San Diego-based slow jams radio DJ, Randy “R Dub!” Williams, has spent his life visiting every country in the world. Now, he’s the “sultan” of his own “country,” right here in Southern California.
Over the course of about a decade, Williams visited every single UN-recognized nation, from the regular tourist favorites to some of the world’s most elusive destinations — like North Korea, Venezuela, South Sudan and Somalia.
Ahead of crossing off the 193th country on his list, the radio personality was looking for a new frontier to explore. That’s when he visited a “micronation,” or a self-declared territory, in Nevada known as the “Republic of Molossia.”
That visit cemented his next mission after visiting every established nation in the world: to found his own.
“It has been an absolute dream and a mission to see every country in the world,” Williams said to FOX5SanDiego.com. “I’ve seen some incredible places that many people do not get the chance to travel to … What’s next for me, it’s to make a country of my own.”
In the fall of 2021, Williams purchased a 11.07-acre plot of empty, desert land deep in the arid landscape of Southern California in Imperial County — right off State Route 78 between Ocotillo Wells and Westmoreland — to establish his new nation on.
A few months later, on December 1, he officially declared independence from the United States, signing the secession document from “Dublândia,” the capital of the new “Republic of Slowjamastan.”
The name of the new country found about 100 miles from San Diego, Williams said, is a reference to his career moonlighting as a late night slow jams broadcast DJ on the local radio station Magic 92.5.
“The sultan is the sultan of slow jams,” Williams said of his sovereign persona. “He loves the Boys II Men, and the Usher, and the Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross and Anita Baker.”
“That’s just kind of the tie-in we wanted – the land of slow jams where people could come and just vibe out and relax,” he continued, “enjoy good music and good people.”
Micronations like Slowjamastan — small entities that claim to be independent, but are not formally acknowledged as such by any recognized sovereign state — are more widespread than one might think, with an estimate of more than 70 across the world.
Most of them have all the paraphernalia of recognized nation-states, from their own flags and national anthems to systems of “government,” currency and, in some cases, passports.
Slowjamastan has all of these trappings: it has a national anthem called “Slowjamastan (I think It’s Gonna Be an Awesome Place),” a “parliament,” an established national animal (the ringtail raccoon), and its own currency called the “duble” – a play on the Russian Ruble.
The nation’s “government,” as Williams described, is a dictatorship that’s occasionally a democracy – a sort of commentary on contradictions embodied by countries like the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.
“We are a republic on some days, but on (other) days we have a dictatorship,” Williams said. “I am the great leader that makes the rules, although sometimes … we let the community chime in on issues that are important to the Slowjamastani.”
It doesn’t take much to be a citizen of the nation, or “Slowjamastani” – there are only a handful of eccentric laws that citizens have to abide by to avoid “banishment.”
Slowjamastan statutes prohibit the wearing of Crocs, eating string cheese by biting directly into it, the playing of “mumble rap” music and driving in the left passing lane unless you’re actually passing another car among other things.
While no citizens of the micronation actually live on its proclaimed territory, Williams says there are nearly 5,000 Slowjamastani, between those who are officially registered and those who are still waiting in line for citizenship.
“We have citizens from all over six continents,” Williams said. “We are very proud citizens … These people are proud to be a part of something new and fresh.”
Despite having no infrastructure in the barren desert state, Williams has grand plans for the future development of the micronation, including building solar power facilities, a lazy river, an armadillo farm and an all-you-can-eat Mongolian BBQ restaurant.
He also hopes to gain diplomatic recognition from the United States, although that will likely be a difficult task for the sultan. A glimmer of hope for Williams: he says his Slowjamastan passport has been stamped by 16 different countries during his recent travels.
For now, tourists are able to visit the country inside California by procuring a “visa” to cross the nation’s borders, Williams said. Any travelers who do not have a guide or a visa are encouraged to take selfies in front of the border signs.