“Everybody deserves a second chance” almost sounds like a cliche statement. But even after years of being used by many people in various circumstances, it still remains true today.
C.J.P., the New York City rap star born Corey Jamel Parks, is proof that change is possible for anyone who sets their heart and mind into it. The Big Apple has a tough crowd. Yet the rapper managed to inspire people through his music. It wasn’t an easy journey as C.J.P. Considering that he has been incarcerated, his re-entry to society has shown him how difficult it was for people like him to be successful.
Growing up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in New York and living in a dysfunctional family, violence became a way of life for Parks. He was exposed to drugs and later on suffered from substance abuse. He then became a drug dealer and a gang member. Beginning to commit crime at 12, he was imprisoned at only 16 years-old. After that, he was transferred from one prison to the next over his 15-year bid.
“Prison was a major challenge. Especially dealing with all the unknowns. But at some point, I had an epiphany. I knew it was time to make changes in my life for the better,” the rapper reveals.
C.J.P. did just that. After spending almost half of his life in prison, he decided to change and trade his old life with a more fulfilling one. His time in prison gave him time to think. He realized that writing and making music was his path. To this day, he dedicates his life to music, giving talks at seminars, and writing motivational books.
After being released, C.J.P. started Success Is a Journey Inc., a charity organization that aims to help incarcerated people like himself re-enter society and the world again. He found it imperative to help others adjust after their time in prison. The ultimate goal of the organization is to make sure that their transition is smooth in such a way that they feel welcomed by society.
Aside from inspiring the youth through his music, C.J.P. has written and published Crime and Punishment. It is an urban novel that aims to teach young people and college kids on the realities of the communities they live in today. Through his book, C.J.P. wants to shed light on how difficult it is for people who live in poverty and that despite their conditions and difficulties, they are still worthy of success.
Parks also had over 500 speaking engagements in different schools across the country. He talked about violence, the value of education, and the importance of wise decision-making. He has conducted close to 1000 meditation sessions with rival gangs in New York in hopes to impart what he has learned and motivate them to also lead a better life.
C.J.P. believes, “In order to be successful, you have to first believe in yourself.”
He has come a long way from the violent kid he once was. His new project, New York City Rap Star Mixtape, launched on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2019. The mixtape is hosted by DJ Immortal of Outlaw Radio and is currently streaming and available for free download across all major music platforms.
His reality-based content, under RAP Stars Entertainment, gives them a necessary edge to stand out in the busy music industry. With the pure intention of bringing good music that inspires people of all ages, C.J.P. proves what the rap genre was missing all along.
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