HipHop4theCity Premieres Music Video

By Rachel Martin

February 24, 2012 Updated Feb 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Non-for-profit, A Better Fort, will show the World Premiere of their music video to the original song, "My City," Friday night as part of the HipHop4theCity community project.

Lights! Camera! Action! A piece of Hollywood is coming to Fort Wayne Friday night. A Better Fort, in partnership with Lynchpin Pictures, Digitracks Recording Studio, super producer Chad Deutsch, and Certiflyyed Music Group, is premiering the long awaited music video, “My City,” that’s been playing over the airwaves for months now.

A Better Fort co-Founders, Shane Araujo and Alex Smith, both Fort Wayne natives, say it’s the largest community driven collaborative hip-hop based project, that they know of, in the state. All the volunteers in the project are either from Fort Wayne, or relocated to the city making it their permanent home. Araujo says many local establishments contributed donations to the project.

“You have to be [from here] to put this much energy into a project,” Araujo said. “We wanted it as a large promotional piece for A Better Fort. We wanted to reach out to the young adults, ages 16 to 26, and hip hop has always been a great way to do that.”

HipHop4theCity is a community based hip hop project that involves the collaboration of 19 local hip hop artists and World Champion children’s choir, Voices of Unity. The organization has been working on the project for nine months now, and even enlisted help from multi-platinum recording rap artist, Mike Jones.

“It’s about showing Fort Wayne off. We’re promoting these awesome artists from Fort Wayne who people might not even know, some of the great landmarks in the city, as well as some other talent like Kelly Lynch from Lynchpin Pictures and his camera crew. I mean this guy will be Spielberg someday!” said Shane Araujo, Co-Founder of A Better Fort.

A shortened version of, “My City,” has been playing on local radio stations, but Araujo says the full-length version is 9-11 minutes long. The video is five and half minutes long, and highlights city landmarks like CS3 (Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, and Spirits), Parkview Field, the Wells St. Bridge, and the legendary Coney Island, to name a few. The video also shows a skyline view from atop the Star Financial building.

Araujo says HipHop4theCity is an effort to get more young people to stay in Fort Wayne and invest in the city’s future. It’s also a way to get the community more familiar with A Better Fort.

“We really want to get young people out and get involved. If you get involved in the city, you're going to have subconscious investment in the city, and that's what we want people to have,” he said. “If we could get two kids to stay back because maybe they found an internship by working with us though HipHop4theCity then we did what we wanted,” Araujo said.

Besides HipHop4theCity, they plan to create a summer basketball league at McMillen Park as well as a group that assist families with handicapped children.

“We want to eventually dig deep into the community, but to do that we need to be able to get out name out there to get the volunteers that we need,” said Araujo. “As long as we can get people to recognize that Fort Wayne is a great place, that’s our end goal.”

The HipHop4theCity music video release party will be held at Columbia Street West,135 W Columbia St., from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The video will premiere at midnight. "My City" is also available as a free download on iTunes.

For more information about HipHop4theCity and A Better Fort, click on "News Links" on our homepage.

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