Interview With EyeQ
Location: Anime Boston 2022
Interview Date: 5/28/2022

Anime Herald: How does a nice boy from Brooklyn end up performing Nerdcore in Orlando?

EyeQ: Where do you want me to start?

Anime Herald: Brooklyn.

EyeQ: So, I’m from Brooklyn, New York, in a place called Vanderveer, which now has a different name (Flatbush Estates). So I grew up in the hood. Let’s see, where do I start? My relationship with nerdcore kind of starts with my relationship with comic books, anime and video games. They were a very big part of me growing up, and kind of like, they were always an escape for me. So my pops introduced me to comic books. We’d go to the store and one of the things he’d always do is he would buy me a comic when he saw that I had an interest in them. From there, it just turned into an obsession. And so when I was in junior high school… I didn’t do it as much in 269 (PS 269 Elementary). I did comic books, but I didn’t have friends that did comic books. So I kind of kept it to myself.

When I got to junior high school, I met kids that liked comic books like I did. I had a friend by the name of Alex. Alex was a Russian kid who could draw. We became instant friends, because we liked some of the same characters. And it was really cool to have people to talk to about this stuff. So, from there I got into manga. I got my hands on my first actual manga, which was Crying Freeman. I was super obsessed with the stories and watching the struggles of the characters, because they reminded me of… life.

When you’re younger, you don’t understand why you’re gravitating to something so much. I was obsessed with the X-Men. I loved the X-Men. And watching them and reading the correlation between them being hated for being mutants, right? It really hit my heart in a way that I wanted to know everything. So every X-Men comic book I could, I would trade kids for comic books. In junior high school, because we didn’t have much money, so literally, to get my fix, we would meet up at lunch, and a whole group of us, we’d do comic book exchanges. We would exchange comic books and comic cards. Sometimes, we’d record anime. And we’d trade. Sometimes I could get like, four or five comic books, for a recording or something.

This kid liked Wolverine. I learned all of the attributes of the kids that I would trade with. So, I know he likes Wolverine comic books. We’d trade two X-Men for Wolverine, stuff like that. It was an exchange. For all of us, it gave us the ability to read more books, past what we could get for our allowances, or whatever we had. It allowed us to continue learning more about the universes.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

We would trade cards, from junior high school, into high school. And I had lots of friends that were either in drama club or, they were all really big nerds. I played basketball though. So I was like, you know, a fish out of water, because I was on the basketball team, but I was this huge nerd. So it was cool because, we didn’t get messed with a lot. Because I was on the basketball team. Versus in junior high school, where kids would come and mess with us.

I’m saying the only thing that kind of got me by was the fact that, even if I couldn’t beat you, you knew we were gonna fight. You knew I could fight pretty well. But at the end of the day, it was more like “Yo, leave us alone”

And if you don’t leave us alone, it’s a problem. And that helped facilitate what we were trying to do, because kids would come, and they would try to rob us sometimes. And it’s just kind of like “Nah, bro. That’s not going down. We do want our comic books.”

From there, like I said, High School, which is just meeting different types of nerds. Like I said, I was in a drama club. Some of the kids in the drama club, they really gravitated towards video-games. Or, they gravitated towards comic books. Story-driven things. And then I had other friends that were straight up beginning to own the fact that they were anime heads. But the difference between when I was younger, and it was more secretive, to when I got to high school is like when kids started really coming out.  And so it was an experience that I’m getting to have with them, and it empowered me too. Because it’s kind of like, I don’t have to worry about saying that I like a thing. And now I’m seeing more people that I share things in common with.

I had a friend named Sefa. Sefa was an artist, I don’t know where in the world Sefa is now. But Sefa had a fascination with drawing anime. I don’t know what the art style was, but he was obsessed with Japanese culture and art styles. He was Vietnamese. He would tell me more things about the culture. We would just sit and talk about everything. Even gaining an appreciation from an art standpoint, because all my art friends, they were analyzing things at a level that I didn’t even comprehend at the very beginning.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

I also had two friends by the names of Levar, and Tyrone. I started going to some of my first events with them. Tyrone’s mom took us to our first conventions in NYC when I was in JHS, I believe that’s where I saw my first cosplay ever. It was She hulk and I thought It was the coolest thing, that people wanted to dress up as the characters I would read about. I remember Stan Lee was at this event and so many artists from the books I loved to read. I met the artists for comics like Ghost Rider, The Incredible Hulk, Deathlok, and Beavis and Butthead. I even got them to draw on the back of my program. After that convention I was hooked and so inspired. I wanted to go to more of them and learn more. Me and Levar were friends all through high school and we wuld actual have more intellectual conversations about comics. Around this time, though our conversations, I started gaining more of an understanding and insight of why I loved them so much. How the stories contrasted to the life I lived and why I identified with these stories so much. Comic books have always been political, they have always talked about and reflected the issues of the times. They have touched subjects like race, religion, etc., and gave me a perspective on things I was not yet talking about with my family about home.

