The Atlas Society Asks Zuby

September 14, 2022 00:59:11
The Atlas Society Asks Zuby
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Zuby
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Show Notes

Join CEO Jennifer Grossman for the 121st episode of The Atlas Society Asks where she interviews rapper and "Real Talk with Zuby" host, Zuby. Listen as the two discuss Zuby's journey as a rapper, libertarian, and entrepreneur.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hi everyone. And welcome to the 121st episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Jennifer Anju Grossman. I go by JAG, not quite as snappy as Zubi. Um, I'm the CEO of the Atlas society. We are the leading nonprofit organization, introducing young people to the ideas of iron Rand in fun, creative ways like graphic novels and animated videos. Today, we are joined by the man of the hour Zubi and before I even begin to introduce, uh, a man who needs no introduction, I wanna remind all of you who are joining us, whether on zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube, uh, just go ahead and get started. Get in the queue, right? Your questions in, and we'll get to as many of them as we can. As I referenced Zubi is a man of many talents. He started wrapping while studying at Oxford university, launching a musical career with now, at least over 30,000 albums sold live performances in eight countries and 10 million online video views. He's perhaps even now more widely known for his public commentary on politics and culture posting real talk with Zubi podcast. He's produced a children's book on nutrition, the candy calamity, as well as strong advice, Zu be's guide to fitness for everyone. We're gonna talk about that as well. Zubi thank you so much from, for joining us from London. Speaker 1 00:01:44 Hey, Jennifer, happy to be here. Thanks for the invitation. Speaker 0 00:01:48 So, uh, first with the passing of queen Elizabeth this week, I've been a bit curious about your perspective as a Brit, but also as a, you know, more or less libertarian, I'm assuming you're not high on the concept of monarchy. So I don't know any thoughts. Speaker 1 00:02:08 Yeah, sure. I think firstly, it's sad. It's definitely a sad moment for the country. I mean, having a monarchy reign for 70 years, I mean, queen Elizabeth, the second has basically been there forever. I mean most people's lifetimes. I think that there have been 15 prime ministers during the time that she was raining. And I think about the same number of us presidents. So to have someone who's just kind of been there for that long here in the UK she's of course on all the bank notes, her face is on all the coins, her faces on the mailboxes it's, you know, it's, it's the Queen's world, God saved the queen. Her name is in, is in the national Anthem, right? <laugh> so it's, it's definitely weird for a lot of people just to have someone who has really just been a part of their lives to some degree, definitely a part of the national fabric for a long time. Speaker 1 00:03:03 And just to have anyone who is a public figure as well, pass away, whether that's a celebrity or a Royal person, whatever, we always know that it draws more attention than the death of anyone else. All that said this is a 96 year old woman. She had a great innings. You know, I think anyone passing away at that late stage of life, um, I think that's more of something to be, you know, to celebrate their life more than to have that feeling of, oh, you know, that person was gone too soon. There's a big difference between a six year old or a 16 year old passing away and a 96 year old, you know, and it looks like she was in pretty, a pretty good condition up until she passed away. Um, we just got a new prime minister prime minister here last week and she got the opportunity to welcome her and everything like that. Speaker 1 00:03:52 I think that was just two days before she passed away. So that's kind of my, my, my feeling on it, um, to go a little bit deeper. I think that it marks a little bit of a transition for some people as well. I think because what's the best way to put this. I, I think one thing I can say, um, about the queen is that she was very much someone who was actually a UniFi. Um, if you look at the world of social issues, politics, cultural stuff, of course, it's very hard to find anybody in politics who has a, you know, who has a more than 50% approval rating across the entire population and whether or not someone likes the monarchy or think it's thinks it's outdated or this or that. I don't think you can really argue actually that she was pretty unifying. I think the, the vast majority of British people, I think even the majority of people, majority of people globally, even though people may not like the concept of the monarchy itself. Speaker 1 00:04:51 I think that as an individual, as a person, there's not that much negative one can sort of personally say about her. I think she led with a lot of dignity. She was not divisive. She, you know, it, it's, it's a weird role that she would play because she was sort of very apolitical despite technically being the head of the state and also being, I believe technically the, the queen of the whole Commonwealth. So I, I think there's a lot that she sort of did there, which is now lost, which is now lost and we're left with the politicians and the bureaucrats and the, the bricking back and forth and the division and the hostility of the childishness. And so on. I did like the fact that she was kind of just above it, you know, she was just, she was just above it and, um, really represented, did her best, I think, to represent the UK represent great Britain as a whole. Speaker 1 00:05:47 Um, so those are my thoughts in terms of the monarchy itself and the Royal family. I'm very ambivalent. I'm not someone who's like an, I'm not pro, I'm not pro I'm not anti, I just don't really care that much. Um, I'm just kind of like, okay, you know, they're, they're there. Yeah, I can under, I can understand different perspectives. I can understand why some people, especially if you're American or you're from a country that hasn't really had a Mon, I can understand why someone would be like, oh, these are not elected officials. You know, this is outside the political process, this isn't democracy. And so on, I can understand those takes with that said I'm also, um, despite my libertarian leanings, I'm also quite a traditionalist in, in many ways. And given the actual role of the world family here, it's not like it's not some absolute monarchy where, you know, they're just dictating laws and they're, you know, just passing legislation and whatever. Speaker 1 00:06:40 It's more of a somewhat ceremonial role and yes, they do have power, but it's not like the laws are set by them or the public policies are set by them. Or they're the ones who are dragging the UK into any type of war or foreign conflict or anything like that. That's not really the case, perhaps it was different in the past. Um, when there was the, you know, a lot of people are now bringing in collo, colonialism and this and this, and man, there's a lot, there's a lot of different angles to come at it from. But from my perspective, I'm, I think fairly balanced on it. I don't have super strong emotions about it, but I think out of the Royal family, I think the queen was certainly the most likable person. Um, yeah. So I think it's a shame that she's gone. Speaker 0 00:07:25 I, I think you nailed