By the time New Cross rapper Craze 24 was 10 years old, he had seen two people die.

One was murdered; the other took his own life after the rapper, then seven years old, tried to talk him down from the building.

Sitting outside a café on Lewisham Way, Craze 24, whose real name is Jay Miller, recalls how his childhood experiences sent him on a bad path as he reached adolescence.

“I had seen girls raped – it was a lot.

“I was on survival mode. I was low on hope and what I believe I could achieve within society,” he says.

“My mum worked very hard but she was struggling. She could just about feed us.”

Growing up as a black boy on the Woodpecker Estate presented huge problems for Miller.

“I was chased by the National Front at least six or seven times as a child. I remember jumping on train lines to escape them.”

Recalling his childhood experiences, Miller describes himself as “detached from society.”

And this detachment had awful consequences when Miller found himself jailed for robbery.

“I was actually excited to go to prison. I remember it feeling like I was going to Thorpe Park or something.

“A lot of my peers were in prison. We all came from the same environment had the same experiences, so I knew I’d be received well.

“That just shows my mindset wasn’t in the right place.”

However, in the 18 months Miller spent behind bars, he completed 11 qualifications, from IT to plumbing.

And, although he was still “hanging out on the streets” when he was released, the rapper would write lyrics in the evening.

“I was reading and studying a lot. I started to learn about my talent and continued to develop as an artist.”

With the release of his new single, Everybody’s Got 2 Learn featuring Davinah, Miller wants to send a positive message to young people growing up on tough circumstances.

“I want to try and give them that hope. We need positive role models.”

Alongside his music, Miller also wants to give back to the younger generation through running workshops.

His first project, Always Progress in partnership with his brother, Big Ven, gives free studio time to kids aged between 13 and 21 for them to get involved in musical projects.

His newest project, the Mobile Workshop, talks to children about knife crime and grooming gangs to educate them about the dangers of going down the wrong path.

Miller, who is now a dad to his six-year-old son, believes more education on black history is the key to engage young black boys in society.

“It starts at school. The only black history we’re ever taught is slavery.”

He brings up a memory from his school days when his white teacher pointed at him and said: “you lot used to be slaves.”

Reflecting on the anger he felt at his teacher’s “bravado,” Miller insists: “If you’re taught in school that you come from slaves, you almost try your hardest to be against the system.

“There’s this African saying: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. I think that’s something we should embrace.

“We can all contribute to helping that child move in the right direction. If they do something positive then it benefits us all.”