Outside of his passion for music, Williams dedicated his life to the mission of visiting every country in the world. With only one country left to visit, the DJ decided to buy almost 15 acres of barren land in the Californian desert to form a new state which he named after his radio show – Slowjamastan, reports CNN.
“I want to put it as simply as possible,” says Randy ‘R Dub!’ Williams, a San Diego-based nighttime DJ who mixes “slow jam” songs, a style of music with R&B and soul influences. “I ran out of countries, so I created my own country,” continues the one who is also called the Sultan of Slowjamastan.
In a suit and wearing sunglasses, the Sultan of Slowjamastan officially declared his country’s independence from the United States of America at noon on December 1, 2021.
The DJ broadcast the secession event live from his open-air government “office” in Dublândia, the capital of the Republic of Slowjamastan.
Two years later, apart from a series of more bizarre laws, such as the ban on wearing Crocs, the Republic fulfills all the conditions of a young nation: it issues its own passports, flies its own flag, prints its own national currency (the “double”). and has a national anthem that is played during events.
The Republic of Slowjamastan even claims to have 500 registered citizens, while another 4,500 have been conditionally accepted or are awaiting citizenship.
Now that he is so close to fulfilling his dream of visiting every country in the world, Williams is inviting tourists to come to the Republic of Slowjamastan, with plans to create the ultimate “micronation”.
“When I’m not on the radio, I’m probably traveling to a country that most people haven’t heard of,” Williams told CNN shortly before departing for Turkmenistan, the last country on his list of 193 nations recognized by the United Nations.
“One of the reasons I created Slowjamastan is that after 193 countries, I want a 194th,” Williams explained.
The official name of the country is the United Territories of the Sovereign Nation of the People’s Republic of Slowjamastan. Williams’ self-proclaimed country is on California State Route 78, a two and a half hour drive from San Diego.
Although his country is nothing more than a patch of desert, Williams erected a giant sign reading “Welcome to Slowjamastan” next to the highway, built a border checkpoint and flew his nation’s colorful flag over the ministerial office , which currently has no weather protection whatsoever.
When creating his own country, Williams was inspired by various other “micronations” he visited during his travels.
In August 2021, Williams visited the Republic of Molossia, a similarly sized Nevada microstate that declared independence from the US in 1998. There, he was received by “His Excellency President Kevin Baugh”.
He learned about the “war” the Republic of Molossia continues to wage with the former East Germany, how the local currency (“valora”) is backed by chocolate chip cookie dough instead of gold, and saw his passport stamped and his picture taken at the “border” with the US.
“We’re a dictatorship most of the time,” Williams said when asked about the Republic’s system of government. “Occasionally we hold special voting ceremonies and referendums.”
“Not long ago, we allowed the citizens to choose what our national fruit and sport should be, and even what our national animal should be named,” said the Sultan of the Republic.
It might seem paradoxical for a “republic” to have a dictatorial sultan running the country, but that’s exactly the point. Williams has seen firsthand the cult of personality created around authoritarian leaders in other countries, such as North Korea.
Slowjamastan citizens and tourists must follow several rules to avoid being deported. Currently, things banned in Slowjamastan include Crocs, mumble rap music and people putting their feet on the dashboard of a car.
Tourists are invited to take selfies in front of the sign at the entrance to the country, visit the Independence Square and look for the national animal very hard to find – the Slowjamastan raccoon.
Williams now wants to raise enough money to build “a tattoo farm” (armadillo) and “a huge statue of the Great Leader” (with himself), among other things.
According to the Montevideo Convention, in order to become a full-fledged country, Slowjamastan needs a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the ability to have diplomatic relations with other states.
The next objective for Williams is to gain recognition from the US government – a mission that seems a little too ambitious, even for Sultan.
“I am quite frustrated to admit that despite emailing and messaging President Biden on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and MySpace, our messages have gone unread,” Williams explained. “Maybe they stayed in his spam folder. This has to be it.”
Editor: Raul Nețoiu