Finding solace from bullying in music
As a youngster Jahroy “Kidd Clazzic” Richards often felt like it was himself against the world.
He was bullied so badly in middle school because of his weight, he was home-schooled in high school.
He found solace in music.
“I liked to make little recordings of myself at home,” he said. “On the playground I liked to play around with beats. Music is like breathing for me, so yes, it created an escape. However, music provides me an opportunity to express myself.”
Now 20, he said he's a lot more confident.
“I am not shy in any way,” he said.
But Kidd hasn't forgotten his childhood. His first album is called Kidd Vs the People.
“It's not really about being against other people,” he said. “It's about struggle. Everyone has a little bit of struggle. Me, it has been just slight things. People look at struggle as a bad thing, but there is beauty in the struggle. Everything doesn't always come easy.”
He's launching Kidd Vs the People this Sunday. He is most proud of tracks Mind of a Killer and Truth and Lies, but was hesitant to say what these songs are about.
“You have to hear them to appreciate them,” he said.
In 2014 he won first prize in the rap and hip-hop category at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in Hollywood, California for his song Fly Away. Several other songs have been nominated for awards.
The album is being produced in Atlanta, Georgia. Next month, when the album is released there, he plans to visit schools to share his experiences and encourage students.
Part of the proceeds from Sunday's launch party will go to Chewstick.
“I first visited Chewstick when I was about 12,” said Kidd. “I went with an after- school group. I'd never even heard of Chewstick until then.”
On that first visit, he was surprised to find himself in the middle of a jam session with older musicians.
“They started passing around a mic,” he said. “Some of the other children I was with were passing it by. I was thinking what am I going to do? When the mic came my way the words just flowed out of me.”
Since then, Kidd has stayed involved with Chewstick.
“They really showed me the music vibe,” he said.
“I probably would have gotten into music without them, but maybe not as soon.”
He performed in their Beachfest event two years ago.
Kidd's music is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, YouTube and Facebook.
The launch party is on Sunday at 7.30pm at Bootsie's at The Grand on Front Street. Other performers will be Kiana Madeiros, Buzby, King Cami Cam, Haz, Jessica Frias, Roddy Piper, JSilva and Joy Barnum. Tickets are $25, available at the door.
For more information see kiddclazzic.com.