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The MLK Day Brotherhood Awards are NewsOne’s annual celebration of five important Americans who are continuing the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. — especially in the realm of interpersonal, cross-racial, and cross-ethnic understanding.

Our honorees are the bridge builders and the nation healers.



Name: Sens Musiq

Age: 31

City of Residence: Los Angeles

Occupation: Inspirational Hip-Hop artist

His Work: Sens looks to uplift and inspire through his rhymes and haircuts.

On His Brotherly Walk With Dr. King:

My non-profit organization “Transcending From The Bottom Up” prepares young men for a future filled with endless prosperity by giving them the tools that it takes to succeed. Regardless of race, religion or gender, we all deserve to be shown an example of Agape love. Circumstances and hardships don’t determine your life’s outcome, but the amount of love that you receive can.  We don’t take the time to show love to our brothers and sisters, and I work diligently every day to do my part to change that.

Cuts-For-Kids, a program under the organization’s umbrella, provides free edge-ups and hair cuts to inner city youth from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, Calif. Every other Saturday, two different barbershops provide the services to about 30 young boys and men.

Our purpose is to increase both income and self-esteem. When researching this endeavor, we calculated that parents spend, on average, $20 to $24 a month, averaging approximately $300 to $400 per year on haircuts. Not only do we want to provide that financial booster, freeing up income for other needs, we also want to provide that confidence booster as well. Dr. King spoke about economic power and collective worth, and I try to implement that philosophy in creative ways that speak to this generation in everything that I do.

On Inspiration:

God and music inspire me to give and be more to not only myself, but to a world of people hurting and searching for something. I became an inspirational hip-hop artist, because I feel like music is the only tool that can reach a person’s spirit and soul without an open invitation. Music can control what we eat, drink, wear, how we converse with each other, our emotions, and moods.

We allow music the opportunity to become a part of our everyday lives, and before you know it, you have become what you are listening to. Most rappers create a fictitious story to add to the persona of their street cred, and I wanted to use my life circumstances as a testimony to bring people out of social economic bondage and not a movie script that keeps people trapped in it. So my lyrics are a combination of continuing to strive, fight, and grow through God’s love, while dealing with issues from politics, religion, and reality.

On How We Can Continue The Work Of MLK:

By continuing Dr. King’s dream and making it a reality, this community will press forward as it always has. Hopefully, with my music speaking to the heart and spirit of the people as we hold on to faith and purpose, I can play a role in changing the mind-set and spirit of those trapped by mediocrity and hopelessness.

Favorite MLK Quote:

First written by this nation’s founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence, then imbued with hope, love, and persistence in Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the powerful words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” serves as the inspiration for my community outreach and musical career.