Interview guest, Mike Real, tells me about his upbringing in the Rancho San Pedro Projects and how growing up around gang violence motivated to spread positivity through his music.
EPISODE DATE: 11/1/2018
Mike Real is a native San Pedran, his mom being from San Pedro and his father from Wilmington, grew up with family from both areas. He shares his personal story and what it was like to grow up in the San Pedro projects. His family was heavily involved with gangs in both San Pedro and Wilmington and he remembers not repping either because he never really knew which one he was "supposed" to be a part of.
He had witnessed as a child a family member getting shot and killed just outside their home and recalls his grandmother's warning to him and his cousins if they ever heard shots fired.
Mike on local gang violence:
"It's a lot, it's a lot. It goes deep. It's a lot of history. I understand why people feel the way they do but at the same time I'm just trying to bring some unity and some peace.... I've seen a lot of the gang violence."
He goes on to share that he comes from a family of gang members from both San Pedro and Wilmington, and how everything he saw growing up really motivated him to start something positive.
Using his music to make a difference:
Mike is a rapper using his upbringing to shed light on the hard-hitting issues that really affect the communities he grew up in. He doesn't shy away from difficult conversations about homelessness, ignorance, poverty and gang violence.
What he hopes will help heal the divide between San Pedro and Wilmington:
"I think social media is changing it a lot, to be honest. It's weird, because now people are more connected."
We talk about his hope for his music and that is that he will help bridge the gap between our two local towns and the lower income communities with communities that aren't exposed to the same issues. He wants to be a voice for those who can't share their stories, which is why he often sits down with homeless people to ask them about themselves.
Mike's hope for San Pedro
He has high hopes for San Pedro and wants to see it live up to it's full potential. He is excited about the redevelopment of the waterfront and wants to see it beautiful. However, he goes on to share his mixed emotions about the redevelopment of the Rancho San Pedro Projects. We discuss gentrification, and the specific plans for the local projects and we end on a hopeful note, talking about how the city plans for very little to no displacement of the families currently living in the Rancho San Pedro community.
His Song: "A Beautiful Struggle"
Facebook: Michael Avila
Youtube - Michael Avila
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