brisco-devonte-thomas-mom_web.jpgBrisco knows about overcoming obstacles. When he was 9, his mother died of heart failure and when he was 13 his brother was killed in a car accident.
Those tragedies, along with growing up in the tough streets of Opa-locka, helped shape the life of the rapper who was born British Alexander Mitchell.

“I overcame tremendous obstacles,” Brisco said in a recent interview. “I just used that as my drive.”

That drive is what prompted him to partner with the Opa-locka Vice-Mayor Myra L. Taylor to produce a documentary, My World, Your World: Bridging the Gap, a 45-minute video of the rapper and the politician learning about each other.

“I didn’t have to reach far to find a hip-hop star,” said Taylor. “We have a local one here and he understands what’s going on in Opa-locka so it’s very easy for he and I to partner.”

The video, which will air on Opa-TV, Comcast Channel 77, premiered on Sept. 27 at the Opa-locka Municipal Complex for middle and high school students of the Grace Academy School.

“I thought it was really good, important,” said Eric Servia, 20, an aspiring rapper who attended the premiere and goes by the name Chico Black. “A lot of kids these days, they aren’t going to listen to a mayor. They are going to listen to someone they can relate to, someone who knows where they are coming from.”

In the video, Brisco, 27, shows Taylor around the apartment complex at Northwest 138th Street and 22nd Avenue in Opa-locka where he grew up. While on the tour, he discusses how his parents’ guidance helped him to make sound decisions.
“We don’t have the parental guidance that we used to have,” said Brisco, who is father of two sons, British Alexander Mitchell Jr., 6, and Britain Alexander Mitchell, 1. “That’s who instilled the values in me, my parents, they put the fear of God in me.”
Brisco, who is signed to Poe Boy Entertainment and Cash Money Records, said he also understands the importance of education and hard work, which was why he wrote a song to encourage the youth of Opa-locka.

“When I came up with the song I went through my life and what was going on in the world.  I saw what we needed help with and I just touched on those topics of faith, spirituality and education,” he said.

The song also redefines the urban term “goon,” which according to the Urban Dictionary, means “a real man.” Brisco turned the word around to mean “getting over obstacles now,” which he had the kids shout as a mantra at the video’s premiere.

“Opa-locka is my world, my habitat,” said Brisco. “Coming from my world is basically hip hop, creating records and talking directly to the youth.”
Brisco’s first album, Street Medicine, is scheduled for release in the fall.

Follow Brisco on Twitter @BriscoOpalocka or log on to myspace.com/brisco305.

JAMES FORBES/FOR SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES
FOR HER EARS ONLY: Deonte Thomas whispers into the ear of Opa-locka Vice Mayor Myra Taylor as rapper Brisco looks on as they got ready for the premier of the documentary My World, Your World: Bridging the Gap at the Opa-locka Municipal Complex on Sept. 27.