Valedictorian rapper has sights set on academia, urban mission

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By Michael Ashcraft —

Ki’Shon Furlow was always conflicted. On the one hand, he graduated a 4.0 GPA valedictorian from high school. At the same time, however, he tried to traffic drugs to support his mom and five siblings in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ironically and fortunately, it was the drug supplier who dissuaded him.

“You’re graduating high school. You’re an idiot. You have all these things going for you. You have a good family,” the dealer told him, according to Genius Lyrics. “Go to school, and be a good kid.”

Ki’Shon — whose latest releases are under the name YourWelcome Shon with Curb Records — is glad he, like so many in marginalized neighborhoods in America, ultimately chose Christ instead of falling into the dangerous life of risking death or jail.

“I know who I am now,” he says in his song Yes I Am. “God got the plan now.”

Simmering in the background of Christian Hip Hop for a few years, Ki’Shon came to a boil at the forefront with a cosign from Derek Minor in 2018. “One of my favorite artists right now,” Minor tweeted, according to Rapzilla.

He’s committed to getting out of the ‘hood with “clean money.” His play-on-words “Summa Hood Laude” celebrates the words that rescued him from selling drugs — ironically words from a drug supplier!

His “Lord+Taylor” still reaches back into the past as it portrays a romantic story of a bad boy changing for a good girl. It’s a hypnotizing ballad with clever lyrics. Behind the fairy tale lies an implicit call to kids from the ghetto to believe in God, believe in themselves, believe in doing good actions and believe in the chance to make it out through legitimate work.

“Ima about to make her fall for a gangster. She’s got my heart on lockup. You make me want to change up. I don’t wanna be a player no more. You don’t need nobody else, Ima get it right. Girl, you got me praying on my knees to the Father.”

Ki’Shon got his start through battle rap, the live impromptu contest of insulting your opponent by turn and with limited minutes in the DFW Battle League. Today, he’s married with two kids, according to what he says in one battle rap on YouTube.

He has continued in higher education, straddling the world of church and college, of the hood and of holiness. He started studying in physics but ended as an English Literature major at Abilene Christian University.

“I really do want to thrive in that world of academia, whether it be as a professor or a provost or a dean,” he said on Rapzilla. “I’m really a rapper. I’m really from the hood. I really talk this way. I really dress this way. But I’m still an intellectual.”

Ki’Shon married in his sophomore year and planned to be a missionary studying overseas. But as he continued along, his target focused more on the inner city in America, where he continues to dress and talk like a kid from the ghetto so that the kids can relate to him and open their hearts to him. He graduated in 2014 and pursued a Master’s degree.

“I’m still involved in my neighborhood, still highly involved in my church and leadership and all of these roles, and so just because I’m foreign and because I’m different, it doesn’t mean that I’m not at all relatable.

“Humans have more in common than we can know. It’s just getting over the hump of the things that make us alienated and the things that make us different, that’s part of why I want to live in those spheres.”

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

To support his hobby of Christian journalism, Michael Ashcraft sells a bamboo steamer on Amazon.

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