Growing up on the west coast and in a home listening to “smooth” jazz lol (my mom always had music going and still does), I became a lover of music at a young age. With that love of music, came dance and putting on dance shows for my family in the living room. I loved the beat/production and loved to dance…still do. In elementary school, I was apart of a dance academy taking hip hop, jazz and a little ballet. My favorite class was my hip hop class. Even though the technique was a lot harder it seemed (I use to compare myself a lot), the music was lit. hahaha! Of course most of the hip hop they played was edited or more old school but as I got older, that changed. I started listening to the real stuff.
Hip hop for me has always been connected to my personality production wise. I love to dance and I get excited “hyped” about things (now, I like to say joyful 🙂 ). In school, I got named “AshMonkey that Funky Monkey” because I was always dancing/jumping around excited and I loved monkeys. I still have monkey pillow seat covers in my car, lol! Ok, back to my introduction 🙂
As my listening to hip hop progressed into various artists, I really started to realize how it was affecting me mentally and acting out physically. I would listen to songs with intense lyrics and it was leading me into things that weren’t healthy. Drinking overboard, pre-partying, partying, men, and just a lifestyle that wasn’t adding any value to my life, but taking from it. I can’t blame it all on music but it definitely contributed in a major way. I remember one day I thought, why can’t we just have the production with different lyrics? More storytelling and not always about things that didn’t add value, like drugs, the sex industry and etc. It was then that I found CHH and Trackstarz.
I know Lecrae (like most of us) was the first artist I was introduced to and I don’t remember how exactly, but I do remember going out on Google to see if there were gospel rappers, “clean” lyric rappers, stations that played clean music. Searching, I came across Trackstarz and checked out their website. I was taken back that I found a group doing exactly what I thought was something unique to my thoughts. It truly was a joy! I was so excited and decided to email them with the vision on my heart and said I would love to volunteer any way I could. Of course they responded so genuine and said they would love to talk with me. Myself and so many of my friends had been (and still are) influenced in a negative way by most mainstream hip hop, that I wanted to take a stand. After some great correspondence with the team and having some vacation days, I decided to fly out to Atlanta and personally meet the team. All I can say, is what a true blessing it was. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and we all talked about the vision. When I returned home back to Cali, I prayed about what God wanted me to do next and I got a call from the team to volunteer. It was an answer to prayer! Until this day, almost 2 years now, I have served on the Trackstarz team doing various tasks and I am truly grateful to be a part of something that is dear to my heart. To this day, here and there I will get into a loved one’s car or be at a light hearing what others are listening to and while I don’t judge, I feel the heaviness of the music. Yes, the beat is great but the lyrics are soul sucking (yes, I said soul sucking) and sometimes we don’t even realize it. I want to encourage you, that there is good music out there that doesn’t have all the soul sucking lyrics and if you are an artist, or thinking of becoming an artist and think CHH is corny, then I challenge you to step up and produce some non-corny stuff with bangin production and life giving lyrics.
Thank you Trackstarz for all you do for all of us. Thank you for loving everyone, bringing unity and a community where it is missing in people’s lives. I will always support you all!
Grace and Love!