family for watch out which we received a Platinum Plaque for that from Def Jam. I worked on one of young Jeezy’s videos (both Artist I discovered in A Nubian Notion) I have worked with grammy nominated and platinum producers. Mentored by Grammy winning producers. I have a new EP coming out called Socially Distant. It plays on our current events. I started working on it as soon as Covid hit and we went into lock down. I locked myself in the studio and started working so I’m excited to share it with the world. It will be on apple music, tidal, spotify and my website. Also on my website you will find my store, where it will be an extension of A Nubian Notion. I’m the next generation of a Nubian notion. I also released a new song titled “on purpose” produced by Grammy Nominated producer $K (Future, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Jacquees) and DJ Cruz. You can follow me on instagram @kaasimomw
I’m really trying to change the Music Industry and give Good Independent Musicians a platform to be appreciated and be able to live out their dream without becoming a slave to the evil pay for play industry. So support your Local Artist. You see how they are cutting music in school. Music is so important. Just look at Covid music got us through the worst time we’ve had in a while. So yea make sure you head over to my instagram and follow me and support the next generation of one of the grandkids of A Nubian Notion and Black Business. Thanks.