Putting a completely new meaning to coming for your blood, grime rapper A Star is using his gift to encourage people to donate blood.
The UK rapper – who has sickle cell anaemia – released Hidden Pain featuring singer Leke, in partnership with NHS Give Blood this month to encourage people to donate – especially to save the lives of black patients with his genetic conditions.
Filmed in a University College hospital ward, the music video sees the 30-year-old suffering a sickle cell crisis, comforted by his family, wheelchair-bound and rapping with other people – including his own mother – living with sickle cell.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk the star, real name Alidor Gaspar, spoke of his shock when learning of the most recent statistics around donors.
One per cent of black people in the UK give blood, he said.
I couldnt believe it when I first heard it. It was so shocking and it was just heartbreaking man.
The statistic says that one person that gives blood can save three lives, he told us before describing his experience with transfusions.
He recalled: A few days after my 25th birthday I got a hip replacement. I had problems with my hip a few years ago because of lack of blood flow in my hip due to sickle cell which means my left hip was getting stiff.
A week after that I had to get a blood transfusion.
What is sickle cell?
Sickle cell disease is a group of blood disorders, the most common (and the most serious) of which is sickle cell anaemia.
The disease is caused by a faulty gene passed on from parent to child and is not contagious.
Health officials are urging more black people to give blood, to meet a growing demand for a special subtype of blood.
The condition, which affects around 15,000 people in the UK, is particularly common in black people.
The main symptoms of sickle cell disease include sickle cell crises, which can be very severe and can last up to a week or increased risk of serious infections.
Sickle cell disease can be extremely painful and sufferers are at higher risk of developing life-threatening conditions, having strokes and losing their vision.
But blood transfusions can relieve or prevent these symptoms.
In his song, A Star shared some of his most vulnerable moments through his lyrics, as he rapped: From as young as 5 getting rushed to the hospital/ I still remember clearly wow.
I can still hear the screams, still hear the shouts / Blue lights and ambulance noises / Wheelchair & oxygen mask / I got to be daft if I planned to avoid it.
Despite his incredible display of strength, the rapper confessed that filming the scenes and re-enacting his real-life sickle cell crises proved to be difficult for the musician.
But he urged himself to push through and got his Denzel on – his words – in order to make people see the realities of the pain he shares with many other sufferers.
He said: I wanted to make it uncomfortable for people to watch.
A lot of people online said it took them [some] time to watch the video because they knew they were going to cry. They did cry.
I really tried to paint a picture of what it looks like to have pain and having people around you feeling like they are helpless.
The Leytonstone rapper revealed to us that a remix is already in the works, before sharing why it is important for black donors to give blood amid the shockingly low statistics.
I do know someone who had to stop receiving blood because their body reacted to the blood they were getting because it wasnt from a black personRead More – Source