it when you see some of the political figures that we have today, uh, divisive, erratic, not always dignified. And in some ways she was a, a good role model for how to, you Speaker 1 00:07:41 Know, conduct. Yeah. She wasn't, she wasn't on Twitter, flaming people. Right. I mean, right. Speaker 0 00:07:45 <laugh> <laugh> Speaker 0 00:07:48 And it is a moment to reflect, I think for us Americans to have a little bit, you know, of perspective, when, when you think about how long the British monarchy has been around, I was talking to somebody about, well, how did the British monarchy lose its political power? And I was like, wow, this was going back to like, uh, the 13th century and Magna Carta and glorious Revolut. I mean, all these things that, that happened before America was even founded. I didn't realize, you know, that the British parliament was actually established before the, uh, American revolutionary war. So, um, so yeah, and, uh, and it has been interesting to, to see a, a bit of, uh, you know, it's an opportunity. Any kind of public event can be turned into a current things for people to air their, you know, grievances. And, uh, we we'll get into a little bit of that and the whole maybe colonial, uh, debate, but I'm more interested in, in your, uh, very unusual background, your origin, uh, story. You were born in England, your family moved to Saudi Arabia and, uh, you also traveled back and forth between those countries. Um, and it seems to have been right around the time of nine 11. So, uh, what are your memories of that? I mean, that was talk about events that none of us will ever forget. Where were you? And Speaker 1 00:09:26 Yeah, I actually remember that very clearly. I was 15 years old. I was in the UK. I went to boarding school in the UK from the age of 11, and I was actually at rugby training <laugh> as, as British boarding school, as you can get, I was, uh, out training on the field with my friends and my teammates. And I remember someone running out of one of the houses near the, near the pitch and just saying, you know, a plane, a plane just hit the twin, a plane just hit the twin towers, a plane, just, you know, you and everyone, everyone was just confused. And then we went in and inside the inside the boarding house, there was like, there's basically one room with a TV, kind of like a rec room. And so a sort of small hall where there'd be meetings and assemblies and stuff like that. Speaker 1 00:10:09 And there was a big TV screen there. So all the, there was an all, all boys, all boys boarding house. And so, you know, dozens of people were just in there just watching the screen. And I remember we, the, the first tower had been hit and then we saw the second tower get hit live, cuz the, the camera, the camera was just on it. So everyone was just sort of standing there and standing there confused. And in disbelief like, wait, what this is, it was very surreal. I remember it being very surreal and I, I think being in the, being in the UK, um, I don't know if the sort of immediate magnitude was felt in the same way. It would've been with Americans or certainly with people who were actually from New York city itself, because it's so close to home. I mean, you know, we, we had heard and seen, seen the twin towers, but it was just this, it was very weird. It was, it was like nothing, nothing like that had been seen before. So it almost the word term I'd used is surreal. It almost didn't seem real just seeing that. And then whoa, like seeing the buildings just collapse and it was, it was very shocking. It was very, very shocking. It was. Yeah. I, I remember that moment very clearly, cuz I think everyone was just like what the, what the heck happened? Like what just, yeah, it took, it took a while for it to sink in Speaker 0 00:11:36 To think again. Yeah. I, I remember it and it was very real. I was actually in, in New York, um oh wow. Midtown at, at the time. And your recollection also resonates with me because, um, what I, I can tell where I was, you know, when, uh, all of these national events when Reagan was shot or when, um, you know, our, uh, rocket space rocket went down. I always in a gym, I was in running or in a gym. And um, I remember thinking, oh gosh, cuz there was some controversy about some intern that went missing. Speaker 1 00:12:15 Sorry, you said, you said Reagan there. Did you mean JFK? Speaker 0 00:12:18 No, no Reagan. Speaker 1 00:12:19 Oh Reagan. Oh Speaker 0 00:12:19 Yeah. When was shot? Did Speaker 1 00:12:21 I, oh, you know what? I don't even remember. I didn't, I'm not even super aware of that, but I mean, that was also before my time. So JFK is the one that I'm like more, I wasn't alive, but you know, I, I know more Speaker 0 00:12:32 Right. Well next time we get you out here to, uh, Southern California. I'm gonna take you to the Reagan library. Speaker 1 00:12:38 Oh, okay. I've been to the ranch Speaker 0 00:12:40 Library is, is also interesting. The big plane and um, a whole section on, on that assassination attempt. Mm. Um, alright now, but back to you, so you went to boarding school and then you went on to, uh, Oxford and tell us about how you got interested in hip hop. Was, were there some early influences and how did that whole branch of your career start? Speaker 1 00:13:07 Yeah, sure. Um, so I became, funnily enough. Okay. I think let's, let's tell the whole whole music story. So when I was a kid, funnily enough, I wasn't, I wasn't a music fan. I wasn't really into music until I got to my preteen and teenage years, but I used to play piano. Um, God bless my parents. They would often give us the opportunity to try a different range of activities. And piano was one of them. I think myself and all four of my siblings. I think we all played piano at least for some time. So I actually used to do recitals and stuff like that. So I guess my first introduction to music and performing music, would've been playing piano when I was in school in Saudi Arabia for a couple years, I also played trombone in the school band. So I used to play trombone in piano. Speaker 1 00:13:54 And then when I really became a music fan was when I went to boarding school. When I was about, I guess, 12 or 13, I really became a hip hop fan. Uh, I have two older brothers. They used to listen to a lot of rap music and I liked a little bit of it, but I just wasn't into it. But then when I was away and I was surrounded by all these other guys and we just to a bunch of different artists, bunch of different artists, we listened to a lot of Dr. Dre. This is when M and M just came out. He just put out his first single and then his, uh, his slim shady LP. So that got a lot of us into it. Um, but we listened to NAS Jay-Z Snoop ice cube, a whole bunch of different artists LL. Cool. J those are some of the earliest artists that I got into. Speaker 1 00:14:37 Oh for that. And then, yeah, that blossomed as I went into my sort of mid-teen years, that's there was so much going on in hiphop at that time. That's when there was the rise of 50 cent, that's when Kanye west drop put out the college dropout. It's when you had guys like, you know, Nelly and the St. Lunatic, and you had the whole shady records faction with, you know, like I said, 50 cent and OB Trice and Jay-Z and NAZ had their beef and the blueprint came out and still mad. It came out, there was so much going on in hip hop. It was actually a really exciting time. And this is when everyone was still buying albums, album sales were