Brian ‘Champtown’ Harmon recently spoke with boys and girls at Margaret Recreation Center in St. Paul, MN regarding ways to channel their youthful energy into positive outlets. Accompanied by his apprentice, Derek ‘New York’ Doyle, Harmon spoke to the kids about the potential of the music industry to offer a constructive challenge and shared honest encouragement to stay away from street life and the gang mentality that so often follows. ‘Champtown’ presented parts of the The History Channel’s Gangland documentary which detailed the downfalls of friends from his childhood who went on to become some of the biggest drug runners and hit men for hire in his hometown of Detroit.
Harmon then introduced Doyle who briefly shared his own experience of growing up in a rough crowd and how becoming involved in the entertainment industry gave him a creative output to channel his energy into while offering an alternative to the trouble making ways he had found himself in. He also took the time to praise the work he had done with Champ, after meeting him as a teacher at The Institute of Production and Recording. It was Champ whom Doyle credits for keeping him motivated and creatively driven as he faced the hardships of a kidney failure (which led up to him undergoing his fifth kidney transplant).
After their brief speeches to the kids, Harmon demonstrated his loyalty to the community by getting involved in a pick up game of basketball with the majority of those in attendance, and chatting one-on-one with everyone for almost an hour. Throughout the night, both ‘Champtown’ and ‘New York’ continued to share their experiences with everyone in a more casual environment, even going so far as to offer aspiring rappers and managers the proper ways to go about producing a successful album and promoting it via local shows and press junkets.
The event was part of an ongoing tour of neighborhoods in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area in which Brian “Champtown” Harmon has been sharing his experience and validating the power the hip-hop community can offer as a creative outlet for directing pent up energy that could otherwise take a dangerous route.
WRITTEN BY IPR STUDENT DEREK ”NEW YORK ” DOLE