DETROIT (FOX 2) - Growing up on the east side of Detroit wasn't easy for Chivez Smith, better known though as rapper Icewear Vezzo.
The 31-year-old was beginning to make a name for himself before he got busted on a felony gun charge in 2017 and ended up doing 20 months in prison.
"I obey the law; I know it's right now. But growing up, when you can't trust something you can't obey anything," he says.
He was the first Detroit rapper to sign with Motown Records since the legendary label switched emphasis to hip hop. And nowadays George Floyd, police brutality and protesters' violence is on his mind. And his music.
"When you protest, usually - like in prison, right, if they riot or go on a hunger strike - you've got to come with demands. I feel like our, the Black community and everyone protesting, we're not coming with demands," he says. And he clarifies that looting and stealing are not the demands.
This inspired him to write the song No More Pain.
Because of the pandemic, he hasn't been able to perform the song to a live audience. In July he also has a new mixed tape coming out.
Meanwhile, his message - "We need to vote. We need to learn, we need to study, we need to get the proper knowledge. We need to vote the right people into office."