Then we get to college. We’re all watching anime. There’s a small group of us and we start at home… How can I explain it? We would congregate. Not everybody is into anime, or, not everybody’s into the thing that you might be watching. We would congregate in our rooms. There was a small group of us. We would always watch Dragon Ball Z. And my friend, Jovon, at college, he was the plug. Because he was the one that could go home and stay up to date with the episodes we were watching. We couldn’t all go home, I was on the basketball team and was not able to go home on weekends like some of the other students. So we went from watching Dragon Ball in Jovon’s room to watching Dragon Ball in our hall lobby because having too many of us in a room was against fire code. Soon the hall was too small and we needed more space.

We got permission from an RA to get a bigger area in school to watch anime. It got so big that we could not fit everybody there and we started getting in trouble for it. So then we officially formed a club. We started an anime club, so we could watch Dragon Ball Z on the big screen in the school theater where there was plenty of space. We didn’t know that once we became an official club, they would actually give us money for the club. We had a budget to buy anime! It was like the coolest thing ever. (Editor’s note: EyeQ later mentioned he was the club’s student senator. He, Jovon, and a few others were the co-founders of the school’s first anime club.)

Skip forward after college, you know, life happens. And I’m kind of still doing the things that I love, and consuming the media which has always been a part of my household. The difference now is I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in life. I wanted to be a videographer, and a photographer, and I would do that stuff, and I’m a pretty decent editor.

Music didn’t happen though until… what year was it? I was always a writer. And I wrote poetry. That’s in junior high, high school, college. I was always a writer. And… man, I don’t know what year this was. I met Ran.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Anime Herald: Mega Ran?

EyeQ: Yes. Maybe sometime like 12 years ago. Something like that. And I remember we talked about our passions back in the day. And just like, I was so happy to see somebody that looked like me doing something that they loved. And, he invited me to come to my first MAGFest. My journey in music and actually being open about it started with that trip. So we went to MAGFest, and I had a great time, I did photography and videography for MAGFest, like, back in the day.

I found out, like, that one of my high school teachers, who was like my mom, her name was Mrs. Slade. I hadn’t talked to her in eight or nine years. Her daughter found me on Facebook. When she reached out to me she said that, you know, Miss Slade wanted to talk to me. And I remember I was on the side of the building by the stage where the Mega marathon happened. There’s a little couch on the side. And I remember that one of the things I wanted to do more than anything else, I wanted to watch the Protomen play, right? And so I’m excited. The Protomen, they come on, and I get the call. I go all the way down the hallway. and I’m sitting in the corner, on the little couch that used to be there. She tells me that she wants to have Mrs. Slade talk to me. And so I sit and I talk with Miss Slade and I don’t watch The Protomen. We sit and we talk for maybe two hours. And then she tells me that she’s terminally ill with cancer. And that if she had a son, she would have wanted him to be just like me. She tells me she always thought of me like her son and one of the things she wanted to do before she passed was talk to me. Even in her last moments she was was thinking about others. And it broke me. It broke me.

I remember she literally told me, like, things that she remembered about me when I was a kid. And she said, “Man, you’ve always been a person that when you put your mind to something, you do it, and I don’t ever want you to lose that.” And then she turned around and told me that she always wanted me to follow my heart. And… I couldn’t look at life the same. I cried a lot that night.

