jh, jr.

how rap raised me

hrrm header 2.jpeg

It’s Time.


Shining a different light on a culture that has influenced everything around us.


How Rap Raised Me is the first non-fiction book written by Johnny Hackett, Jr.

Written in 2013, hrrm tells the story of “a King from the south” - unfolding how lyrics from the “original creatives” shaped My thinking & overall movement through life. Because of those ingenious rappers, a young african-american male growing up without a father or brother was able to grow - gaining knowledge that can only be given from those male sources & perspectives.

With Rap Music, it’s easy for one to focus on and point out an explicit word. HRRM Focuses on the truth in the entire message being delivered in the music, while not ignoring the very people who speak the same language that Are meant to benefit from hearing those truths.

From experiences at one of the greatest hcbu’s on the planet at north carolina A&T, to playing key roles in fortune 500 companies, community activism & entrepreneurship - hrrm depicts one perspective of the positive influence and guidance from RAP’S ELITE, which, on a larger scale, has helped all and far greater Millennials shape the world we live in today.

Give Rap Its Proper Respect.



bd initiative.jpg

HRRM Chapter Synopsis

Intro: The meaning of "raise"

Focal Artist: Mos Def / Yasiin Bey
Key Lyrics: “Two Words – United States. No Love. No Breaks. Low-Brow. High-Stakes. Crack Smoke. Black Folks. Big Mac. Fat Folks. Ecstasy Capsules. Presidential Scandals. Everybody Move!”
Overview: The “Intro” to HRRM explains why this book was being written, while also providing how - mixing music lyrics within the stories or experiences being recounted. The “Intro” also describes the meaning of “Raise”, providing a much needed example of the difference between what family & God have done for me versus the role that these creative artists have played in my life and development. The “Intro” ends with a plea for readers to look past the potential language barrier with the artist’s word usage, and instead focus on the messages being given.


Chapter 1: Early Years

Focal Artist: Run DMC
Key Lyrics: “A Million Dollars In It, Cold Hundreds Of G’s; Enough To Buy A Boat & Matching Car Wit’ Ease. But I’d Never Steal From Santa, ‘Cause That Ain’t Right…”
Overview: Probably one of the best chapters in the book, this one starts the story off right at the beginning - revealing my family dynamics and origin in South Carolina in the 80’s, as well as my mother’s decision to move us even further south. The main focal point of this chapter talks about how my big sis Amy taught me how to listen to rap music in 1992, then, describing (with a slap) one of the biggest lessons I learned collectively from my mom and rap music - making a decision at 9 years old that would go on to change my life and purpose forever.


CHapter 2: On Our Own

Focal Artist: 2Pac
Key Lyrics: “Maybe If They Tried To Understand Me, What Should I do? I Had To Feed My Fuckin’ Family, What Else Could I Do?”
Overview: Growing up in Georgia with a single mother was hard - as I’m sure it was for a lot of us. This chapter talks about a family decision that had to be made in 1993 - a tough decision, placing us without both of our parents. This chapter also highlights my early infatuation with 2Pac and how he helped me understand the decision and situation my family was in. My mom couldn’t stand me listening to 2Pac when I was young and wouldn’t allow it - but the chapter ends with a bright spot…albeit on top of a dark shade.


Chapter 3: Perception Isn't Reality

Focal Artist: Notorious B.I.G.
Key Lyrics: “The Pin Stripes And The Gray, The One I Wore On Mondays & Wednesdays; While Niggas Flirt, I’m Sewing Tigers On My Shirt, & Alligators. You Want To See The Inside – I’ll See You Later.”
Overview: This chapter starts off discussing a lot of family dynamics at play - things that you don’t notice, realize or understand as a youth, but become obvious when you look back as an adult after you’ve had your own similar experiences. Now 1998 and in Raleigh, North Carolina, the chapter moves on to talk about high school experiences and the pressure to fit in early as a teen. I figured out early how to play the “game” of school, however my antics ended up catching up to me, and I use the story as a way to convey some messages about “judging”. You would have never thought that someone who looked like B.I.G. would have been able to string together vocabulary so flawlessly and become one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) rapper of all time. This chapter’s message is pretty clear - don’t be too quick to judge.


