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Str8 Ballaz un-rap their true talent

THE Str8 Ballaz have left behind their teenage past on Glebe’s streets to rap about their lives and loves writes Marie Sansom in Inner West Courier of 29 November 2009.

The five-man Glebe hip-hop crew, who have already had an SBS documentary made about them, will perform at Glebe Youth Service’s open-air entertainment night next month.

Rapper Keiren White, 18, has turned his life around through music.

“I get to express my feelings and rap about my past and my future,” White said.

“I try to inspire a lot of younger brothers so they don’t grow up and take a negative path.”

This was the path White, who grew up in The Block in Redfern, freely admits he was on until he found release through rapping.

“It’s something that made me change,” he said.

“I was stealing people’s bags and that and I just thought I have got to stop because I don’t want to end up locked up all my life.

“I would rather make legit money.”

Str8 Ballaz’s producer Vince Buchanan, 20, said the crew began by chance in the youth service’s sound studio one day and other people liked what they did.

“I thought we should stick with this instead of going out and doing all this stuff (committing crime).

“We want people to look at us like we’re not bad kids,” he said.

Youth worker Keiran Kevans said the evening would be a chance for young people to feel more connected to the wider community and to boost their confidence.

“Our young people are very proud of being from Glebe and have a strong sense of place, but they can also feel marginalised,” he said.

“This event feels good to them - it’s got some energy for them and it’s great for them to get brought in on that wave.”

The night will feature music, food and films at the basketball courts in the Peter Forsyth Auditorium from 7pm on Saturday, December 12.

It is free but donations help fund the service’s youth programs.