By Del Duduit
I’m not a fan of Rap music.
I enjoy the bluesy and soft jazz sound of Norah Jones.
One of my programmed favorites on Sirius XM Radio is the Elvis Presley channel. Angie and I even have tentative plans to visit Graceland in August to see where the King lived.
My taste in music varies. I like some country (Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash and Tanya Tucker – real country) and some classic rock like Billy Joel or Creedence Clearwater Revival. And who doesn’t enjoy Ray Charles?
That’s my style. I also like to toss in some Contemporary Christian music and a few Southern Gospel artists to break it up.
My wife is a gifted and talented musician. I love to hear her sing and play the piano too, because she does it from the heart, with a smooth touch of the keys and a beautiful voice.
But Rap has never grabbed me. It’s not that I condemn it or look down on people who enjoy it, It’s just not my taste. Just like Sushi – it’s not for me.
But I recently met and enjoyed a young man who has blossomed in this art. I admire his story and hope he goes far with his craft. He has the talent and desire to make it big.
I’m a fan of his character more than his genre.
I’ve been through some bad things, but it’s been the best thing that has happened to me.
AJ Pollock is 28, and his life is in “restart mode.”
He has an all-too-common story about being involved in the wrong crowd when he was young. The exposure and availability of illegal drugs at a young age resulted in him “catching a felony.”
The young father of two has moved around “like a stray dog” and never had a real place to call home in the same area where I live — Scioto County, Ohio.
He hit rock bottom but is on his way back.
The arrest and jail promoted reality in his life.
“I’ve been through some bad things, but it’s been the best thing that has happened to me,” he said over coffee. “It got me to treatment, and I knew that was the answer.”
He’s been clean for almost one year. He no longer dabbles in the drugs and alcohol that made him feel like he was on a roller coaster with his eyes closed.
With drugs comes misery, being alone, being sick, and losing your house.
Instead, music is his outlet.
He loves to write and share his stories through song.
AJ relates his life experiences through his love of music. His lyrics send powerful messages that there is another way besides the road he once traveled.
“With drugs comes misery, being alone, being sick, and losing your house,” he said. “It comes with homeless shelters and losing your family. It’s not worth it.”
He finds strength and support from sponsors, AA meetings and his involvement with Raw Addiction in Lucasville, Ohio. I wrote a post on them a few months back. AJ is a successful product of their work.
“I’ve been through enough, and I can relate to people and their problems,” he added. “To me, that is what my music is about.”
AJ is making the most of his second chance, and that is wonderful. He knows what it feels like to be isolated and lonely, and he has tasted the bitter-sweetness of torment and discouragement.
Today, he pours his emotions into his music and hopes it has an impact on people who struggle with the same demons.
I’m a bit of a story teller, and it shows in my songs.
His miserable life has developed into a mission to inspire. His passion comes when he puts pen to paper and writes lyrics.
“I’m a bit of a story teller, and it shows in my songs,” he said.
All he is hoping for now is an outlet to showcase his talent. He knows a certain audience needs to hear his message.
He is on probation until 2020 but is making the most of his situation. He plays his music where he can and is optimistic his big break will come one day.
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His music does not contain profanity, which is a common theme in most Rap, but it does feature what he describes as “explicit content.”
“I talk about life and what can happen if you make the wrong choices like I did,” he said. “I get real in my songs and describe life – my life.”
AJ has come a long way, and I was impressed with his attitude. He owns his mistakes and vows not to repeat them.
I have made major blunders in my life and embrace second and third chances.
It’s what you make of your do-overs that matters.
I hope his songs encourage others, and I pray he finds a good church to attend where he can “restart” his life in a positive environment.
All he needs is to make the most of every opportunity that comes his way.
Like I said at the start of this post, I am not a fan of Rap, but I am an AJ Pollock supporter. He has his style, just like I have mine. We both try to inspire in our own unique ways. Keep it up, AJ.
His most recent work is called “I Pray” and was produced by BrainDead Productions in Portsmouth.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
(Ephesians 4: 29 KJV)
I welcome your thoughts on this post, and if you want to contact him, please reach out to me.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.