Afterwards, I went and I hung out with everybody, and all I could do was think. I was thinking about everything that happened to me and what got me to Florida in the first place, and why I was there. And I wasn’t happy. Around that time I was going through a very huge depression. All I could think about was the fact that I wasn’t happy. And I wanted to change. I promised her that if it was in my heart to do, I would do it. And so I went home after MAGFest. And I really thought about what it was I wanted to do. And I didn’t know. I just said, “I’m going to do the things that I enjoy.” I was going to change my life and do things that made me happy. Maybe one day something would stick and I’d figure it out. And so I went back to the one thing that I always found comfort in, and that was writing, creating. Mrs. Slade passed away very shortly afterwards. And I wrote…

I started writing a poem. I wrote a poem just thinking about Mrs. Slade and everything from school. I cried the whole time I wrote it. At the time, there was an artist who was a friend of mine by the name of Richie Branson. Richie, and Mega Ran, they’ve been like family to me from day one. Richie put out a pack of beats for other artists to use. I remember hearing them, and while I was writing the poem, all I could hear was the music in my head. I turned around and I put the music with poem. I had always loved music and I was experimenting with it at the time. But I had never told anybody. I put my feelings and my thoughts into the song.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

I was in school for TV and radio production. I had a setup at home. I had, because we couldn’t get studio time. They didn’t have enough studios for all of the students. It was really hard to get time. Initially, I wanted to be a Foley artist. (Foley is sound effects plus the white noise between sound effects and dialogue.)

I wanted to do more recordings, for movies and television and things like that. And so I had a set up at my house. I said, “You know what, I’m just gonna record it.” And so I did. And I remember, I cried the whole time. But I felt like I just needed to get it out of me. So I did. And I sent it to her daughter. Maybe a week later, we go to Mrs. Slade’s service. Yolanda plays the song at the service, and everybody loses their shit, including myself. My mom came with me. My Mom mom. I’m in the room, and I’m looking at little white ladies crying and singing this song. And I’m looking around the room. And seeing the effect that had on everybody. I said, “I want to be able to do that for people in some way.” Maybe this is something I should think about.

On the way home from the ceremony, my mom told me about what she had saw, and said “Chris, you touched a lot of people in that place.” She was really touched by the response. I said it’s because they knew her like I knew her.

So then I had another friend who was a musician that I met through (Mega) Ran. His name’s Sulai. We were friends, and we would talk about whatever. I thought he was one of the coolest artists ever because he made music that reminded me of life, like Nujabes (Samurai Champloo). I didn’t know at the time that he was actually an artist that had been signed to their label. But he and his wife were some of the dopest people and just as dope MC’s. So we were talking about music all the time. He encouraged me to follow that, and to refine and try to figure out what it was I wanted to do. And so we sat one day and talked about it.

Our Connecting thing was photography. Sulai was a very good photographer. Photography has always been like an expression for me in art. Making videos and taking pictures of things and learning how to edit and, and learning more about conveying my feeling through the expression of a camera. I’d finally gotten my own DSLR (digital camera). He was teaching me all of that. But we would always talk about hip hop, and Sulai never put out any of his music. He would let me listen to it. I would always bother him about it. Selfishly because I wanted more of it to listen to. After all of this stuff I wanted Sulai to make music so much that I kept persisting that he should make it so much that one day he was like, “You know what, I’ll make something.” And every week I saw him, I’d be like “When are you making some new music? When are you going to make some new music?” And he said, “I’ll make something when you make it with me.”

I was so about him making more music. I was like, “Oh, you think I won’t really do this? I called him on his bluff. I said “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I called his wife and asked “Hey, can I take Sulai tomorrow? So he has no excuses to come with me to make something.”

We sat in the house that day. We worked on the first thing, outside of Mrs. Slade, the first real thing that I actually worked on. We never put the song out. But it was like the first real thing that I consciously made an effort to do. Sulai taught me like a whole lot and helped shape the way in which I looked at hip hop a little differently. Because he would make music that was more about things like love and life and things that I was about. He made it look cool. And so for me, I was like, “You know, I would rather make things that are an expression of me, and what I think and how I feel, and what life looks like.” To this day it’s still a practice I apply to what I do.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

That led me to making music about video games and anime, because the one thing I wanted to do was be true to me and what I loved in life. I didn’t want to make music trying to follow a trend, to be cool. I wanted to make music that I thought made sense. We talked about so many things pertaining to music. But when I think about it, it’s one of the few heritage’s I have.

I can tell you where some of my family is, but I can’t tell you where my deep ancestry is, and where every single person is. I know sparsely some of those things.

It’s the one thing that I get to leave behind, for any of my lineage, or anyone of color, that I feel can be impactful. I also don’t look at Nerdcore as a novelty. To me, this is building history of some sort. Something that somebody, when I’m long gone, can understand what my perspective was, at that time in life.

