One Q, One A: Dead Prez’s Stic.Man Advocates Going Green

VIBE: Most people either become aware of going green when it’s Earth Day or if there’s a cute recycle slogan written on a shopping bag. How can the everyday person transition into the lifestyle without being drastic?

Stic.Man: Going green is a holistic lifestyle from the inside to your environment, and it starts with realizing that there’s a relationship from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top. A lot of people limit going green to putting plastic in a recycling can or something like that but it’s about your green intake in terms of food. It’s about having a high chlorophyll intake, it’s about getting your entrepreneurship up, going green is getting money, it’s about the relationship with taking care of your family and being a healing force within your community and also the Earth.

It’s a lifestyle that’s not new to indigenous people but that has been our way of doing things before they even called it going green. And it boils down to respect [and] a natural relationship in cultivating that in yourself and your actions. Remember coming up when your momma said, “Turn that damn light off if you ain’t in the room?” that was one of the first concepts of conserving energy.

It’s hard for the Black and Brown communities on certain levels to relate to this idea of the environment because our land has been stolen from us, and our abilities to affect our environment have been compromised by oppression and disenfranchisement and all these things, so when you start coming to a community that’s dealing with all this and you say, “We need to start recycling plastic,” people are like fuck that shit. So I think where people can start relating to it first is that your own body is an environment. Somebody’s mom might have diabetes or their pops might have a heart attack—there’s all kinds of health related issues in our comminutes because of a lack of knowledge, a lack of options, a lack of resources as it relates to us saying I have to put out what I want to get out, and that’s the same concept as when we’re talking about our environment—the way I treat my neighborhood, the way I consume things and the way I dispose of the waste. Once you realize you have to stop polluting your inner environment with all that Mc Donald’s and all that Hennessey and start giving a fuck about yourself, then you’ll see that it relates to your outer environment too. I don’t think people are going to care about the environment if they don’t care about themselves. If you’re living and feeling health then you’re gonna walk outside and breath some fresh air too. It goes in stages but it starts with self. —As told to Starrene Rhett