Twisting rap into a positive image

By Sean Moreno

Some rappers tend to desire the persona of a “thug,” but Tyrone
Stokes, a fifth-year communication student, hopes to change the
face of hip-hop artists.

His artist name is “Lyrically Twisted,” or LT for short, and he
calls himself a “positive and inspirational hip-hop artist.”

“I refrain from calling myself a ‘rapper’ because there are many
negative connotations attached to the term and my goal as an artist
is to change the term ‘rapper’ into something more positive,” said

Most rappers use vulgar language that tends to degrade women and
men, but LT refuses to look at life in a negative manner.

“I wanted to make a change in the industry and give something
different, so that everyone would feel comfortable listening to
hip-hop and they can receive something positive from it,” said

His band, “The New Generation,” consists of drummer Anthony
Morroquin, guitarist Adam Elramly, bassist and LT’s sister, Andrina
Stokes, and keyboardist Ross Casey.

Before Stokes was singing his words, he was expressing himself
in the form of poetry at the age of 13.

Many people compare LT’s style of music to Lupe Fiasco, Talib
Kweli and Black Ice.

His eternal love for poetry soon transformed into a hip-hop
style that audiences gravitated towards.

At the same time, his father Darly Stokes created music that
also promoted a positive message about society, politics, and

Stokes listened to his father’s music religiously.

“I used to sleep in the same room as my father and he used to
listen to music in the room,” said Stokes. “I would ask, ‘Can you
burn me a CD?’ and of course he said ‘yes.'”

In high school, Stokes rarely listened to anyone besides his
father’s music.

“I didn’t listen to a lot of different artists because I wanted
to develop my own style and didn’t want to subconsciously start to
mimic anyone else’s style,” he said.

It wasn’t until his sophomore year that he discovered the artist
name “Lyrically Twisted” and created the concept of “positive and
inspirational hip-hop music.”

“His music is inspirational and stems from his experiences,”
said Will Johnson, a fan. “But he doesn’t look at his experiences
in a negative manner. He looks at his experience in a different

That simple and innocent thought started an artistic expression
of positive vibes.

“I just wanted to try it out and it came easy for me,” said

His first performance was for his high school Senior Goodbye

“It went really well too!” Stokes said. “My lyrics may have been
too ‘wordy’ for the crowd, but they enjoyed the song and gave me
some good feedback afterwards.”

Since then, LT has headlined a couple hip-hop shows, such as the
2nd Street Jazz Festival in Little Tokyo, and also performed in Cal
Poly’s “Battle of the Bands” last year.

Currently, Stokes is promoting a California statewide tour with
two other artists, Dub-B and ALGOrhythm.

Reach Sean Moreno at:

Twisting rap into a positive image

Chris Sloan/Poly Post

Twisting rap into a positive image

Twisting rap into a positive image

Courtesy of Tyrone Stokes

Twisting rap into a positive image

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