Local rapper aims to ease police-community tensions, violence with his music

- A D.C. area rapper is making music without using profanity while pushing a peaceful message amid tense police interactions nationwide. The music artist said we need music infused with positivity now more than ever.

Chris Mathewson is a far cry from your typical hip-hop artist though. He’s white.

“I get that more times than not, especially if someone hears my voice and they don't see me,” said Mathewson, who also goes by his artist name “Earl.”

The 32-year-old spent his early years in Northern Virginia.

“I was a tattoo artist for 11 years just trying to find what I'm supposed to do in life,” he said.

Fast forward more than a decade and MTV now considers Earl a new artist to watch in 2016.

“Well, my music – one – doesn't use any profanity,” said Mathewson. “There are so many words in the vocabulary, it is unnecessary to use profanity. I don't degrade people. I try to give a Christ-like perspective as to how women should be treated, how women should treat men, how we should address one another.”

Mathewson’s push for peace comes on the heels of strained police-community relationships across the country and by seeing addicts and violence in the neighborhoods where he grew up.

He told us, “My response is ‘Jesus Matters,’ and I think when media takes this kind of side – they say, ‘Okay, are you Black Lives Matter or Police Lives Matter?’ There is really no side. To me, I'm not going to choose a side. I will remain neutral. I think that everyone is as important as the next.”

He said he is dedicated to making mainstream music, even if it means his music takes longer to make waves.



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