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Reporter's Notebook

February 15, 2014

Hip-hop group hopes to break stereotypes

Two Oneonta Job Corps Academy students who say their fellow students often get a bad rap are hoping to turn that perception around with their own rap skills.

Tyrelle McCloud, 21, and Darren Cargill, 23, are two members of a hip-hop group that performed at a program honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela at Oneonta’s First United Methodist Church in January.

Between poem recitations and tributes to the civil rights activists, McCloud, Cargill, and their adviser, Job Corps recreational specialist Casey O’Hara, performed two original songs that they wrote specifically for the program.

The duo took turns with the microphone, rapping over their pre-recorded beats. O’Hara sang during the choruses of both songs. Their lyrics touched on the events of the day and the struggles that young African-Americans face.

Cargill, of Long Island, said he is studying to be an electrician and serves on the academy’s student government.

“Job Corps students get this reputation of being thugs,” Cargill said. “Through our music and performances, we’re hoping to change that. This performance alone was a great opportunity to help us look better and show the community what Job Corps is really about.”

McCloud, of South Jersey, said after he leaves Job Corps, he wants to build a recording studio and start a music program for children.

Cargill said the young men are looking forward to performing in other venues throughout the community.

•••

Hartwick’s new 6,500-square-foot William V. Campbell Fitness Center for students will be dedicated and officially opened today. The fitness center was part of a $3.4-million project announced in March that included a renovation of Dewar Union’s Stack Lounge, or “Living Room,” which opened in October and has already proven to be a favorite hangout for students, college officials said.

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