Inspiring youth through positive hip-hop

Robert-Torres_webRobert Torres or Sabor Latino is a rapper with a cause. His song “No Mas Violencia” (“No More Violence”), from the album “Observations of My Life Vol. I” says, “It’s time to let go of our pistols. How many mothers suffer? How many fathers? How many brothers and sisters are in prison for the rest of their lives? But through everything that’s happened, we keep killing each other. When will the pain end?”

Torres grew up in Queens, N.Y., and spent his childhood writing poetry. He went to college and majored in psychology. After spending some time as a social worker, Torres decided change wasn’t coming fast enough. He decided to create a music album that he thought would be most effective in benefitting Latino youth.

“The album is very positive. It’s everything I’ve seen in my life growing up in Jamaica, Queens, and it was rough. The song “Promoción,” for example, dictates the value of education and the value of the high school diploma,” said Torres.

Torres recognizes that he was lucky to escape the violence of the neighborhood and laments those that weren’t able to. He thinks hip-hop can help people escape the violence, like he did. He says it was poetry and music, which saved him. Torres thinks his music fills a gap in hip-hop music today.

“Negative hip-hop isn’t going to help someone in a bad situation get better. But a positive one will inspire someone to do something a little bit different. If we had a little more positive music, we could start to make a change in society,” said Torres.

By inserting his life philosophies and positive messages into hip-hop, he hopes to reach a larger audience. Torres said his life-long passion for music and poetry easily translates to his hip-hop career. He still identifies as a social worker, just of a different kind than before.

Torres finished two more music albums. He’s currently writing a memoir called “Sabor Latino: My Life” and is working on his masters’ degree in therapeutic recreation. Those interested in his music can find him on ITunes, Amazon and CDbaby.com.

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