Music has always served as a creative outlet for people but for two young black men from the east end of Toronto it is more than that..
For Jordan Spences-Lee, 19, and Malcolm Morris, music is an escape from reality.
Jordan, who also goes by his rap name “Jewwy,” started making music this year and said he uses it as a way to escape the negativity that surrounds him constantly.
Jewwy comes from the neighborhood of Danzig and Morningside which is poorly represented in the media.
“I could have easily went in to that lifestyle of shooting and killing people and I didn’t,” Jewwy said.
Despite the negative energy that surrounds Jewwy, he said he is not easily influenced by his environment.
“I put all my energy into music but people from my hood aren’t that lucky,” he said.
Between financial difficulties and finishing school, making music can be difficult.
“I don’t come from a well off family who can pay for studio time so all the stuff I want I have to pay for,” Jewwy said.
Despite the bad reputation reflected in the media, a lot of talent has come out of Scarborough including artists who’ve made it big such as The Weeknd, Kardinal Offishall and Maestro.
Malcolm, also known as “AfterHour$,” is an emerging artist who comes from Victoria Park and Lawrence and has been making music for about a year.
AfterHour$ uses music as a story-telling mechanism.
“Music is for telling stories, personal stories,” he said, adding that he does not consider himself a rapper. “I have more of that PND and Tory Lanez vibe.”
AfterHour$ and Jewwy have similar financial woes. They said they can only make music when they have the money.
School is first for AfterHour$ since he cannot afford to drop everything and wait around for a Cinderella story to unfold.
However, both Jewwy and AfterHour$ are hoping for success.
“Yeah I will love for my music to pop off but only rich people can afford to invest all of their money into a dream,” Jewwy said.
“If I start to see my music is taking off then I will drop school,” AfterHour$ said.
Both AfterHour$ and Jewwy are looking to create a new wave in the music industry and make a name for themselves.
It is more than just an outlet for two young black men from Scarborough.
It’s a safe place.