peaking. We were buying every single CD that dropped burning them in a mini disk, burning them to more CDs. We basically had between myself and my friends in boarding school. Speaker 1 00:15:21 We had like every hip hop album, everything that came out, we had cuz maybe there were about 20 of us who were really into it. And so any album that dropped at least one person would buy it and then it would get lent out and it would get burned to mini disks and everyone, we just had a, we actually had a ridiculous music collection. Uh, so I really, really got into rap music in my mid-teens. And I started rapping when I was in university. So I went to Oxford. I did computer science there in my first year, just out of boredom. I started, um, first rhyme I ever wrote was I was traveling to Nigeria. I got stuck in, um, Charles Dal airport in Paris. And I was there for about 24 hours. I was by myself, I was bored. I had my MP3 player and a notepad and I just started jotting down some lyrics and I wrote a couple verses. Speaker 1 00:16:09 And then whilst I was out in Nigeria, I started recording acapella into my, not even a smartphone, just my mobile phone. And I was playing it to my siblings and to some of my cousins who were around and stuff. And they were like, oh cool. You know, Zubi Zubi can rap. So I kept doing it. Uh, I went back to university and one of my friends, Chris who lived on the same floor as me in college had a basic recording set up in his dorm room. Oh. So I went on a website which was called sound, click.com. It still exists. It was kind of the SoundCloud or YouTube of audio before YouTube and SoundCloud where things. So I went on there, I downloaded a beat. I leased a beat from a Canadian producer and I made a song called the Badman. That was my first ever song. Speaker 1 00:16:58 It was called the Badman and I just had fun with it. This is like two, three months after I started wrapping and I started to just spread my stuff around my, my college and university and I kept making more songs. I would just put them out to be when I started getting positive feedback. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, there's an long running me music magazine in Oxford called night shift night shift music magazine. I believe it's actually still going. It's been going for decades. And they actually gave me demo of the month. So I, I had my first three songs and I sent it over to them and, and they were actually known for being pretty harsh in their reviews and in their criticisms. But they were like, Hey, this there's this guy in Oxford university. Who's rapping his name. Zubi, he's got a lot of promise and potential. Speaker 1 00:17:44 We can see him going on and doing big things in the future. And then I did my first ever live performance in Saudi Arabia. I went back for one of the vacation periods and I did a performance at the sort of at the, the clubhouse. It was actually like the golf, golf clubhouse where I lived, but it was kind of like a recreational place. So I did a performance there. Uh, one of my friends backed me up on the vocals. I'm actually, I don't even know if I've told this story before and that I'm just remember, I'm remembering back to it. So this is, this is a, this is a long time ago, man. This is when I was 19 and um, just kept getting positive feedback and positive feedback and encouragement. And then in my second year of university, by this time I had enough songs recorded to put something together. Speaker 1 00:18:33 So as someone who's always been entrepreneurial minded and always been very much a self starter, I was like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna release an album. I'm gonna put this together. If you look at my first, very first album cover, it's called commercial underground. The photo you see on that was actually taken in my dorm room in university, I'm wearing a black vest and I'm kind of standing with my hands together. And one of my friends actually just took that photo for me. And then I sent it to a graphic designer and he, uh, jazzed it up a little bit, put some of my lyrics in the background of the cover. And I looked Google searched. How do you, uh, how do you get CDs manufactured? And I found a place that did it. And I just got 50 copies to made, made to begin with. Speaker 1 00:19:16 I made 50 albums sold 'em to my friends and family for five pounds each and made 250 pounds took that 250 pounds. I went back, I made another 250 albums and I sold those hand to hand as well. And then I went back and I did a run of a thousand. And this is really when the light bulb went off of, oh, I can, this can be more than a hobby mm-hmm <affirmative>. People are willing to buy my music. Now with that thousand CDs, obviously by this stage, I had exhausted my audience of people who knew me and who I was already friendly with. So I'm there with boxes and boxes of albums and I'm like, okay, how can I, how can I sell these? And I had bought albums from rappers in the street before I'd been to London and a couple other cities in the UK and I'd meet guys who were out there just hand to hand hustling and selling their own music. Speaker 1 00:20:12 And I bought a few CDs like that and they were actually good as well. So it wasn't, I was like, okay, cool. So this is a way I can do it. So I, uh, put some albums in my backpack. I went out on the street and I stood there. First of all for about half an hour, shook, afraid to, I was like, yo, this is scary. Um, just being out there, everyone's shopping, rushing around and I'm standing there with my CDs thinking, oh boy, okay. Um, people who know me now know me as being very extroverted and confident and able to talk to anybody, but approaching people cold in such a fashion is scary. Right. Anyway, <laugh> even if you're an extrovert, it's, it's a scary thing to do. But so it took me a while to muster up the courage. But I remember, I remember speaking to the first person, I think the first person I spoke to stopped as well. Speaker 1 00:21:00 And I didn't have a pitch at this stage. I don't even know what I said to them. I was just kind explain what I was doing and whatever. And then I remember one of the first five people I spoke to bought, bought a copy was like, yeah, how much is this? I was like, what was that five pounds? He was like, cool. Yeah, I'll, I'll take a copy off you. So I got my first sale and then I was like, okay, if I can sell a CD to a stranger, I can sell another CD to a stranger. And within I think about two, three hours, I only took about 10 CDs with me the first time I think. But I, I sold 'em all within a couple hours. And then I went back out the next day and I took 20 CDs with me and I sold them all. Speaker 1 00:21:39 And this was the birth of what would become the primary way that I promoted and sold my music for pretty much the next decade. Um, so I started doing that. I spent a whole summer selling my first album. I would do it in Oxford. I also went to London. I used to be out there in Lester square and around Oxford street, just talking to strangers and tourists all day long, promoting selling my music. I got to stage where, you know, I'd have days where I'd sell 40, 50 CDs in a single day. And this is when I'm still in university. I was still a student. So, you know, making, you know, 200 pounds, 250 pounds off of six or seven hours work selling my own music. That was a, it was a pretty good hustle. You know, you'd have down days too. And it was a lot of work and it was