Meet Phil the Voice: A Culture Disruptor, Turning the Tide on Gang-Violence

·5-min read

"Phil the Voice" is an artist who belongs to a rare breed of performers. Not only can he bring so much joy and passion to people, but he is also dedicated to using his platform to make a positive impact in his community. He wants to foster change and use his voice to highlight issues that are seldom discussed publicly and therefore often overlooked. Phil is a passionate advocate for bringing hope and restoration to individuals caught in the trap of street life through his music and community outreach efforts.

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Growing up in Los Angeles county in the early 90’s Phil was surrounded by the realities of gang violence. Experts consider gang culture a systemic problem and a lifestyle that can tear families apart and ruin lives.

After losing his first cousin, Billy, to a gang-related shooting and seeing many other friends and close family members affected by the violence within the gang scene, Phil picked up the mic. He infused his love for rap music with his faith in Christ. He became convinced from that time forward that hope and Hip-Hop were vital ingredients to creating a potent cocktail of community transformation. Phil is confident in the healing power of faith. As someone who profoundly understands street life, he doesn't look at it from the perspective or judgment of an outsider. On the contrary, he understands the values and dynamics of individuals caught in this destructive lifestyle even though he was never a gang member.

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Anybody who knows Phil will tell you that he is a deep believer in the message of Jesus Christ and that he devotes his time to share this message with as many people that are willing to listen, regardless of their background. Phil is a world-class rapper, music producer, senior pastor in Los Angeles, and CEO of Vine Style Ministries, (a non-profit reaching out to at-risk youth and young adults by equipping them in the creative and performing arts). At times, connecting and offering a helping hand can be the first step for people to find a way out of their gang-based lifestyle. In most cases, being in a gang is a matter of not having any other options. Therefore, it's possible to encourage people to find an alternative by providing some actionable support.

Phil's church and non-profit are both very hard-working and committed to doing whatever they can to get people off the street and embrace a new path. They regularly provide food, clothes, toys, and other supplies to the people in need and offer counselling and opportunities for rehabilitation in LA and San Bernardino counties. Additionally, Phil's artistry, and music in general, can become actual points of hope and unity for people. They help create a true community spirit that fosters more robust relationships. Music can inspire and lead people to think and embrace faith, at times changing lives completely.

Phil the Voice's music is just as sincere, outspoken, and personal as his ambition to shift the street culture and lead people to embrace a better path. His sound feels spontaneous and dynamic, with an ability to authentically capture the warmth of the classic Hip-Hop sound and embody the exciting melodies of the contemporary scene. Regardless of what they specifically talk about, all of Phil’s songs seem to present a cohesive and bottom-line philosophy: be yourself and be true to yourself. In particular, Phil often references the idea of people glorifying gang culture without understanding the destructive and real-life implications of doing so.

"If you're not a gang member, don't try to be one; be who you are. It's not a lifestyle you should desire." - With this attitude, Phil encourages people to avoid feeling the pressure of trying to impress others through garnering street credibility. The best thing you could do is embrace your authentic self and inspire others to do the same.

Although Phil is deeply tied to the LA community, being his home turf, he had the opportunity to travel extensively around the world aiding communities and reaching the destitute. For example, Phil has had a chance to tour Romania three times. One time, in particular, he was allowed the privilege to rap and preach in Jilava prison. This specific prison was used to house political prisoners during the communist regime in Romania and ironically punish Christians for spreading the gospel. Phil the Voice was the very first Christian pastor to preach to inmates in Jilava Prison. This was a compelling and emotional experience, especially considering the impact that his music and words could make on so many lives in a part of the world that has historically seen Christians persecuted for their beliefs.

Imparting hope in the lives and stories of so many people worldwide truly means much for Phil, as he continues to pursue his goals, whether dealing with the dysfunctions of street culture at home or abroad. Phil The Voice is undeniably more than just an artist: he is a beacon of light, an ambassador, showing everyone that there is always a second chance. Phil's life and ministry demonstrate that regardless of life’s storms if you are willing to embrace faith in Christ, you can experience a new start, hope, and real transformation.

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