I met Charlotte Rap artist IV Montana, this year’s New Artist of the Year Nominee, at the Queen City Awards.
I was drawn to him because of his keen fashion sense, but soon discovered there was much more to this young man.
We immediately connected on social media and I soon discovered the many facets of the QC’s newest rap sensation.
When he’s not in the studio or performing, a large chunk of his time is focused on the anti-bullying campaign he created.
I was so struck by this information I knew I had to blog about him.
Armed with my trusty notebook, I arrived for drinks with the larger than life IV Montana.
I instead got to meet Davante Long, his alter ego. No gold grill. No flashy clothes. No entourage. Just a reserved, polite young man with a dimpled smile that makes the world smile with him.
I had intended to touch on his music but focus on his work with kids. But I soon realized there was so much more to him.
Like a sweet Vidalia onion, I peeled off layer after layer of information that makes up the man that shines on stage.
Our interview turned into a deep conversation.
Sometimes you just have to put down your pen, close your notebook, and let your souls talk to each other.
Davante took IV Montana as his stage name. The Roman numeral IV represents the four things he values most.
First and foremost his mother and grandmother. He spoke so eloquently of the two most important woman in his life. The pain of losing his grandmother who never got to see him achieve the fame she always knew he would reach.
Second is his children. The two young boys take precedence over anything in his life. He has attended every one of his son’s football games.
Third is his music. From a young age, music has been his escape. Coming from a musical family, he began writing poetry but it soon flowed into song lyrics.
Fourth is how music takes him a way. Away from the world. Away from problems. Away from the day to day grind.
Growing up, Davante suffered low self esteem. He felt out of place. And was often bullied himself.
Instead of becoming a victim he became IV Montana.
Montana is Spanish for ‘mountains’. You will face many mountains in your life. Blocking you from your goals. Standing in the way of your dreams. He’s moving those mountains one at a time.
His anti bullying campaign has become a big hit at schools all over the country.
‘I’m you, You’re me, Everybody’s a Jordan’ was formed after finding out his friends special needs son was being bullied at school. The seven year old child was bullied to such an extent he attempted suicide.
He explained the name of his group. Each of the much coveted Jordan sneakers is unique. Set apart from the one that came before it. Different from the one to be released next. But no matter what, it’s still a shoe. Just like each of us. We’re each unique in our own way. No matter our race. Regardless of our style. We’re still human. We’re all Jordan’s.
He spends most nights answering emails from the kids he’s met along the way.
Reading messages from email@example.com he realizes the importance of his response. These kids see him as the only person that understands them. That’s a lot for anyone to have on their shoulders. But he answers each one. And keeps in contact with them.
He shared screen shots of messages thanking him and sharing the impact he’s had on them. Those messages keep him going.
Knowing these kids, as well as his own, are watching him, he’s careful to live his life in a way that inspires them.
Though not all his music is appropriate for his younger audience, he does offer a ‘clean version’ for them.
He wants them to know he worked and saved to finance his music career. I was especially inspired when I learned the job he worked to save the money is the same job that I am currently working! He has given me hope and a desire to follow my own dreams.
He speaks highly of his family and his church. He gives glory to God for all his success.
To say IV Montana is a musician is not giving him enough credit. He is so much more than his music. He’s a mentor. A father. A son. A friend. A dream chaser. A Jordan. He is a mover of mountains.