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Whitestone hip-hop artist battles addiction with music

Charlie Scott performs a set. The Whitestone hip-hop artist recently released his first album. Photo courtesy Michelle Kwaka
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In February 2012, it might have seemed like Charlie Scott would never amount to much. The once drug-addicted youth had amassed a large amount of debt, been kicked out of his family’s home and was on his way to rehab.

But now drug-free, the Whitestone resident has bounced back to emerge as an upcoming hip-hop artist who has performed in all five boroughs.

“As difficult as it was at the time, the smartest thing I ever did was get help,” he said.

His music addresses his battle with drug addiction in the hope of inspiring young people who may be going through similar experiences.

Scott started to descend on a downward spiral of drug addiction at 18, when he started using oxycontin. His parents kicked him out of their house at 21 because they were worried his behavior might affect his younger sister.

He spent three nights sleeping in Flushing’s Bowne Park before he realized he had hit rock bottom and decided to reach out for help. He left New York to attend a drug rehabilitation center in Florida for five months.

Music helped Scott through the process of getting clean. He first started writing poetry at 12, but did not put his words to music until he was going through rehab.

“When I’m in a bad place, there’s something about putting it down on paper, having it connect and making it rhyme that helps,” he said. “I write to vent for myself and it’s therapeutic for me. I say it from my heart and whoever relates, I’m happy their listening.”

The first week Scott was home from rehab, he attended his first open mic event and things took off from there.

“The support has been overwhelmi­ng,” Scott said.

The Whitestone wordsmith released his first full-length album, “Lyrical Therapy 2,” in October and said his music differs starkly from a lot of mainstream hip-hop because of the contents of his lyrics.

“It’s more poetic and focused on storytelling. All the astigmatisms about hip-hop don’t apply to what I’m creating,” Scott said. “The only reason it’s characterized as hip-hop is because of the rhyming schemes.”

He will be performing at Carnegie Hall at the end of March with comedian Petey DeAbreu, but the dates of the show have not yet been finalized.

As well as being therapeutic for himself, Scott said he hopes his music can help others deal with their own problems.

“If just one person reaches out and says, ‘You know what? Because of your music, I am clean another day,’ that’s huge inspiration and motivation right there,” he said.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 12:00 am, January 17, 2014
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Reader feedback

Dana A from Whitestone says:
I'm glad this guy cleaned up his act and found success. However, there are no "astigmatisms" associated with Hip Hop (unless you are talking about artists who wear glasses). Stigmas, maybe? Hope this is a spell check error and not a real quote.
Jan. 18, 2014, 11:50 am
Angel Rodriguez from Kew Gardens says:
I'm a huge Charlie Scott groupie, friend, mentor, mentee, supporter, adviser, team member, and all that good stuff. This guy is a great dude and he deserves all the success that he is getting!
Jan. 19, 2014, 2:23 pm
Kim from Whitestone says:
I've never formally met Charlie, but I've observed his success through Facebook and heard some of his work. I'm happy to see him succeed and influence the younger generations. Wish you the best man!
Jan. 20, 2014, 8:11 pm
Speaker from Whitestone says:
I've heard of Charlie Scott. He's from my neighborhood. He has quite a reputation for being a good hearted person. His music is so different and really inspiring. I can't say I'm surprised that nobody has recognized his talent because, well in the end, it's all about who you know. I believe somebody big will recognize his talent and sign him. He's way more talented then a lot of artists that have "made it", that's for sure. Best of luck, Charlie! I think it's awesome you are getting feedback from times ledger :)
Feb. 27, 2014, 10:47 pm

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