A lot of times, people will make things that they think will be popular. That’s not my motivation. And so, it was because or dudes like (Mega) Ran, because it dudes like Sulai, because of meeting people like Richie, K- Murdock who told me that first song I made was dope and the rest of the (NPC) Collective, that I met a group of people that wanted to uniquely be them, and it empowered me to want to uniquely be me. And so, without them, there’s no me. I didn’t expect music to take me to as many places as it’s taken me. I just refused to stop, because I promised that I would do what was in my heart. Music has always been in my heart. I never thought that I would have the capacity to do it. And so that that’s been it. This many years later, it’s just my refusal to stop, My refusal to say “Okay, well, you know what, I’m going to go do this. And I’m going to do that.”

I tried at first. I worked at Lowe’s for six years. When I got back from Mrs. Slade’s funeral, nothing looked the same for me anymore. Because all I could think about was what my purpose was, and what I wanted to do, and what made me happy. Music has always been that thing for me. It’s always been a thing that has helped me get through. I remember, because I was in school at the time, like I told you for, TV and radio production, or digital media. Literally, I went back to school. I was working at Lowe’s. And one day… I’m not a super religious person. But I felt like I needed guidance. I prayed, I prayed to God, and I asked him. I said, “If I’m supposed to still be doing this, and still be at Lowe’s, let me know. But if I’m not, let me know. Because I’ll stay here. I’ll keep doing this. But if it’s my time, I need to know.” And literally, I got three signs, literally within a day.

I’ve got a friend in Orlando who is like my brother and his name is Rhett. I hadn’t seen Rhett in weeks. And literally after saying that Rhett calls me and says, “Bro, come outside, come outside now.”

And me, I don’t leave my house very often when I’m home. I play online. I play with my friends and my family. We game, right? Or I watch my anime and I chill, but outside of people that make me feel comfortable, I don’t like people. I like my nerds, sure. And it’s cool to be outgoing when I’m here at a convention. But when I’m in the world, I don’t feel very safe. I’m a huge man and people tend to see me as a threat, and I know that.

So I don’t go out. I don’t do a bunch of things. When Rhett called me, he was like “I haven’t seen you in forever. Come outside.” This was not too long after Mrs. Slade passed away. So I wasn’t talking to anyone. I wasn’t going to hang out. I wasn’t having conversations with anybody. I wasn’t. If you weren’t a part of a video game, I wasn’t talking to you.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

I came outside because it was him. I looked up in the sky. There was a halo. There was a halo around the Moon, I swear to God. I took a picture of it. I took that as a sign. Because I was so hurt over Mrs. Slade. I just didn’t want to deal with people. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to be around. Nothing. I looked up into the sky. And I saw her halo. I knew. I knew that was her telling me she was good. I may not be super religious. But she was SUPER religious. She believed and she told me how happy she was that she was going to meet with God. And that, it was the first piece of calm I had since I got home. I took it as a sign. I asked God for a sign.

The next day, I got up and I went to work. And literally, because I went back to school, I asked for a specific day, because there was a specific class I had to take. The class only happened one day a week, one time a year. If I wanted to continue, I had to take this class. They would not give me the time on that day to take my class. I was. At the time, I was a receiver at Lowe’s. They wouldn’t give me this time, after previously allowing people who had that position to also go to school. So I took it as a sign.

A halo of light in the evening sky

Photo Credit: EyeQ.

They took me into the office. They turned around, and they told me that I had to make a decision. They told me that I either had to take a demotion, so I could take the class. But then I would lose the money that I was making. So they gave me the ultimatum. Either I had to drop the class, or I had to take the demotion. I had just prayed the day before. I didn’t understand it. And I was upset. And then I realized the thing. “I asked you for a sign.” I also had just got the highest grade point average I’d ever gotten going to school. Ever. They put me into the Honor Society that night. I took it as a sign.

When that happened, I was upset. And then I realized “Oh my god, this is a sign.” They told me A or B. I looked at them. I looked at my boss and I said “Or C. Effective immediately, I’m putting in my two weeks. I’m going give you my written notice today.” I went to the office. I wrote the letter. And then I called my mother. I told my mom, “Mom, I’m about to quit my job.” She asked me why and wanted to make sure that I would be okay. She did what moms do. She was worried. I said, “Listen, Mom, I asked God for a sign. I think he told me quit. I think he told me to leave. I told her I did not call her for permission, that I simply just wanted her support. She told me to do what I needed to do. That day, I put in my two weeks.

