STREETS Music Factory started as a dream by Rufus Smith, Outreach Coordinator for Streets Ministries Downtown location. He began writing rap lyrics when he was in 7th grade and as an introvert it was a therapeutic form of expression. It also helped him to gain social and academic confidence.
The most beautiful part of the program is the impact it is having on the students participating. A student has admitted looking forward to SMF every Wednesday because he can feel relief from the daily life challenges that come with a life of poverty. -Rufus Smith, STREETS Music Factory Founder
Rufus said he had big hopes for the program, but never thought it would be as well received so quickly. Students from five different schools in South Memphis are involved in SMF. Their first music video was released in February and has over 3,000 views, and their mixtape that was released earlier this month was debuted on Channel 5 News.
Check out STREETS Music Factory’s first music video, This is the L.i.f.e:
The music video is a tribute to the Foote Homes community that has been a part of Memphis since 1941.
Memphis recently received a federal grant in the amount of nearly $30 Million to tear down Foote Homes and build mixed income housing in its place. Many of our students involved in STREETS Music Factory live in Foote Homes, so having the music video take place there is very meaningful for them. -Caitlin Bomar, Streets Ministries Development Associate
I hope one day SMF will be seen as a legitimate music industry career development program where music companies will know they can find the talent they are looking for. – Rufus Smith, STREETS Music Factory Founder
Check out STREETS Music Factory’s Mixtape:
The STREETS Music Factory Mixtape was supposed to just hold fans over until the album was released, but the South Memphis Community has really embraced the mixtape. Rufus said some of the kids know the lyrics word for word as if they were radio hits.
“Hip hop often gets blamed for promoting violence, misogyny, and drugs. Unfortunately, Memphis rap has a lot to do with this. Since we know the youth in Memphis listen to their friends’ music, we hope to produce quality music with positive content.” -Rufus Smith, STREETS Music Factory Founder
Save the Date:
- #SMF Album Release show
- When: May 9
- Where: STREETS Downtown, 430 Vance
- Time: 6:15-7:45pm
They will be debuting their second music video and first song from the album. Also, American Idol 2016 contestant, Terrian Bass, will be performing and sharing her story.
For more information about Streets Ministries or STREETS Music Factory visit their website and check out the video below: