Hip hop artist Kasp was in Fort St. James, Tache and Nak’azdli last week to send a message.
His message was one of resilience for youth coming from childhood experiences full of abuse and trauma.
Kasp Sawan was raised by a drug-dealing and drug-addicted father in East Vancouver who physically abused him.
Sawan spoke to students at Fort St. James Senior Secondary School about some of his life experiences, including childhood sexual abuse by his cousins, physical abuse, growing up in government care and his own struggles with alcohol addiction.
Kasp spoke plainly about the glorification of gangster culture and how he turned to music to deal with his problems but it was not until he faced his past he managed to pull himself out of his own downward spiral.
Nominated for Aboriginal Male Entertainer of the Year for the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, Kasp has come a long way from losing his home and family to his addictions.
Now Kasp is a father of two who travels around helping to share a message of strength to aboriginal and other youth to deal with abuse and face their problems so they can move on and have fulfilling lives.
He performed one song for the FSJSS crowd and then freestyled a short piece based on objects the crowd brought forward for him.
Kasp is still producing music based out of Penticton, B.C., and has a music video On a Roll which uses aboriginal references like “I walk this land with the mic as my tomahawk” and was filmed on the Penticton Indian Reserve.