Check it — City targets local youth through hip hop

Promoting rap is a priority for Whitehorse. Hip hop is going to help Yukon youth live out their dreams and goals, said Canada Games Centre manager…

Promoting rap is a priority for Whitehorse.

Hip hop is going to help Yukon youth live out their dreams and goals, said Canada Games Centre manager Art Manhire, in a city release.

Not all hip hop is gangster driven, said Manafest, the rapper parks and recreation is bringing to Whitehorse on Saturday.

“With music, when someone’s on stage, it gives them a platform to speak into kids lives,” said the Ontario emcee.

Music had a big impact on me, and I’m a big believer in kids pursuing their dreams and thinking bigger than they are.”

Manafest grew up in a broken home.

“Finances weren’t good,” he said.

It was skateboarding that saved him.

“When I first got involved in skateboarding, it was something I would dream about every night and it would just pump me to keep moving,” he said.

“When you have a goal and something you’re going for, it keeps you moving and keeps you out of trouble and stuff.

“So I want to tell kids when you keep dreaming and keep your dreams alive it keeps that fire inside of you.”

But Manafest’s show is not preachy.

“ I don’t want to sound like it’s going to be this whole motivational speaking concert,” he said.

“But in between songs, when I’m taking a breather, I choose those moment to give little quick shots of — ‘Yo, giver’ man.’”

Manafest’s songs also inspire, he said.

“With music there’s different messages between the beats and what I rap about — songs like Good Day, where I’m having a good day — kind of jammin’ to work and not letting it stress you out.”

There are lots of people that are given platforms that shouldn’t be up there, added Manafest.

Rapper sings about what affects their lives, he said.

That’s why rap from rough areas tends to feature violent subject matter.

While in Houston, Texas, Manafest met rappers from the East Side where there’s a shooting daily.

“So if you’re living there, that’s what you’re going to rap about and talk about,” he said.

Manafest’s faith in God has kept him out of trouble, he added.

“I’m a Christian, and it’s definitely laid a foundation of principles and ethics.

“Some people lean on different things, it might not be religion, it could be anything. People rely on relationships, drugs, alcohol, sex, whatever it is as their vice and I guess I chose the more spiritual route, with the whole Christianity thing.

 “We still like to party and have a good time,” he said. “But we like to leave a message at the end that will give kids a hope to keep going and be encouraged.

“Kids should check it.”

Manafest is playing at the Canada Games Centre Saturday, September 20th. Tickets are $5 and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. The concert and dance will also feature break-dancer J Rebel and Ground Works Sessions.

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