Updated: May 23
This blog is about how I fell in love with the idea of using music and Haitian culture to impact people.
Hip Hop For Positive Social Change
Still wanting to help raise support for Haiti, I looked to forming my own organization. As an aspiring Hip Hop artist, I began rapping at the age of twelve. I originally wanted to start a hip hop troupe that would use Hip Hop music and Haitian culture to raise funds to support families and communities in Haiti. I thought I could use music to communicate what people in the developing world were going through and encourage people around the world to support their initiatives so they could overcome their plight and lead themselves to self-sufficiency. Despite the fact that hip hop culture had a lot of negativity and I myself had not grown up accustomed to hip hop culture, I still felt as if I could use rhythm and poetry (rap) as a tool to spark positive change. “Rap music and Hip Hop culture doesn’t really belong to any group of people, race, or religion. At the end of the day, it is about creativity and self-expression, which is the heartbeat of Beyond Me. We can use our gifts and creative capacity to serve others and transform our world. I told my friends with conviction. Hip hop has been a voice for people who felt disenfranchised and were facing injustice out in the streets. I wanted to create a place where people can use elements of hip hop and Haitian culture to raise awareness and generate funds for our brothers and sisters in need.”
Starting out...my music didn't sound the best
No one had ever heard I rap or sing. I was still an amateur artist (and to this day, I is still improving and growing on my skills) who needed to improve my skills on the mic, produce music with better quality, and perform live in front of people with more confidence. During my high school years when I wasn’t playing sports or doing youth group activities with my church, I spent countless hours in my room producing beats and writing songs. I kept most of these songs to himself. I never bothered to share them with other people in fear that they would not like my music. “Man, you always sound the same” Eman, one of I’s close friends, told him one time I let him hear him rap. Eman was big into rap music and hip hop culture. I was one of I’s first critiques. “You need to switch it up a bit. Make the beat sound better. And add more emotion to what you’re saying. Make the song sound dope bro.”
Little by little, we were able unite young adults from all walks of life to be part of the Beyond Me Initiative.