May 22, 2015
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A project by local rapper Ricky Antonio encouraging youth expression through art has led to a must-listen song.

Ricky Antonio started a hip hop class at Helms Middle School, where he attended in his youth, and worked with students on developing their voice through lyrical expression. The effort culminated into a compelling track called “510” featuring Antonio, Real Rob, King Benjamin, MC Bubblez And Mr Conceited (see below).

Ricky knows from personal experience how hip hop can be a positive influence. The artist grew up in Richmond with an absent father and a drug-addicted mother, and by age 12 found himself abandoned in a crack house with his younger brother.

They eventually landed in foster care and Ricky refused to speak to anyone about his traumas. He did, however, take his uncle’s advice to begin journaling.Those thoughts ended up as songs.

In Ricky’s hip hop class, students receive journals, write verses, and collaborate on a song.  “510” is the first released track.

The song is available to download for free here. Ricky Antonio asks our readers to listen to the song and then share it so these students can be heard.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.