I got into Reggie Yates through his appearances on podcasts. Through Hip Hop Saved My Life with Romesh and then again via Jamali I started to learn a lot more about him. Being the same age, and having the same interest in UK Garage I got into this podcast.
When I downloaded this one, the beginning part when he was cracking up with his bredda’s having their inside jokes made me switch the podcast off. I couldn’t be arsed to listen to people having jokes, when I could be doing that with my mates. It felt like a very closed off one sided conversation and I didn’t want to pander to it at all. But, I re-read a post on instagram which references something in relation to World Mental Health Day, that I had to give a second go.
So I loaded it up and skipped straight past the first 30 minutes when everyone started to go in deep.
That to me demonstrated exactly the scenario a lot of people grow up in or currently live in. The first half is like life in a group of friends. Everyone is cracking up and having “bants” and just riding on each other. But sometimes, or more often than we think, we just want to talk. How can we show ourselves in that setting when you’re trying to strive to be top of your group, or at the very least have your voice heard. We live to our own group “characters” that are assigned, fairly or not, but if it was who we were at the time, we may have changed (in some ways, and a lot of ways we never change) beyond that through growing up and what not.
I could relate due to the similar social setting I grew up in (albeit it South London) and having culture pressures from family and friends, that dynamic felt like deja vu. It’s taken me years of getting out of that familiar helplessness feeling through utter trail and error. From living abroad in various stints, and currently, to travelling, becoming career focused, creative focused, talking to people properly, meeting people who aren’t afraid to share themselves and slowly understanding my own systems has really helped me feel I can even write this out loud.
Now when I circle back with my friends, and when we end up in these random conversations filled with history, familiarity it’s easy to just really stop and say what’s going on in our lives. We are afraid to share, we’re afraid to seek help and talk to professionals. We try to solve things ourselves and find our own systems, and sometimes it’s beyond our own capability. That feeling again of being helpless, when we should stop, take a breath and not drown in our own helplessness.
From what started at a bit of a diss to the podcast, actually really summarises the reality of a lot of people. From how I can be still, regardless of all this hardwork to seeing it with my family and friends. The fact you guys opened up and went for it shows how we live on a knife edge sometimes, and we just need a push to get us to a place where we can talk, open the door and start engaging on a deeper level. So a big respect to Reggie Yates and his friends for really going for it.