Alfonso Carter, native of Niagara Falls, NY, has a gift when it comes to connecting with the streets and the youth through music as a hip hop artist. As an artist his lyrics aren’t fabricated stories, they are testimonies of his day-to-day life and experiences both past and present. Unfortunately, like many African American males Carter was raised in a home with a single mother. As a teenager he became influenced by Americas culture along with the street life and his mother could no longer provide the material things he so desperately wanted. In the early 90’s he got involved into selling drugs and was in and out of prison for the majority of his young adult life.
In 2004 Carte r was arrested and the FBI and Amherst police worked together to bring Carters street journey to a halt. Found in his possession was a handgun, large quantities of cocaine, and 60,000 of cash. It wasn’t until he was given a six to life sentence that he realized that he sincerely needed to change. Being separated from his wife and children, feeling isolated from the world he asked his self, “Who are you now? ” He reflected on the past encounters that brought him to that place of isolation, an experience that caused him to turn his life around. Carter began to do some soul searching and was able to find out who he was as a man through reading books, praying, and studying his history. Earning several certifications during his incarceration, Carter was able to create a new path for himself. He received training as an AIDS and HIV peer educator, in public speaking, and participated in a prerelease program that provided him the opportunity to become a facilitator for two years helping other inmates prepare for their transition back into society.
Upon his release in 2009 Carter was featured in a video for the New York State division of parole sharing his experiences while incarcerated and highlighting the success of the program. He was also featured on WIBV news channel 4 of Buffalo, NY sharing his story as a reformed drug dealer with hopes of preventing other young people from going down that same destructive path, which opened many doors for him to share it with various organizations, churches, and programs. Not only has he done so throughout the Western New York area, but in other states as well. In 2009 and 2010 he performed at the Kingdom Bound Ministries Family Christian Music Festival, which has reached over one million people with the Gospel through the Arts. And in 2011 he was also interviewed and featured in a segment of WBLK’s 93.7 hip-hop radio station. Carter is also one of the speakers in the 2013 Beyond the Beat.