difficult, but these were really, really formative years in my story, which funnily enough, not that many people I think necessarily know. Speaker 1 00:22:35 I've told the story before on a few podcasts and anyone who knew me prior to say 2018 is gonna be very familiar with this. Cause it's probably how they, how they got to know me. And so I just kept on doing that. And I graduated in 2007. I took a year out, did my music, full-time released a second album, which I promoted and sold the same way. I also would sell it at gigs and stuff like that. And then in 2008, I moved to London, had a corporate job. Um, I was a management consultant for a big firm. Did that for three years whilst still doing my music stuff on the side. And then fast forward to November, 2011, I became a full-time rapper beginning of 2011. I decided by the end of this year, I wanna be doing my music full-time I was looking around my workplace and I was just like, this is not what I want to be doing in 10, 20, 30 years. Speaker 1 00:23:26 I don't want to be sitting here in this office or in an office like this, working for anybody else. I'm a creative, I'm an entrepreneur. I believe in myself. I can do this. So November, 2011, I became self-employed. I founded my company, cm entertainment. And I've now been self-employed full-time musician for 11 years. Um, of course in the last few years I've added additional strings to the bow. Some of which have become bigger than my music to be totally honest. And, um, that's been a summary of the journey, but from 2011 up until now, well really from 2006, up until now, I've just been grinding and making one to one connections with people to the tune of, I mean, I've spoken to more people, here's something people don't know. I have spoken to more people in real life and been to more cities than, okay, I want, I want I've, I've definitely been to more cities in the UK than almost anybody. Speaker 1 00:24:26 And I've had more personal conversations than almost anybody. I I've met over half a million people. I've had conversations with certainly well over 500,000 people. Um, I'm not talking in the internet, I'm talking in real life. I mean, to sell 30,000 albums, hand to hand, you have to talk to a lot of people. Um, and so with all that has come so much of the perspective and personality and resilience and perseverance that I embody today in which people see and admire. And for anyone who's maybe thinking like, oh, how did, uh, you know, how did you build that up? Or how are you able to maintain such positivity in the light of criticism? Or how are you able to deal with this or that I'm like, man, this is, this is light work. I used to be out there in the rain, in the snow, in the sun, in whatever weather, whatever city, all day long talking to strangers, getting ignored, getting rejected, getting some love, getting hate, getting hate, getting ignored, getting rejected, getting praised, just back and forth and back and forth. Just repeat, repeat, repeat for years and years. So now there's not much anyone can really say to me in the real world or online, which, uh, which phases me Speaker 0 00:25:40 And now you are, uh, rapping while jumping out of airplane. <laugh> Speaker 1 00:25:46 Yeah, yeah. I just put out in latest video, Speaker 0 00:25:49 Live it up latest music video, which will be put into the, uh, into the chat. So, um, getting, I have a lot more questions for you, uh, I wanna get into your decision to, um, compete in the women's deadlift. Uh, and that was, uh, pretty controversial. That was not just putting yourself out there, but yeah, kinda poking the bear. So, um, tell us, tell us a bit about how, how that came about. Speaker 1 00:26:17 Yeah, sure. <laugh> okay. Um, where's a good place to start on this one. Okay. I think it's important to know that I've been on social media for a very long time. Um, I was active on my space back in 2005, 2006, when I was just beginning with my music. I've been on Facebook since 2004. I'm one of the first people on Facebook, in fact. Um, so I've been on social media a really long time and I've been doing music for a long time. And I used to outside my music. I, I always wanted to focus just to be on my music. So for that whole time period, up until about 2018, I wasn't someone who publicly commented much or used my social media much to talk about anything in the political realm. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> social, cultural issues, current affairs, you know, lots of the stuff that I'm known for talking about. Now. I wouldn't, I wouldn't comment on that number one because I didn't feel any type of real compulsion to, um, I also didn't wanna, may I, I wasn't, I wasn't afraid, but like, I didn't want to, uh, and you had your Speaker 0 00:27:28 Priorities artists, Speaker 1 00:27:28 Right? Yeah. As I had my priorities, I didn't wanna distract from my music. And as, as an artist, I was like, oh, let me not, uh, polarize my audience or kind of rock the boat. I also just think that the world was more normal, cuz this is some people ask me how I got into doing kind of sociopolitical commentary in that. And that in itself is actually an interesting story. And I think it's a story worth telling. So from 2014 onwards, 20 14, 20 15, 20 16, ESP, I, I started to really notice that things were getting weird in the west. Especially there were certain things that were rising up and concerning the, I, I was seeing honestly, the rise of what people now call woke radiology. Speaker 0 00:28:11 I mean, right. And I hear this across the board that this is a relatively recent phenomenon, may have roots going back to, uh, you know, Frankfurt school and this and that. But, but it started to accelerate. Speaker 1 00:28:24 Well, it, it really did. It started to get mainstreamed. It started to get mainstream. What, what before were just fringe academic ideas in certain circles started to leak in everywhere. I was seeing it in the world of music because music is, uh, music was one, one of the first things to get infiltrated by that. And I was just starting to, I was starting to see just various things that were concerning to me and which I didn't support or approve of. And I was following some conversations. I was listening to, you know, Joe Rogan and I was listening to the Ruben report and 2 20 16, I saw the stuff that happened with Jordan Peterson. You remember when people were rioting against Ben Shapiro and my Polis and burning down causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and American universities, people, many people. Yeah. I just started seeing Antifa like all this weird stuff. I was like, man, this is, this is weird. And then in, um, in 2018 in particular, I'll tell you the first viral tweet I ever had it wasn't the deadlift one, the first viral tweet I ever had was, do you remember in, do you remember in 2018 when Kanye west wore the Magaha? Speaker 0 00:29:31 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:29:32 And there was that huge sort of outrage and backlash. How, how dare he, how dare he do this? And so on. And my first ever viral tweet, um, was a tweet where I just said something like LOL at all these people saying Kanye west is lost. Maybe he's not the lost one mm-hmm <affirmative>. And that I, I think it got retweeted by Mike Cernovich, who was probably my, my biggest follower at the time. And obviously he was, had a lot of, uh, you know, ma mega megale supporters and stuff. So my, that tweet went viral