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Published: Thursday, 11/13/2003

Young rapper puts talent to use to find relaxation, peace

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Jeremy Crawford won a trophy in a poetry contest, a feat that goes hand-in-hand with his rapping ability. Jeremy Crawford won a trophy in a poetry contest, a feat that goes hand-in-hand with his rapping ability.
LUCAS MOBLEY / THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Jeremy Crawford has huge bags stuffed with notebooks filled with rap lyrics in his garage, and he hopes soon to have a CD full of his music.

Jeremy, 17, recorded one song after winning free studio time at Toledo s TeenFest in July.

He won the rapping portion of the festival s talent competition.

“I feel at peace when I m in the studio,” the Libbey High School student said. “It s fun. It s where I m supposed to be.”

Jeremy has been scribbling down rap lyrics for years, and when he was just 14, he set up a “low budget studio” in his mother s kitchen with a beat box and a microphone.

“He had a lot of things pent up, so I told him to write things down,” his mother, Lisa Hunter, said.

Jeremy draws inspiration for many of his lyrics from his upbringing in the Englewood neighborhood, a poor area of Chicago.

He says he had a lot of fun in the neighborhood, but admitted that there was tremendous pressure to be involved with gang activity.

“When I saw all my friends doing something bad, I d be with them, but I d try to school them and tell them they could be doing something better,” he said.

In one of his rhymes, Jeremy describes “living in a town of corruption,” but he explains that “at the age of 17, God is who I m with.”

Jeremy has performed at several local spots, including It s All Good: The Jahva House coffeehouse and the former Sam & Andy s UpTown caf .

He also regularly won weekly rap battles on Thursday nights at a bar on North Detroit Avenue formerly called Chocolate City. he bar closed over the summer.

Jeremy said being a member of the MADD Poets Society, a group that encourages teenagers to explore different forms of poetry, helped him get out and perform more.

He will appear with the group tomorrow night at the Toledo Club.

“He s not your traditional rapper. He really takes you somewhere with his words,” said David Bush, leader of the MADD Poets Society. “He is very talented, and he has such a good attitude.”

Jeremy is trying to get his recorded song played on the radio and save enough money to record more tracks in a studio.

He has not decided what to do after he graduates in the spring, but his mother hopes he will study music and business at Owens Community College. Eventually, Jeremy wants to be a music producer.

“Being behind the scenes making beats and helping other people is really cool to me,” he said.



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