Kiwi rapper Scribe has come out of the woodwork to reflect on his rise to fame and the subsequent effect it had on him mentally in a new interview for RNZ's Hip Hop Stand Up web series.
The troubled musician said he wanted to let people know "I'm not dead, I'm not in jail" after years out of the limelight, several brushes with the law and stints in rehab for drug addiction.
"People think they want to be famous, but you never want to be famous. You never ever want to be that level of fame where people know who you are," he said during the episode.
"Especially when you come from the hood and you're doing things I like to do, which may not be very good."
The 'Not Many' hitmaker reflected on his career alongside a host of local hip-hop artists, including his longtime collaborator P Money and cousin Ladi 6, who watched him become an overnight success.
"The thing with my fame was, it was instant. It was actually quite scary. I didn't like it. I still don't like it," Scribe said.
"One day I'm f**king put gas in the car, and the next day I go to do the same and I'm getting swamped, I'm getting f**king screamed at, people surrounding the car, banging on the windows kind of mobbed."
Real name Malo Luafutu, Scribe made waves with his debut single 'Stand Up' in 2003 and went on to make New Zealand music history as the first artist to simultaneously have a single and an album in the number one spot on the charts.
Scribe described his level of fame as "a really bizarre thing to get used to".
"Especially when you suffer anxiety like I do and you're introverted like I am. I've worked on it a lot to accept it... but in reality I'll never feel comfortable with the fame."
RNZ's new web series also features episodes on King Kapisi, Smashproof, Church & AP and Upper Hutt Posse.