A Massachusetts hip hop artist is recording a song with several homeless men to bring attention to the on-going problem of homelessness.
From a multi-million dollar recording studio in Boston, Revere R and B artist Derek Cummings is pushing several homeless men to reach their full potential.
They’re collaborating on a new single, and the men will have their voices front and center. That means a lot for men like Carmelo Cotto, who says society barely acknowledges their existence.
“Nobody wants to talk to us, nobody wants to sit next to us,” says Cotto, who is far from being a hip hop star. He lives in shelters like the Pine Street Inn and on the streets.
“This is the first guy I see who brings us to his studio,” Cotto said of Cummings.
For the next month, Cummings will be personally mentoring him, along with other homeless men. Some, who always wanted to be hip hop stars, but never got the chance because life got in the way.
Cummings goes by the stage name 'Big D', and also has a big heart for the less fortunate.
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“I just thought about telling the story in their shoes,” said Cummings.
He wants to bring attention to homelessness in the state by donating all the cash from the recording to shelters and non-profits trying to help.
On any given night in Massachusetts, more than 19,000 people experience homelessness, with more than half being families with children. And finding a solution to the problem remains complicated.
It's the reason why Cummings says throwing money at people who are homeless, isn’t enough. He hopes the song moves others to get into the lives of people living on the streets.
“Like getting to know them, talk to them,” says Cummings.
After several more sessions in the studio, Cummings says the single titled, "Help the Homeless," which is a remix of a solo song with the same name, will launch by the end of the summer. He hopes to help the men find and amplify the voices they already have.