I had an iPod that I used to listen to. I had (Mega) Ran’s album on it. There was a song he dropped. The song was called Everything. I’d been listening to that song a lot. I put in my earphones. I played Everything. And I walked out of Lowe’s and I never looked back. I never looked back. I didn’t ever have to go back. I had two weeks of sick time saved up. Because I never called out. So I never had to walk back into that door ever again. I said, from there on, I was going to follow my heart. I started making music.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Now, mind you, I had another job afterwards. But I didn’t put the job over my passion ever again. I had no idea how I was going to pay my rent. I had no idea what the future looked like. But I asked. I was like, “If you ask, and you see…”

People are so afraid of taking the leap that they never take it. Just for one time in my life, I had to know. I had to follow my heart. I had to know. So that’s what I did. I would make music. I would do as many shows as I could, everywhere that I could. I would get up and I would go. I’ve been doing it ever since. I go anywhere and everywhere. And I don’t complain.

I’ve slept on couches. I’ve slept in cars, I even slept in a park once. Because I believe. And I always said to myself that if I’m going to do it, I’m gonna do it. And so, I’ve been pushing on ever since. And it’s crazy. Because over the years, I’ve done things that I never thought I would be able to do. Never. People talk about what they want, until it’s time to sacrifice the things that make them comfortable. But you can’t make room for growth, and you can’t make room for the thing that you love if you’re holding on to something because it makes you secure. Because it’s probably the thing that’s keeping you from taking the next step that you need.

Time has taught me that. I’ve seen the differences. I’ve seen three people in a room to 3000 or more people in the room. Because I’m rapping about anime, love, life, and video games. I’ve met people who have laughed with me, have cried with me, that have fed me when I was broke. Sometimes I’m still broke. What people look at as success, it’s different for everybody. For me, if I can do this, if I can create and be a part of the things that I love, and make money doing what I love, I would rather take that a million times over going back to a place like Lowe’s where I was miserable, and did it to pay my bills.

Now every time I get up, I get up with a purpose. Every time I achieve something, I achieve something that I know will benefit other people. That people who are in bad places mentally, like I’ve been, resonate with. So now I can never see myself stopping. Because I’ve met so many people that resonate with me and understand.

I can’t express that enough. We look at everything, but we only look at it from a perspective that is ours. I’ve had the ability to look at life from so many different perspectives. And it’s okay. I don’t, I don’t need to make a million dollars. I don’t need to blow up, ever.  So long as I could do what makes me happy. If I go tomorrow, I feel like I did something today. I can’t express that enough that more people need to understand that and feel that way. Too many people are so scared to actually take that leap that they go through life, and they hate it. They may smile on the outside, but they hate the experiences that they have. They hate, like the fact that they feel a certain kind of way about something and they can’t verbalize it on the outside.

We take comfort in these things that we love. We take comfort in video games. We take comfort in anime. We take comfort in comic books. We take comfort in whatever that medium is. But because people are so used to being judged for them… we look at people in their vices, and we judge them for their vices, rather than looking at the root cause for what those vices are. I just feel like it’s important to talk about it. If I’m feeling that way, I’m not afraid to make a song talking about it. I’m not afraid to do it through a medium that has inspired me in some kind of way.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

I have a saying, [which] I’ve been saying forever: “Anime is life.” Every person here that watches something, takes something away in a personal manner, from the things that they are obsessed with and they love. For me, it’s okay to do that and to show people that it’s alright to take those leaps.

I don’t know man, I just don’t see myself not doing this. The day that my heart’s not in it, I’ll be doing something else, and that’s fine. But for the past decade and some change, it hasn’t happened. That’s kind of what brought me here today. Like, I still can’t believe I’m here. I really can’t. I went back and I looked through the history here. I know what me being here today means. I understand it very clearly. We started the NPC (Collective) so long ago, but it started from a conversation of just talking about us following our passions. I would see so many other people of color. But at first there weren’t many of us, you know, there weren’t many of us in these spaces, I would see Ran everywhere I would go. I would see Sammus or Richie or whoever. At the time, like when it came to performers, there were just a few of us. There were so many people on the internet that never really came to anything. Or had the opportunity given to them to be able to do some of these things. And so we wanted to start showing people that not only was it cool to do this, we want to make it look cool. We want to inspire other artists to want to rap about anime, and video games, and whatever they want to talk about. If I can sit here and do this, in front of a crowd full of people, you can too. You can aspire to do that too!

