While looking to become better connected with my community, I found myself crossing paths with Alexander Hubbard: an autistic Seattleite known by rapper name Fantasy A. Where did I meet this local rapper? Interesting enough, wrapping presents for Birthday Dreams (a nonprofit dedicated to providing birthday parties for homeless children.) He was very helpful, friendly and very respectful by introducing himself with a professional handshake. Shortly after introductions I noticed he carried a real drive to express himself and respond to the very real struggles of his life through music.
At this first meeting, I learned his struggles included being the victim of a financial scam. Fantasy A documented this on his YouTube channel – luckily with an update that after a year the perpetrator finally went to jail. I started following his vlog to follow his journey. One video in particular captures the determined rapper posting flyers for one of his live shows. Seeing/hearing the busy buzz of downtown mixed with Fantasy A’s persistent footwork equals pure inspiration. I even found out he wrote/posted a book on Amazon discussing his life as an American with autism. My favorite part of Fantasy A’s messages comes down to his signature sendoff:
“BE YOURSELF. BE INSPIRED. AND BE RESPECTFUL.” –Fantasy A
Then I suddenly found myself watching Alexander’s most emotionally raw video: “Fantasy A Reacts about People’s Criticism Towards Him, His Music and Novel Work.”
He was responding to the hateful words of bullies. After keeping up with consistently optimistic posts, this video was startling as Fantasy A was visibly distraught. He expressed being unaware of updated flyer posting laws and apologized to those who gave him grief. Then came natural struggle to address the sting he felt by being told he should not be rapping. At times he was angry, but like most who are bullied, anger turned to sadness. My heart broke as I witnessed him hold his typically hopeful face in his hands.
I immediately posted words of encouragement, hoping he would know there are people who recognize his honest and hard work. Fantasy A’s surprising response included his concern about coming off as negative. I empathized anger often feels like a natural reaction to have when one is bullied, since anger typically motivates bullies.
Fantasy A would surprise us all by taking his reaction video down only an hour or so after posting. All that remains is the screenshot captured here (saved from a first blog draft intended to address the need for us to build others up – never break them down)
Thankfully, worries I had of Fantasy A giving up his music ended when the following video celebrated a positive outcome from his hard work: 80 YouTube subscribers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OU9mRf4VlU Seeing his excitement, hearing his gratitude and feeling genuine optimism was amazing. Even those with a miniscule knowledge of the history of rap is aware of how “talking smack” can play heavily into the personality of a rapper. Fantasy A, however, rose above the hate. He recognized that keeping his response up for those bullies, he could potentially be feeding a cycle of hate. Instead, he chose to focus on the positive. This choice truly made him the bigger and better man. Despite ongoing challenges, Fantasy A continues to be one of the bravest musicians I’ve found here in Washington.
BATCOTW commends his ambition and say kudos! Keep being yourself, Alexander – you’re an absolute inspiration and you have our respect. ^_^