ST. LOUIS — Hearing the truth can be uncomfortable. But, one St. Louis rapper believes the truth is how we gain a better understanding and create change.
"Music has always been my heartbeat, man," said rapper MVSTERMIND.
He didn't intend to be the voice of a generation.
"Back in the day I was like, 'I don't want to get slammed as a conscious rapper.'"
But Mohammad Austin, better known as his stage name MVSTERMIND, is speaking volumes with his music. He tells the story of being a young black man, grinding for success, in St. Louis.
"Either you will end up be stagnant, or you will find a route, you know what I mean, and make something happen," said Austin.
He knows first hand.
"I grew up in Fairground Park and I got bussed out to Clayton... I have a certain experience on St. Louis, and that naturally gets embedded into my opinion."
The words of this 25-year-old are real. Asked by 5 On Your Side's Rene Knott, MVSTERMIND was asked, "How real is real?"
"If you can touch it, you can breathe it, you can smell it, feel it all; senses, everything," said Austin.
Those words can also be controversial.
"I hate the fact that, if I have to speak on some truth, 'You have to make sure you're so politically correct... 'You can't show passion!' You can't say, perhaps, a cuss word if you're speaking logical [sic]. As if cussing isn't just a pure form of emotion."
People are listening to his lyrics, and he's growing in popularity. For starters, he played the main stage at LouFest this year.
"60,000 people in attendance there, and I was blessed to have main stage."
And he has a music video playing right now on BET.
"It's extremely humbling, due to the fact that people believe in me."
But money and fame are not everything.
"With this music, that I want to have an impact and reach people, I just can't be selfish."
And he hopes that listening to his voice can be one of the steps to better understanding.
"Understand the pain, understand the struggle, understand the suffering, understand the beauty that comes from that pain," said Austin.