The Los Angeles Rams partnered up with Watts rapper Stix to create videos to promote the fight against social injustices. Rams vice president of community affairs and engagement Molly Higgins want the videos to display the tough reality that Black Americans face.
The organization allowed Stix an abundance of creative freedom when making the two pieces.
“I want someone who is of the community, from the community who’s to be the voice, to be the person that writes the piece,” Higgins said. “I wanted people to feel the pain and frustration of the Black community and I didn’t want him to sugar coat it.”
Stix wrote a spoken word piece called “The Time is Now” that 13 Rams players recited for a video that was shone during the Rams season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
The video included quarterback Jared Goff, safety John Johnson III, offensive lineman Rob Havenstein, and wide receiver Robert Woods. Their words were paired up with footage of recent protests and of Rams players engaging in community outreach activities.
“The Time is Now” talks about the importance of having an equal playing ground for youth in education, improving the criminal justice system, and building positive bonds between law enforcement and citizens. The poem is a message that anyone can say, implying that social justice issues can be solved if everyone gets involved.
“These are the things that need to be addressed, it isn’t even about gender or race, it’s about right, reality, and truth,” Stix said. “It feels like it’s comfortable for everyone to talk about because it is the uncomfortable that isn’t talked about.”
The Rams player leadership group, a group of approximately 15 players, decided they wanted to rally behind the slogan “It takes all of us” and put the phrase on their helmets. Stix wrote a Rap song for the Rams using the phrase as the title. He, along with the franchise, collaborated to make a video for the song.
The music video for “It Takes All of Us” has cameos of many notable places in Inglewood and Watts, including in Sofi Stadium, The Miracle Theatre, the Forum, and the Mafundi Institute.
The venues have a symbolic purpose for being in the video, the Mafundi Building is a historical staple in Watts.
“The Mafundi building is home of legendary eras like the Watts Writers Workshop, the home of the Watts Prophets,” Stix said. “They’re trying to sell the Mafundi building right now and there’s a campaign that stated ‘Save the Mafundi Building.’”
Parts of the video were also shot at the roof top of the L.A. Police Department (LAPD) office, which symbolized how civilians and police officers must create more positive bonds between each other.
Stix took a knee in Sofi Stadium to acknowledge the efforts and sacrifice of Colin Kaepernick. Rams staff members, including Higgins linked arms in front of the Miracle Theatre.
Stix also wanted the players and coaches of the Watts Rams organization to be in the music video. Last year, Stix wrote and narrated the poem in the video “What’s Watts – A Story of Transformation” for the Watts Rams that was shone during a Rams game.
“They spent a lot of time in the neighborhood I grew up in and has changed a lot of lives,” Stix said. “They’ve given back to a lot of families and really are here to protect.”
Inglewood native artists Yannick “Thurz” Koffi and Damani Nkosi along with pro skateboarder Paul Rodriguez were featured in the video.
Stix is the founder the Think Watts Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes financial literacy, food security, and housing security. Rams tight end Tyler Higbee donated $5,000 to the foundation to help with their food delivery ventures and their resource hub for professional development.