The late great rapper Tupac Shakur once compared himself to a rose that grew from the concrete. But instead of America marveling over the flowers ability to blossom despite a lack of water, inadequate sunlight and malnourishment, its criticized for having broken branches, dirty petals and a twisted stem.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based rapper Prodigal Son is much like that relentless rose. A seven-time Billboard-charting gospel rapper who rhymes about his rough and tumble past life on the streets, Prodigal Son has been under scrutiny for his brutally honest lyrics instead of his ability to shed light on the evils of the world.
Prodigal Son, has been a 2 time (2nd Round) Grammy Nominee for Best Rap Album (WELCOME 2 HOLY-WOOD) the album debuted on Gospel Billboard charts at Number 21
Growing up wasn't easy, born in Canton Ohio, he only had 4 choices to escape poverty, music, sports, crime and working in a steel mill, he chose all 4.
I talk about real life. Ill say what you think about but never dare to say it, says Prodigal. My music is very unorthodox. It relates to a lot of people and a lot of people relate to. I never promote to a Christian market because everybody listens to music says Prodigal Son.
Born Kelly Williams in the high-crime city of Canton, Ohio, Prodigal came into this world fighting. Addicted to crack-cocaine at birth, he was taken away from his mother, given back shortly after and at three months old, his father was given full custody.
Raised by his pops and stepmother, coming up was an everyday struggle. His stepmother didn'st have a job for the majority of his childhood. And even though his father had a full time job for the city, money was scarce. And his father would drink any extra money left over at the end of the month. So at age 13, young Kelly took to the streets to earn his bread and meat.
I wasnt robbing in the streets because everybody else was doing it, Prodigal admits. I was hustling to survive and if I got caught, I knew my survival was gone. And thats not what I wanted.
Prodigal Son's hustling caught up with him at 16 and landed him in a juvenile corrections facility for 1 year. It was during his first bid that Prod was introduced to music by a fellow juvenile offender who was facing a life sentence.
But even though Kelly knew that music was in his future, he was still knee deep in the streets. His life of crime landed back behind bars before long. And between parole and probation violations stemming from a robbery charge, he spent a total of eight years in prison.
By the end of his bid, he turned his life over to Christ and decided to make Christian hip hop instead of secular music. He adopted the stage name Prodigal Son and dropped his underground debut CD Crossing the Red Sea in 2003. He burned the CD himself and put it in mom-and-pop stores on consignment. Shortly after, he released his follow-up album My Block in the same format.
Prodigal received critical acclaim for both CDs and by the time his third album Kingdom Swagga-nomics hit, he had secured a distribution deal with a regional company and charted at the Number 21 spot on Billboard. The following year, he came back with compilation CD Welcome to HOLY-wood featuring some of his closest friends. The compilation debuted at Number 25.
But even with Billboard charts and Grammy nominations, Prodigal Son has been constantly criticized by the Christian community for his realistic lyrical content. So his official departure from Christian hip hop was the September release of album Deeper Than Church, for which he has been nominated for two Grammys for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for the albums self-titled lead single.
Born addicted to crack cocaine, being 5 months premature, Kelly wasn't expected to survive, but he did as well as being healed of BREAST CANCER with the help of no doctors of chemotherapy.
Prodigal Son took a short step away from the gospel hip hop music world after the passing of his mother, grandmother and father in the year of 2010 and that was a dangerous move for him to make, he chose to find life on his own, not following God's master plan for his life.. But with many prayers and support from his closest friends, family and fans The Prodigal Son returned back to the gospel hip hop music and the culture while securing a new recording deal under TYSCOT RECORDS/WARNER MUSIC GROUP.
Prodigal Son released of his new E.P. #Grace (Sept, 3, 2013) from his own label HOLY-wood Records WORLD-wide LLC/CLG DISTRIBUTION made available via I-Tunes and many other digital outlets, with a follow up album due late 2014 entitled #HOMECOMING. Prodigal Son is ready to return to the community at large and encourage them to: NEVER GIVE UP...
- Creator of Canton Charge Theme song 2015 (D-League Basketball Assoc. #Cleveland Cavs)
- Coast 2 Coast Customs Mixtape Producer
- PBS jingle / Actor "Hidden Rage", Bad Boyz 1 & 2, HBO Special A Sinners Prayer
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