Troubled rapper Scribe says he's determined not to return to "my old life of hating and loathing" myself in his first interview since leaving prison.
The Christchurch-based rapper - real name Malo Ioane Luafutu - was arrested in August last year after breaching curfew conditions while trying to perform a show at Hotel Motueka.
In a new interview, the rapper, known for his 2003 hits Stand Up and Not Many, has detailed a troubling two years, saying things got so bad he was suicidal.
But he also says he "enjoyed" jail and having time to reflect on his life.
"The last couple years of my life have been the worst," Scribe told Mediaworks. "I was depressed and at my lowest point, I was suicidal.
"To be honest, I never thought I'd get through it."
After his two-month prison stint, which included time in rehab, Scribe made a surprise appearance on stage at the Bay Dreams music festival in Mt Maunganui, performing before headliner Cardi B.
During his two-song set with P-Money, he wore an orange prison jumpsuit and told the crowd: "I just got out of prison - what's good?"
He finished the set by throwing his orange jumpsuit into the crowd.
It followed a tumultuous two years in which the rapper sparked headlines for failing to appear in court. Police issued several warrants for alleged "drug related offences".
In the new interview, Scribe said spending time in prison gave him time to assess his life.
"For the short term, I'm focused on not slipping into my old life of hating and loathing myself and self-medicating with drugs," he said.
He said he was trying to clean up his act and make a return to music.
"As an artist, that's what makes me feel fulfilled and why I enjoyed being in jail," he says.
"What better place to inspire and reflect light than in the darkest place we have?"
His next performance is scheduled at Hotel Motueka on January 26.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• The Word
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.