I was late to The Crusader.

I bought the album in about 2004, I reckon. Even as a kid I wasn't up with the kids and by the time I listened to Scribe he'd already gone platinum once or twice.

As you did in those glory days, I'd bring my book of CDs to school. We'd hijack the stereo in our Year 13 media studies class as we waited for the teacher to show up. Scibble on the beats. The bass jacked up. I'm sure Mr McKerzie loved it.

I suppose Scribe represented a different side of Christchurch. Love it as I do, I always thought of my home as a bit white and stuffy, all punting and daffodils and what-school-did-you-go-to.


Until that point, I didn't know hip-hop could exist and be cool outside of the US.

I diss'ed Nesian Mystik to my mates but they were a bit parent-friendly and I was too embarrassed to admit I actually loved their music. Dre and Snoop and Jay-Z were good, but their lives could not have been much more different to mine. Scribe was from Phillipstown. For my mates and me at 17, Scribe was the man.

It's funny how lyrics stay with you.

He wasn't Bob Dylan or Lorde on the song-writing front, but I can still keep up with a good half of The Crusader. Some songs, I'll rap from end to end.

In his single Dreaming, there's a line that now seems sadly prophetic.

"Yo, I got a dream to make it big in New York
Gave up the drugs and alcohol, I didn't want to distort
My vision to be living life to the full

I moved to New York when I was about the same age as Scribe when he recorded The Crusader.

New York City, the anti-Christchurch.


The night I arrived, ecstatic and scared and knowing no one, I played that song on repeat all the way from JFK.

They say the music you listen to at the age of 17 is the music you'll listen to for the rest of your life. I listened to The Crusader. And I'm still cool with that.

• Scribe is set to appear in a Christchurch court on Tuesday on drug and weapon charges.