and went viral in the USA. You have to remember I'm a rapper in the UK. Who's just wrapping at this point. And barely anyone in the USA knows me besides, uh, you know, a handful of people who knew my music and that tweet kind of exploded. And, um, there was something that happened here in the UK where I got in a, an online Facebook back and forth between someone who was actually the, was actually the president of the student union of a British university. Speaker 1 00:30:33 And he, he he's like, he's like super duper woke, like classic social justice warrior type, and always post annoying stuff on Facebook. But I ignore most of it, but there was something he posted where it was about the university debate society. And he said something along the lines of, um, I support free speech, but people shouldn't be allowed to say things that are offensive. And I was like, Hmm, okay. And this one prompted me to reply. So I just prompted, you know, inquiring about what he meant by that. And he was sort of reiterating basically anything that he deems personally, you know, could potentially be offensive or hurtful something. He was like, and I was like, well, that's not, that's not free speech. This is you're, you're a university president. This is about a debate society in a debate. You're gonna, you know, I, I, I was just standing up for free speech essentially. Speaker 1 00:31:18 And it was a funny conversation cuz he kept trying to, it was happening on his page, not on mine. And his audience was agreeing with me, which I don't think he took, he took well to right. Cuz he was trying to like tag other people into the conversation, whatever. And they were like, yeah, Zubi Zu, be's got a good point here. Like, you know, it's a debate <laugh> and, and anyway, the conversation ended by him saying these exact words, people like Zubi are dangerous and have regressive views that can get people killed people. Like Zubi should not be allowed on university campuses crazy. This, this isn't coming from no one. This is coming from the president of a university student union. Now anyone who knows me knows I am far from radical, let alone dangerous. I'm a very mild mattered. Your Speaker 0 00:32:06 Tweets they're pretty measured. Speaker 1 00:32:08 Yes. Right. They're Speaker 0 00:32:09 Succinct, but they're not mean or cutting and Speaker 1 00:32:12 Crazy. Exactly. Exactly. I'm a very, I'm a very civil and polite person sometimes more than I necessarily, some people even deserve. And so I just was like, oh wow, okay. It's gotten this, this whole thing that I've been observing for a few years. Number one, it's here in the UK. It's not just in the us and Canada. And it's reached a stage where there are people who think that I mild mannered Zubi should not be allowed on university campuses. Right. Like I shouldn't even be allowed like as, as if I'm some type of terrorist or something. So that snapped something within me. And I was just like, you know what? The gloves are off mm-hmm <affirmative>. And from that moment, I just started being more vocal online. Again, not saying anything crazy, but just pushing back against the craziness. Right. When all this madness is going on, just talking about it and then so fast forward it's early 2019. Um, at this point I've been keeping an eye, uh, I mean back in 2016, I was saying that this whole male athlete in female sports things was gonna become a problem cuz it was predictable from, it was a logical conclusion of all the stuff that they were promoting. Speaker 0 00:33:21 Yeah. Oh well I'll tell you, I was at that point saying, no, this is too ridiculous. No, Speaker 1 00:33:27 A lot of people were <laugh> a lot of people were and I, and I was like, this is an inevitable conclusion. Then I'd seen it happen. I saw it happen with Fallon Fox and MMA. I saw it happen in a, some high school wrestling I saw. And then the day I put out that deadlift tweet that morning, I had seen two separate stories from two, I think, different high schools in the us where males had beaten females in their sports and I believe broken their records in track and field. And I was just like, this is so I'm just like, this is, so this is ludicrous. And then I was like, oh, I wonder what the British women's deadlift record is like, I've got, I've got a good deadlift. I mean, my, my max was 275 kilos, 606 pounds. I was like, I wonder what the British women's deadlift record is in my weight class. Speaker 1 00:34:08 And I Googled it and it was like 210 kilos or something. And I was like, oh wow. That's like a hundred pounds less than my max. So funnily enough, on my phone, I already had that video of me from one of my training sessions, just doing a 230 kilo deadlift. And so I, I just went on Twitter and I said, I had about 18,000 followers at the time. And I just said, I keep hearing about how biological men have no strength advantage over women in 2019. So watch me destroy the British women's deadlift record without trying PS identified as woman while lifting the weight, don't be a bigot. I, as I said, I had 18,000 followers at this time. I did not anticipate how far this thing was gonna go. As soon as I tweeted it, I, within minutes, I was like, I don't know what I've done, but something weird is happening. Speaker 1 00:34:57 I'd never had a tweet. Like the numbers were just going up, you know, that you've got the likes and the retweets. And it was just like in real time it was just going up 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 50 65. So it just kept going within about 10, 10 minutes. The video had 10,000 views. And I was like, I do not know what is going on here. And it just kept going hours and hours like that whole day, I go to bed that night, 300,000 views. I wake up in the morning, half a million views and it's just going and going. It's spreading across the world. I'm seeing people commenting in different languages and it's just exploding. This goes on for honestly, for weeks, it went on for weeks. There was a period where I was gaining. I was gaining about a hundred followers an hour for weeks. For several weeks. Speaker 1 00:35:49 I went from 18,000 to 20,000, 30,000, 40,000. And I kept, I kept stoking the fire. And then I had media companies reaching out to me, you know, uh, sky news want to talk to me the daily Telegraph, the Sunday times, all, all these people BBC start reaching out to me cuz it was such a hot button issue. And it, it was at the intersection of all these things and this is 2019. So it was also in discussion cuz the Olympics was supposed to happen in 2020. So one of the questions was, oh, what's gonna happen with the whole transgender athlete thing when it comes to the Olympics. And then it was a conversation happening in feminism. It was a conversation happening in sports, in, in politics and social. And it just, and because it was funny, right? Yeah, because it was funny and it had the video. Speaker 1 00:36:34 And then of course I wake up one morning and my phone is going crazy. And everyone's like, yo dude, Joe Rogan just shouted you out on his podcast. Joe Rogan, just like, and I was like, what is going on? <laugh> and then I go in my Twitter and Joe Rogan had DMD me and followed me. And he's just like, man, that's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. He had like a whole segment on his podcast, the way they were talking about it and gave me a shout out. And that snowballed into my, not my first trip to the USA, but my first trip to the USA