Chapter 4: Extradition

Focal Artist: Outkast
Key Lyrics: “Life Is Like A Great Big Roller Coaster, Everything In Life Don’t Always Happen Like It’s Supposed To; Trials And Tribulations Make You Stronger – Live Longer.”
Overview: Picking up from the previous chapter, this one fully describes my downfall in high school and what led to me being shipped back to South Carolina to live with my Pops who had recently become clean and sober. My time with my father was brief, but this chapter is one of the longer ones; my father decided that it was time for him to tell me himself about his drug usage and what was going on in the 80’s in South Carolina. It was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had in life, and having personal examples of my family struggling with drug abuse made me question for the first time the country I lived in and the people who ran it.


Chapter 5: Why Are You Here?

Focal Artist: Eminem
Key Lyrics: “Yet Everybody Just Feels Like They Can Relate; I Guess Words Are A Muthafucka, They Can Be Great, Or They Can Degrade, Or Even Worse – They Can Teach Hate.”
Overview: This is a fun, but real chapter that describes my experiences in college, attending the illustrious North Carolina A&T State University. It’s ironic that this chapter had Eminem as a focal point - a white rapper as I’m detailing life at an HBCU - however, if you go back to that time around 2002, Eminem, G-Unit and that whole team had the airwaves on lock, dropping so many albums and mixtapes it felt like they slept in the studio. This chapter primarily deals with my growing experiences with women and highlights personal feelings about college (as a whole, not A&T). Also, this chapter talks about my experiences and dealings with women (LOL - did I say that already)…


Chapter 6: I'm Back...Again

Focal Artist: 50 Cent
Key Lyrics: “Listen You Can Call Me What You Want, Black And Ugly – But You Can’t Convince Me The Lord Don’t Love Me…I’m A Track Star, Running Through Life Chasing My Dreams.”
Overview: I left college and came back to Raleigh, but this time it was different - an adult now and playtime was over. We you have a chip on your shoulder, 50 Cent’s early music can really help. This chapter highlights some of the struggles that come when you leave college, and also truthfully talks about some of the dumb decisions we make as young adults when we “hang out”. It also reveals how God will put people in your life, and how they can help you - if you allow them. I started to understand what true Love was during this time, while also gaining one of my first mentors that picked up the ball where 50 Cent couldn’t.


Chapter 7: Disappearing Acts

Focal Artist: Jay-Z
Key Lyrics: “I Need A New Hustle – A Little Bit Of Everything, A New Improved Russell. I Say That Reluctantly Cause I Do Struggle; As You See I Can’t Leave, So I Do Love You.”
Overview: The people that know me now probably couldn’t wait for this chapter, because they know that Mr. Carter is highly favored over here… Ironically though, it wasn’t necessarily Jay-Z’s rapping that made the impact on me during this time in my life; at that time, it was Jay-Z’s quest for something more, something different, that motivated me. In 2005, I was on that same quest, trying to find a job that I actually liked and could build a career from instead of the menial jobs I had been working after college. I landed at what was formerly known as ACS / Xerox right when they opened offices in North Carolina, and here HRRM starts to detail my learning and experiences playing an integral role in Corporate America. I excelled from the beginning - together with others, helping to open doors for others…but my personal life still hadn’t caught up to the level of maturity that I (didn’t even know I) had in business. Let the fun begin…


Chapter 8: Executive Level

Focal Artist: T.I.
Key Lyrics: “Rarely Out My Element. Barely Out The Ghetto With, One Foot Out And One Foot In; Intelligent As Fellas Get…”
Overview: Court cases from dumb behavior and promotions from hard work - an interesting dynamic to deal with in that environment at only age 24. With the help of my second mentor (who never gave up on me), I got things corrected and continued to move up in my career. This chapter talks about the many examples and experiences I had doing great work while also trying to represent “us” at the table. I’m not sure if I always represented us in the right way, but my intentions were always good - the problem I think was the differences in mindsets. The typical “Executive” in Corporate America will never understand certain things, no matter how hard one tries to get them to listen. However, on the flip-side applying to me at that time, I was still too young and inexperienced to understand that corporations have their own objectives, too. I was always thinking about Black and White, when really, at that level, all that mattered was Green…


