As part of our Placeholder series, we're asking some of our favourite artists an incredibly simple question: 'what are you reading?'. Next up is MOSSY.

I recently finished reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I bought it while I was living in New York from an older guy named Manny who sold used books and other assorted items on the corner of Avenue A and 2nd Street. It was a beaten up old thing, bound together by gaffer tape.

The book is co-authored by Malcolm X and Alex Haley. Hayley, a New York-based journalist, spent a two-year period between '63 and '65 (the year X was assassinated) documenting the activist's life through an ongoing series of in-depth interviews. Performing the function of ghostwriter, Haley presents the main body of the text solely from the point of view of Malcolm X.

In the early passages and again later in the book, X predicts that he will be assassinated before it is published. Turns out he was right. Chilling stuff.

The book spans Malcolm's entire life and career. It begins with growing up black in Michigan, the brutal murder of his Father by the Ku Klux Klan and the subsequent deterioration of his Mother's mental health, his involvement in organised crime during his adolescence spent between Boston and New York, and the time he served behind prison bars as a consequence. It goes on to detail Malcolm's spiritual conversion, involvement and later disillusionment with the Nation of Islam, his pilgrimage to Mecca and perhaps most importantly, his influence as the loudest and most controversial voice in the Human Rights Movement.

What I found most fascinating about this book is the candour, humility, and transparency with which X tells his story. His controversial views on certain subjects alter drastically throughout the course of his story but he makes no effort to conceal these to aid his own agenda.

Malcolm X's dedication and commitment to his work was truly awe-inspiring. This account also served as a welcome reminder not to hold too steadfastly to any views or opinions that I may have on any subject whatsoever and to remain as open-minded, willing and flexible to change as possible. After all, you never know what challenges and obstacles life may have in store for you next.


You can view MOSSY's video for 'Electric Chair' by heading here.