for career reasons, I went out there. I got, um, I got booked to do an interview with Dave Rubin, shout out to Dave Rubin on the Rubin report. He wanted to talk to me. Joe Rogan invited me to come on the Joe Rogan experience. Speaker 1 00:37:12 This is back in September, 2019. And then that snowballed Ben Shapiro and the daily wire reached out. I did a Sunday special with them. Tucker Carlson reached out, I, you know, bunch of smaller and medium sized podcasts. And I ended up spending three months out in the USA traveling to all these cities and states I'd never been to before and doing all these interviews and everything. And from that, from that point on, it's just been a, a snowball. I mean, this is now three years ago, but as everyone knows it wasn't just like a flash in the pen. It was, that was the thing that, that started. Yeah. Yeah. That, that brought a lot of people's attention to me. But then quickly they realized, oh, okay, this guy's not just, you know, an internet troll who posted one funny video, he's actually talented. He's smart. He's got a really interesting background. Speaker 1 00:38:01 He's interested in all this cool stuff. And by then I'd started my podcast. I'd released my first book, strong advice. So I was offering a lot of value and helping a lot of people and it just kept on going. And then, you know, 20, 20, 20, 21, the world went through more weirdness. And I was probably one of the most vocal people from the beginning, um, who was very much lockdown. Yeah. Very much opposed to the lockdowns and the mandates. I could just see where it was all going from like February 20, 20, March, 2020. I could see where it was all going. And I was deeply concerned. I was from the beginning, I was far more concerned by the response to the virus than I was by the virus itself. I also knew that, you know, that type of, that type of thing, just like we can't stop the cold, we can't stop flus. Speaker 1 00:38:46 We've never been able to, I was like, look, there's not all these, all these policies and the hysteria and the like this isn't ever, I was, I remember from the beginning I was like, well, if it's that contagious, I was like, everyone's gonna get it right. Like everyone's gonna get it from one reason. I was never even scared of it. Personally was like, I'm gonna get it. Like there's no way I travel as much as I do. I meet as many people as I do I'm out and about. And I don't get this thing. I was like, everyone is going to get it. Of course. I was like, okay, look, if you are, if you're elderly data came out early, I was all right. People who are older, especially if you've got comorbidities, those are people, you know, need to be more cautious. That's where the resources and the protection and whatever should go to. Speaker 1 00:39:23 But no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We need to treat babies. And five year olds and 15 year olds and 25 year olds, the exact same way we treat 95 year olds and yeah, the, uh, whole tyranny began to various extents in different cities and in different countries. And I was just speaking out against, I was just saying what I saying, what I believed saying what a lot of other people were thinking. And that, again, attracted more people to me, not because I was trying to be, you know, controversialist I was just trying to Mo I was actually trying to moderate the conversation because you, you remember what it was like people you weren't even supposed to ask Speaker 0 00:40:04 Any questions. No. I mean, Speaker 1 00:40:05 You weren't supposed to dissent you. Weren't supposed to question anything. Yeah. I mean, I was talking Speaker 0 00:40:10 And you know, people talk about conspiracy theories, but we now know there was an actual conspiracy to silence certain voices and absolutely, and shut out a kind of point of view. But I mean, that sort of hubris, it's the same kind of hubris that makes people think that, well, we're going to do all this. We're gonna have this big new experiment. Yes. We have this whole manual. All of these drills, we knew what we were gonna do before, which was not masking and, and not locked downs, but oh, we're gonna throw that out. We're gonna do something completely new. And um, and we're going to contain this. Well, of course you weren't able to contain it. You could push it down the road. Um, and you could also do a lot of harm during, you know, along the way in terms of mm-hmm, <affirmative> weakening, people's immunity, weakening, um, their mental health. Uh, yeah. I mean, I am exercise for that, cuz I referenced earlier, like I am always in a gym or in the class when, um, some big national disaster strikes mm-hmm <affirmative> um, but uh, I I've been exercise for a year because, um, I'm not, you know, saying that cause I'm proud of it, but my go-to was always my PLOS class, my bar class, my yoga class, and all of that was, uh, shut down. And I was just so distraught by, Speaker 1 00:41:32 By everything shut all the gyms in the name of health. Makes sense. Yeah. Force everybody indoor. Speaker 0 00:41:36 Well, you Speaker 1 00:41:37 Were talking about force everybody indoors for a disease that doesn't spread outdoors. Speaker 0 00:41:40 <laugh> you were talking about things going up and up and up and up and well I'm seeing, um, an exponential growth in our questions here. So, uh, we've got really 15 minutes left. So I wanna try to get some of them, um, time flies when you're having fun. Klein 1788 on Twitter says any advice for young people, uh, like me wanting to speak out against wokeness, but a little hesitant to stand out. Speaker 1 00:42:05 Yeah, that's a, that's a good question. And it's a question asked by old people as well as young people there are, man, how do I approach this? There's multiple considerations. I think first of all, people need to understand that the reason these things have gotten so far is because of people being afraid to speak out and ask questions and push back. That's always how it happens. Right? So you have to think about the potential long term consequences. Don't just think of what are the potential short term consequences of. If I do say something and by the way, those short shortterm consequences, I can guarantee you are not gonna be anywhere close to as severe as probably conjure up in your imagination. But if I, and everybody else just stay silent on this, is it, is it gonna get better or is it gonna get worse? Speaker 1 00:42:56 And I think it's very clear that the answer is worse. And then beyond that, I would say, you don't need to go a hundred percent to begin with just both courage and cowardice are habits. This is why this is so important, right? Once you get in the pattern of expressing your opinion or vocally objecting, when you have an objection or asking a question, when you have a question that over time becomes a habit, it becomes something that you don't have to go out of your way and conjure up motivation and courage to do. You just do it, right? If you are someone who you, you've never been in the gym before, where, where both the gym and junkies, uh, it, the first time you go to the gym, you, you might be scared, right? You might need the motivation. You need to psych yourself up a little bit. Speaker 1 00:43:43 You might need to do that the first few times. But for those of us who have been going to the gym for a long time and exercising, it's like brushing your teeth, right? You just, you just do it. It's it's, it's a, it's a habit. It's, it's