2010 XXL Freshman Pill recorded a short video, where he expressed his frustrations with the lack of affordable housing in his hometown of Atlanta, that will be screened at a United Nations summit in Geneva, Switzerland next month [watch below]. XXLMag.com spoke with the ATLien’s former manager, Derek Schklar, to find out how the Pill got involved with the cause and why the issue hits close to home.
Schklar told XXL that his sister, who works in the human rights field, told them there was a campaign called the Testify Project that was looking for instances of injustice to display for U.N. delegates in preparation for the United States’ Universal Public Review. Knowing that Pill, who grew up in several project buildings throughout ATL, was passionate about the housing crisis, she informed them of the opportunity and they jumped at the chance.
“Our big cause was the housing crisis in Atlanta,” Schklar said. “Pill is from a project that they tore down and moved to another project that they tore down, and all of the places that he’s grown up are basically gone.”
In the short, Pill discusses the repercussions that poor people in the A faced once the low-income residences were abolished. “People are basically on the streets now because ain’t no housing left for poor people in the city,” Schklar said. “They’re pushing it all out on the outskirts, where it’s even worse, there’s no public transportation [and] no access to the city services that impoverished people depend on.”
In the clip, shot in front of the Auburn-Glenn Apartments (known locally as Fort City), Pill says, “They tear all the projects down and they build nice new condos and jack the prices up, so if it wasn’t for me doing music, I’d probably still be living that lifestyle.”
Pill’s submission to the Testify Project will reportedly be shown for the U.N. delegates on November 25.
The rap up-and-comer is currently working on his debut album, The Medicine, for Asylum Records. —Jesse Gissen