"A SCREWED UP TRUE STORY"
rob level mUSIC VIDEO
CHICAGO RAPPER ROB LEVEL REVEALS HISTORY OF SYSTEMIC ABUSE IN THERAPY-THEMED MUSIC VIDEO OUT NOW
“A Screwed Up True Story,” released Tuesday, January 12th, is the story of one man’s struggle to conquer impossible odds. In the narrative music video, Rob Level opens up about being given up by his mother, the death of his father, and the physical abuse he experienced at “Last Chance” schools across the US.
The release is partnered with a live streamed interview taking place Wednesday, January 13th, between Rob Level and representatives from Child Guidance Resource Centers, a non profit dedicated to helping at-risk children and young adults.
Level chose the visual setting of a therapist’s office to help destigmatize mental healthcare for men.
Level is also the founder of Smart Rapper, an online education platform designed to train independent artists with practical and business skills with over 25 million views on YouTube.
The video was directed by Philly native Sutton and shot by Scott Toler Collins (The Dark Knight Rises) on a socially distanced set in Los Angeles, CA.
See What Fans Have Been Saying:
why this matters
Rob has chosen to use his voice and story to attract public attention for a an issue directly addressed in the video:
The legality of physical punishments in schools, including “restraining” – a practice where teachers or aids crush and suffocate minors under the guise of “calming them down.” Multiple adults often “restrain” one child at a time, leading to loss of airflow and permanent physical damage in children from a young age. Rob himself experienced this kind of abuse from grade school onward.
This practice is inhumane, unethical, and uncalled for.
Rest in Peace Cornelius Fredericks, 16. Restrained by three adult men for over 8 minutes at his school, Lakeside academy, in Michigan.
Rob believes that our system of caring for at-risk kids, teens, and young adults is broken, beginning with education.
In honor of the music video’s release, Rob has teamed up with an organization making big differences in minors’ lives: Child Guidance Resource Centers, which offers counseling and resources for at-risk kids and families.
Rob Level will be doing a live interview with Child Resource Centers on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021, taking place on Facebook Live.
You can learn more about how Child Guidance Resource Centers help kids in need here.
donations for change
To show his commitment to this cause, Rob Level has announced he will donate 50% of all sales of the song to humane, vetted mental health programs and services for at-risk kids. You can buy the single now and contribute to the cause here.
facts on the system
Corporal punishment on children in school is still legal across America. It has been outlawed by 128 countries.
Rob Level has begun talks with policy makers to lend his voice to legal change on this subject. He hopes to help lawmakers pass an act to protect all children from being physically harmed by adults at school.
Check out the troubling facts impacting children across the US:
WHO IS ROB LEVEL?
Rob Level is a Chicago-born rapper and educational public figure. His YouTube Channel “Smart Rapper” turned into a million dollar business selling educational training to rappers and recording artists. He has no formal higher education.
Rob has released seven albums.
Q + A WiTH ROB LEVEL
ON “A SCREWED UP TRUE STORY,” HIS CRAZY LIFE, AND MORE
Q: Why Did You Decide To Give Such An Honest Overview of Your Life and What You’ve Gone Through?
A: I thought my struggles were a curse and burden my entire life. Eventually, I found out that all the hardships were actually a blessing that allowed me to become the person I am today. That mental switch in perspective allowed me to turn the hardships into more belief in myself and my capabilities. I want to share that superpower with the world so they can see they have it too.
Q: How Did You Overcome the Struggles Of Losing Your Father and Being Given Up For Adoption By Your Mother?
A: You don’t really realize that this stuff affects you until you are an adult. I don’t think you ever really overcome it. You just learn to live with the fact that there is nothing you can do to change it.
Q: What is Your Stance on Corporal (Physical) Punishments for Minors in Schools?
A: I don’t think an adult in that situation should ever be able to physically touch someone else’s kid in any way other than a greeting. People don’t realize the mental effect that physical abuse has on a kid, especially on kids who can’t defend themselves. That abuse sticks with them forever. People in school systems need to be taught how to diffuse situations better and run the environment to prevent it ever needing to get physical.
Q: What Do You Hope to Achieve in Terms of Systemic Change for the Next Generation?
A: I have a lot of big goals in this area. Fundamentally, kids are being forgotten and left behind at nearly every stage of their development. The education system needs a re-haul. There is such a dark side to education for kids like me, “Last Chance” kids. The facilities we are sent to are inhumane. Physical abuse, psychological abuse. I spent significant time in solitary confinement as a child. I have permanent damage from abuse I experienced there. My adoptive parents did not believe me. My experience was typical for a kid like me. So we have a long way to go in terms of legally administered abuse that’s affecting kids of school age. Aside from this aspect of personal safety and protection, I hope the school system can re-calibrate to honor individuality in a much bigger way. Every person is different and classrooms can be set up for the success of every individual with a few minor changes. The ways that students are taught needs to be changed.
Q: Why Did You Set the Video in a Therapist’s Office?
A: I wanted to use the therapist setting to show that it is okay to express your deepest feelings and get help with your emotions if you need it. One of my biggest regrets in life is not reading earlier. The reason I didn’t was because I was told it wasn’t manly to be interested in books. So if there’s a social stigma around dealing with problems in a healthy way, I hope this does something to change it. Ignorant opinions of others should not negatively impact your choices for your life.