Chapter 9: Higher Learning

Focal Artist: Kanye West
Key Lyrics: “It’s Time For Us To Stop And Redefine Black Power.”
Overview: Okay, so I’ll admit - I really thought about changing this entire chapter but I couldn’t. I can’t change my history. Each rapper was selected for each chapter because that’s who I was listening to during those times - so no matter how much hurt is there now as it applies to Kanye, I kept his influence on me back in 2008 / 2009 in-tact. This chapter opens up with the Presidential Election that changed everyone’s lives for the better at that time (definitely not talking about the most recent one). That election was important because former President Obama literally challenged all of us to “do something” to make the world better and change our situations, because he couldn’t do it by himself - that always stuck with me and my homeboy Ian. I became introduced to Six Sigma at that time and was certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, still rising in my career and further learning more about what Corporate America’s true goals are. It’s logical - the higher you rise, the more you become privy to the real information that motivates a company. The more I learned, the more disconnected I became with Corporate America. We didn’t care about the same things, constantly getting on each other’s nerves - so I used my knowledge with Six Sigma to start my own organization…


Chapter 10: The L.I.F.E.

Focal Artist: R.O. Hutch
Key Lyrics: “Widows And Open Cases, Overpopulated Prisons – It’s Far From Paradise Yo’, This Life That We Living.”
Overview: The last official chapter of HRRM details my experiences starting a business / organization as an entrepreneur without any resources (LOL), highlighting the ups and downs and the meticulousness in which we went about starting The L.I.F.E. This is not a “How-To” description of how to start a business, rather a focus on the interpersonal dynamics that are often at play when people are “working together” - a very important piece because African-Americans must improve in working together. The chapter also describes my interaction with an area rapper who collaborated with me on a great deal as he pushed his music career. This dynamic was fitting, as I love music and having the real opportunity to work with someone in music was special. The chapter closes with my last days (at that time) in Corporate America prior to my resignation, and overviews the plan that was set in motion with my life and my community.


Outro: Boomerang

Focal Artist: J. Cole
Key Lyrics: “…If It’s Really True What People Sayin’ And You Call Yourself Playin’ With My Name Then I Really Know You Fucked, Trust - I’ll Be Around Forever Cause My Skills Is Tip-Top.”
Overview: This final piece was a re-write of the original “Outro”, completely changed on 8/24/2019 - the only chapter in HRRM that wasn’t written in 2013. This chapter brings current my experiences in business, the community and personal relationships; more about the origins of black dollar, the return to Corporate, hospital visits, some key collaborations along with some failed friendships. This re-write was planned - but recent online rants do deserve a more formal response. But HRRM needed an update primarily because we’re now in Year 7 of a “Five Year Plan” - and we need some answers. I’m glad that HRRM has this final perspective from an older version of myself; even having a chapter that is somewhat “from the future” is different. The Intro through Chapter 10 was written from the perspective of a 29-year old, while the book’s last words in Boomerang are delivered by that same man 6 years later. Interesting…

cover art 2.png

This eBook is currently being offered only on this website. We are starting out here to show that we are capable of creating & moving products internally on our own platforms, and hope that our experience here will be beneficial to other Black-Owned Business Owners who may be looking to do similar things or have similar objectives.




Special thanks to my homie r.o. (raleigh’s own) Hutch and my nephew j_Frank for coming together back in 2013 to make this song for the book!

And to Skinny P - your talent both behind the mic and behind the keyboard was undeniable from the beginning. You created a masterpiece from that final output they gave to you - We all thank you Bro!

came up song.jpg