Being a young black man from the inner city streets of Chicago comes with natural challenges. There's not a lot of help out there either.
But rapper Add 2 is at least doing something. In fact, he has dedicated his own resources to investing in Chicago's young artists.
"We have a responsibility," says Add 2, "to stop the cycle. I'm creating a safe haven for the kids." He actually has his own studio where he develops young local talent.
Sound familiar? Well, he is following in some big footsteps. He says, "Common was my mentor... I remember playing basketball with him and he would just pass down all this knowledge."
Add 2 has been sharing the wealth. His new album "Jim Crow, The Musical" relays truth through history and music. A daring feat to accomplish in Trump's 2019 America.
"I see a parallel," he says, "between two different realities of being black... it highlights the dangers but does not cast blame. This is a celebration of struggle."
People get it! "I was actually surprised," he admits. "I've gotten a lot of feedback and people are impressed. When you can stay focused, you do better."
Make no mistake, this isn't a fluke. An impression like that comes from artistic control. Add 2 has mastered his craft, and a powerful one at that.
"Music is the biggest power we have," says Add 2. "It is magic."
Experience for yourself this magical journey through black identity. You can find "Jim Crow, The Musical" on iTunes, and you can follow Add 2 on Instagram to stay updated: @Add2TheMC
Contributions by Lapzul, Chicago Music Award nominated record producer and recording artist. Follow Lapzul on Instagram: @LapzulMusic