We did a show here (Boston 8-Bit). It was a chiptune festival. There was one girl and she was dressed like a character from Attack on Titan, right. I have, like, an album that I did that’s based on Attack on Titan. I did Titan Slayer. We were on tour. Me, Ran, Sky Blue. I don’t remember who else was with us. We get there. We hang out for a little while. And there’s one black girl, and she’s dressed like she’s a character from Attack on Titan. We get on the stage and we perform. I do a Titan Slayer. We get off the stage. We’re headed towards where the merch is. The girl comes over to us and she just lights up. She just talked about being excited seeing other black people there. She loses her shit, and I lose mine with her. She cries and then I cry.

It was at that moment, I knew. I knew how important it was to keep pushing with what we were doing. Because I hadn’t seen something as in my life and as pronounced as that. For her to connect over Attack on Titan. See, for me, when I look at Attack on Titan, I think about a whole lot of things and a lot of those things revolve around classism. I look at the world and structure of that show and I relate it to the life that I’ve lived. So I look at that stuff completely different. I latch on to those characters for completely different reasons. I’m not saying that other people don’t see it. I’m pretty sure it’s really popular because people might. But talking about those things. Even if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a thing where I feel the need to do so. But to see her connection at that point in time, it was like it. It was everything. Because I knew. I knew. And as the years have went on, there have been so many artists that have tried to do this and haven’t been allowed to. There are people that have tried this and quit, because of the trials and tribulations that they sometimes go through underneath the surface that we don’t always talk about. I knew that it was important to continue for people like her. Every time I’m shaken a little bit to where I’m like, “Look, I need, I need a little more stability,” I’m taken back about the fact that I’m reminded, every time something happens, that this is where I need to be going. So in a long-winded way, that’s why I’m making nerd music. That’s why I’m here today. That’s why I do what I do. I don’t regret not one day of it. Not one day.

Anime Herald: The song you did with Sulai, you’ve never put it out. Is there a reason for that?

EyeQ: There is no real good reason. Except I was still kind of in the closet with it. I listen to it now, and I guess, I maybe feel some embarrassment over how not good I was. It was a good song though. He was really good on it. But I felt like, “I’m so much better now.” I didn’t feel like a very good artist at the time, but it was something that really helped me.

EyeQ performs at Anime Boston 2022

Photo Credit: Samantha Ferreira

Anime Herald: Was MF Doom an influence on you?

EyeQ: Yes. Doom was a very big influence, for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest reasons being that, Doom really showed a lot of us that it was okay to take our own personas, whatever they were. We could talk about how dope he was, but I think a lot of it was also Doom teaching us that it was okay, even in white spaces, to still be raw. To still push what was us. That was a very important thing. Him integrating into Toonami was huge. But the thing that it showed a lot of artists was that they didn’t have to compromise to do it. Think of the symbolism when Prince became The Artist. That was literally Doom being Doom. He showed us that we could still retain the rawness of the hip hop. We could still retain our messages. We could still be us. And even if it wasn’t necessarily accepted in other places, that it was accepted on a mainstream platform like that meant that it was possible for all of us. So, he really was a pioneer. Him being like, “Nah, I am overtly this. This is what I want to be, and I don’t care how you feel about what I say or what I do. I’m gonna do artistically what I want to do.”

Anime Herald: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

EyeQ: As far as the readers go, I would challenge them to embrace something that they wouldn’t necessarily look at in everyday life and look at it from a different perspective. I think that’s the most important thing.

I’ve been trying to break into anime and more voice acting things lately. I could never understand what the… two-toned hatred was about when it comes to all of us loving characters that are Asian. I’m not sure how to address that specifically in a classy way.

Just to go out there and give some new people or try to understand a new perspective or come out and have an experience. It will change your life and hopefully someone else’s. I say this a lot at my shows and I think it’s a great way to end, so long as it’s not hurting anyone. Be the change, Be the change you want to see in the world. I may not be able to change everyone, or help them all understand. But even if I help just one person, then everything was worth it.