A local rapper named Reppa Ton, real name Jarrell Wood, has released a new track, "Timeless," that he says he hopes will spread positivity during a rough week on the nightly news.
Released April 22, and written around six months earlier, the upbeat "Timeless" relates to the Baltimore crisis, he says, because "a lot of what's going on up there is the result of anger and agitation;" and we need to focus more on the good.
"Martin Luther King Jr said during his 1968 speech 'riot is the language of the unheard.'" Wood tells Style. "The record is an outspoken vibe of happiness and positivity. Family values are lost, the youth alongside the elders are battling society for a shot at comfort. My message is to break out the mental shackles we've been locked in and smile. It's okay to laugh, dance and celebrate a life worth living."
He's not worried that people will write it off as another "Don't Worry, Be Happy" message, or cynical ploy to earn hits off of tragedy.
"I'm not worried about the perception of 'Timeless' especially after the video is released," he says somewhat cryptically. "It doesn't fit in with a category of popular culture music or message."
So does Wood have any answers about how to build a better dialogue or future?
"A solution can stem from acknowledgment, practical guidance and insight on a brighter side," he says. "The perfect place to start this process is at home. As a great guitarist by the name of Jimi Hendrix once said 'When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.'"
Wood believes musicians can play a major role in supporting affirmative goals. And he notes that his debut album "Forever Changes" drops sometime this summer. You can check out more from him here.
"I believe that music has an influence like no other art forms. What we present verbally on a record creates a potential energy to be put in motion. Positivity is a progressive air to inhale while being oppressed . As I quote in the first verse of ['Timeless']: 'The lighter fluid lit outside the cave, helps me see I'm not a lion in a cage.'"