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St. Louis rapper mentors performing arts students ahead of annual Christmas concert

ST. LOUIS - When you’re from St. Louis and make it big, you tend to want to give back.

That urge didn’t skip St. Louis born-national recording artist, Smino, as he made his return to perform for Christmas.

“I just wanted to do something that showed the kids that we still care about you,” Smino said.

With performing arts programs being cut from schools – most notably at his alma-materHazelwood School District – the rapper says he knew he had to do something impactful.

“It sparked a sense of urgency in me because that’s the only reason I liked school was art,” he said.

Before performing at “Kribmas” - his 2nd annual concert that sold-out at Delmar Hall on Saturday, the Vogue-featured music artist stopped by to share words of wisdom to students at Show-Me Arts Academy.

“It’s all about inspiration today,” Smino said.

And there was plenty of that.

Smino listened to some students sing, while speaking in depth about creating success out of the challenges that life may bring.

Marty Casey is the founder of the academy.

“It’s a balance for St. Louis,” Casey said. “It lets us know that if we work together we all can succeed at anything and dreams do come true. He a walking witness of coming from St. Louis and seeing his dreams come to fruition.”

With Smino stopping by, Casey said she’s hoping his words are an inspiration.

“I really hope that my children take it all in and use it to add on who they are in their talents and become whatever they are dreaming about,” she said.

“The biggest take away is when Smino said when people around you are doubting you or putting negative thoughts into your mind, instead of trying to prove them wrong just leave them all together and find people who will prove you wrong when you doubt yourself,” a young performing arts student said.

It’s those words, Smino is hoping resonates well with young performers with his similar background.

“They haven’t necessary seen dope creators come from St. Louis go far and I’m trying to eliminate that and that’s the goal,” Smino said.