Stop The Violence’ Is Theme Of Rapper’s Music
Most of the time he earns a living by working the high steel somewhere in New York City, working in such diverse places as the Marine Parkway Bridge and a 24-story high rise in Long Island City.
When he is not working on his “day job,” however, he is pursuing a much different path. He’s the lead rapper and CEO of the Rhyte Hitters, a group of four young black men who are trying to stop the violence that is endemic to the Rockaway community.
“We’ve got to work together to stop the violence,” True said recently. “Kids have to understand that there’s a better path.” His group, made up of local rappers, includes Five Star General, Show Hotness and Twon, who is the group’s hypeman.
For the past few summers, they have been playing local concerts sponsored by the Far Rockaway branch of the NAACP and City Councilman James Sanders Jr. in order to help their community and get their message of peace out to the public.
“We go wherever we’re needed,” True said. “But we would like to start making a little money for our efforts.”
The group’s original album, “Stop the War, Part I,” came out in 2008 and has sold more than 350 copies, True says. Now, he and the Rhyte Hitters are nearing completion of their second album, entitled, “Stop The War, Part II,” which should be out in the summer of 2010, True says. He has shopped a single from the album, “Do No Evil,” to some major rappers such as Public Enemy and hopes that his group can tie up with one of the major companies. Meanwhile, he and his group continue to serve the community.
“We do anything we can,” he said, “clean up the parks, clean up graffiti, work on coat drives, anything.”
He adds, however, that the group’s major goals are cleaning up the problem of gun violence and putting teens on the straight road.
“We have been working for years with the kids in OV, Edgemere and Redfern to make them better places to live,” he said. “We’re trying to get kids to understand that there are better jobs out there, union jobs and that there is a different way they can go.”
True says that he and his group will be back next summer, working with the NAACP and local politicians to change the perception of many teens that violence and guns are the way to go. “You’ve got to do something to help your community,” True said. “We’re doing it in the best way we know how.”