something that you struggle would struggle not to do. Um, and that's where, that's where it gets to people are like, man, oh, you're so bold. You I'm like, bro, I can't not speak out. Like just maybe some of it's my personality type, but it's, it's essentially, it's a habit at this point. I've wired myself to take the road of courage, not the road of cowardice. This doesn't mean you have to speak on absolutely everything, right? You have to pick your battles of course. But if there's something that you, you know, you really wanna say something or you think it's genuinely important or you think that humanity or people around you are turning in a bad direction or that there's a massive threat to something you hold dear, then, then say something you can't outsource your courage. You, you have to do it yourself. And by doing so you'll also encourage other people. And in the long term, uh, I believe that the truth always wins and that these things work out. Even if there can be some bumps along the way, Speaker 0 00:44:50 I'd say also, um, a training wheel, uh, type start is, you know, uh, share Zuki content share. Speaker 1 00:44:59 Yeah, go ahead. Speaker 0 00:44:59 Society's content, you know, I mean, yeah. Do it, it, it does take, you know, a bit of time to work yourself up and to, uh, to maybe getting out there on a limb yourself, but there are people out there that are doing this 24 7 and um, you know, if you can't join the fight, then help spread the message of the people that are in that are in the fight. Speaker 1 00:45:22 Absolutely. Speaker 0 00:45:23 Okay. Uh, mark Camden on Facebook, which pseudo religion do you think has more of a grip on the west? The science, TM, I, you know, essentially the belief in, in, uh, zero COVID and lockdowns and um, all of that or wokeness, which do you think will loosen first? Speaker 1 00:45:47 Yeah, they, they first, they had certainly connected. There's a big overlap between the, uh, adherence of those pseudo religions. I would say wokeness, I don't really like the term wokeness now because it's kind of been so overused mm-hmm <affirmative> but I would say, yeah, really it's it's cultural Marxism combined with postmodernism. I think that is, that has much deeper roots it's in, it's taken over more institutions and more people's minds. And I think the potential consequences of it in terms of social cohesion and functionality are actually very severe. I think they're very severe. I think that the game they're playing with, like race is a very dangerous game. I think the game they're playing with the battle of the sexes is a very dangerous game. I think the gender ideology that they're doing, especially with pushing it on, on children, and we've already talked about women's sports and that whole segment, I think that's a very dangerous game that they are playing. Speaker 1 00:46:52 And ultimately it's incredibly divisive. You're always gonna have some division in a society. We've got billions of people in this world and no two of us share the exact same views and opinions on everything, which is, which is good. Um, but we need to be able to coexist. We need to be able to coexist. So whenever I'm seeing people out there who are intentionally turning people against each other, um, again, oftentimes based on IMU, immutable, characterized, uh, characteristics, you've seen the weaponization of the so-called L G B T movement, which has gone way beyond any sort of just like, Hey, like leave people alone, anti bigotry movement it's become the bigotry movement, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> so called anti-racism has become Neo eracism. Uh, the people who call themselves anti-fascists are behaving like fascists and beating people in the streets and so on. Everything is the it's an inversion. Speaker 1 00:47:46 It's not just a confusion. It's actually people saying up is down, down is up. Men are women, women are men. Like there's no people are actually arguing that, you know, two plus two maybe does equal five. And that's a, that that's a big concern because we need to at least be able to agree on OB objective facts. What we think about that or why it is, or how we interpret it or the best way to deal with it. There's lots of stuff in the world that is up to interpretation and up to opinion and debate. But if we can't even agree that, um, you know, north is north and up is up and down is down and one plus one equals two, then we're really gonna have some real problems down the line. Speaker 0 00:48:27 No, uh, I had a moment yesterday actually in thinking about when you were talking about, um, music and how you first started seeing, uh, wokeness or some of these, um, messages showing up in music, uh, lyrics and that kind of thing. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I was, we have our big gala of the out society gala in Malibu coming up in three weeks tomorrow. And I was picking the walk on music for various speakers and, uh, we're doing a panel with one of our senior scholars, professor Jason Hill and Camille foster on diversity inclusion, equity, pretty grace, blah, blah, blah. So I was like, okay, well, what kind of music am I gonna pick for this? And I was just Googling around and seeing, well, there was that old song, uh, the three dog, uh, Knight, I think song, the world is white. The world is black. And I was like, nah, that's not really the message. Speaker 0 00:49:31 Then I went to Michael Jackson's black or white <laugh> and that was kind of, that was kinda cool, but, but what I noticed was like, neither of those would fly today. Mm-hmm <affirmative> neither, neither of the lyrics in either of those songs would, would work because they weren't, you know, they were really more in the line of, Hey, we're all part of the same tribe, we're all human. And, um, let's treat each other as individuals and it was, it just wasn't angry enough. <laugh> okay. Um, quick one from Instagram. Orion is calling thoughts on Brexit. I don't think you're a good Brexit, right? Speaker 1 00:50:11 No, I'm pretty ambivalent again. Um, in short, I would say that I don't normally give away how I voted on things cuz it's kind of personal, but I, I, I voted remain mm-hmm <affirmative> but ideologically I probably am more pro leave mm-hmm <affirmative> I'm kind of like pro leave more, slightly more ideologically, but more practically I was proma especially because at that time there was no idea of what leaving would actually look like. They didn't, they didn't have a plan. Um, I, there was no, there was no plan because people always forget that the, even the leave campaigners didn't really think that they were gonna win mm-hmm <affirmative> so that's why it took so long and it all became such a mess after 2016, because it was kind of this surprise thing that happened and the country was confused and went through multiple prime ministers for it to even happen. Speaker 0 00:51:05 Lot of, lot of surprises back in, in 2016. Yeah. Okay. I'll take one. Last one. Uh, Facebook, Zach Collins, legal immigration is a big topic here in the states, but he hears that at, in the UK. Also there are issues with illegal immigrants, refugees as well. Any thoughts? Speaker 1 00:51:22 Yeah. Um, first of all, I think, I think the immigration and refugee questions and groups of people get lumped together too much. I think both sides do this as well. Um, to me, refugees are a totally different topic to immigration. Um, I'm super, super pro like taking care of refugees and actually think everybody in every country should be. I think if there's you, you never know when stuff's gonna hit the fan in your country, it's happened all over history in a lot of ways. And I think it's good to have neighboring countries be willing to take people who are genuinely fleeing a conflict or fleeing some type of persecution and so on. Um, immigration, again, my views are just pretty moderate and normal. Um, I'm generally a pro-immigration person, but it's up to countries to decide how, how much it should be and how quickly and what the criteria should be and, and so on and so forth. Speaker 1 00:52:24 I don't, you know, it's just, I think op I think complete open borders is a bad idea. I think that being hyper nationalistic to the point of, you know, wanting to stop immigration or something like that is also, uh, bad idea and oftentimes is linked to, you know, it can be very xenophobic and so on and it's also, it's not actually good for the country because look, we're born where we're born, right. Where, where you're born is a total is a, is a total random random event. Uh, the, the patch of land you happen to be born on or the city or the state, wherever you're born is not necessarily the best place for you or the place where you're gonna have the most opportunities and so on and so forth. So I think you, you know, you've gotta have immigration on a, on a global scale that totally makes sense and countries wouldn't be what they are at all. If people had this attitude that there shouldn't be migration, that would be crazy. Um, Speaker 0 00:53:22 Well, speaking of migration, um, I understand you might be thinking of making a move at least, uh, at least maybe temporarily. Um, you've mentioned I've, I've heard, you mentioned that you left great Britain for many of the same reasons that people here in the United States are leaving places like California and New York. Do I understand correctly that, uh, you're thinking of living here in the United States? Speaker 1 00:53:47 Yeah, I mean, maybe so. I mean, I'm, I'm just nomadic, I've been, um, living this life of luxury homelessness since about may last year <laugh> so I just, I'm just country to country, city to city. I'm going to Australia soon, cuz I've been booked to speak at a few events. Um, for the time being I'm happy not having a set base. Um, it makes a lot of sense for what I'm doing right now with my career. And I won't, I won't do that forever. I'm sure I'll, I'll settle somewhere and maybe I might, I might be the us. I spend most of my time in it's certainly where most of my audience is, but for the time being, I can't really commit or answer in a, in a direct way cuz I genuinely don't know myself. Speaker 0 00:54:31 Well, uh, consider you have a base out here in Malibu. Um, I'd love to, oh, thank you to see you out here. Have you been to Malibu? Speaker 1 00:54:38 I have been to Malibu. Yes. Speaker 0 00:54:41 Uh, it is in California. There's that <laugh> but um, but we, I like to think of us as a bit of Agul Gulch here in, uh, in Oasis, a bit of an Oasis in, in part because it's, it's rural and it's a little bit harder to get to. So, um, well, uh, thank you. Zubi now you are on all of the social media platforms. Um, I'm following you mostly on Twitter. Do you give them all equal love or? Speaker 1 00:55:08 Yeah, I mean Twitter is my primary, but um, I'm on Instagram daily. I'm on Facebook most days I'm on YouTube multiple times a week. I'm the same handle on all of them. Zubi music. That's Z U B Y music. So you can find me there if you wanna check out any of my music books, merchandise team zubi.com is the place for that. Speaker 0 00:55:27 Yeah, let's put up the, uh, the, um, covers of, of his two books. Maybe just a bit of a word about those Zubi if you would sure. Close us out. Um, the candy calamity, Speaker 1 00:55:41 The candy calamity. Yeah, that's my children's book in collaboration with brave books. That's [email protected] That's where you can get that or candy calamity.com. So that is a fun rhyming adventure for kids, primarily age between around four and 12. Um, it's a fun story. It's all about health and fitness. It's a completely apolitical book. It's just a fun, positive story to teach kids about the importance of moderation self-control and taking care of your body. So really had a lot of fun making that one. Speaker 0 00:56:12 All right. And strong advice Speaker 1 00:56:14 And strong advice. Yeah. Um, I'm act I've actually just, if you wanna get a paperback copy of that, check out the link on Twitter or Instagram because oh, Speaker 0 00:56:22 Well we definitely will. Cause I didn't able to get one. Speaker 1 00:56:25 Yeah. Yeah. The paperback sold out just last week, but I'm taking pre-orders for them again. So I've had strong advice has been out since 2019. Um, it's helped thousands of people across the world. It's actually been purchased by people in over 65 different countries now. So it teaches you everything you need to know about, uh, building muscle burning, fat, losing weight, gaining weight, getting stronger, so on and so forth. It goes through mindset and motivation, nutrition and training. And it's essentially the book that I wish someone gave me when I was a teenager. And I first started going to the gym and I didn't really know what I was doing. That's the book I wish someone gave to me. So I wanted to write it and it has helped a lot of people. Um, I've met people in person who lost 50 pounds, a hundred pounds plus following the program. And it just helped to click for people. It's a concise book. It's a short read. It's not like a massive textbook or something. I just wanted to cut it down and really give you what you need to know. Speaker 0 00:57:19 I think that's so important. And that's one of the reasons we do pocket guides here at the ATLA society. And sometimes, you know, it's hard for academics to understand that, but reading habits have changed and that makes things, uh, difficult for a group like ours, trying to get people interested in reading books like ATLA shrug and, and the fountain head. Uh, but, uh, that was a long you're creative. Yeah. And, and make, make, find a way to make it accessible for people. So, um, well Zubi, I'm so, so grateful. I know how busy you are, your travel schedule, your music schedule, your tweet schedule, um, and your writing schedule, coaching schedule. So, um, speaking schedule, it's just exhausting. You've been thinking about all that you do, but we're really grateful that you do it. Um, thank you. And, and, uh, grateful for, um, again, just, uh, being such a compelling San and um, also I think really, uh, gracious, um, and civil voice out there for, uh, for individual rights and for reality. So we appreciate it. Thank you. Speaker 1 00:58:30 Thank you so much. I appreciate that. Speaker 0 00:58:32 And thanks to all of you who joined us today. Thanks for your great questions. Of course, if you enjoy this kind of content, if we join the work of the ATLA society, don't be a free loader. Don't be ature, uh, support us, put something into the tip jar so we can continue to bring this kind program to you every week. Um, and then join us next week. Our senior scholars, uh, Steven Hicks and Jason Hill will host our current events, uh, panel for the episode. And most importantly, if you're in Southern California, go and sign up to come to our gala, we'll see you there in two weeks. So thank you.

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