MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Marco Pave' is young and gifted, but as a hip-hop artist and social activist growing up on the streets of North Memphis, he sometimes feels discounted.
Pave was recognized by TheRoot.com as one of the seventeen unsung heroes of the Black Lives Matter movement.
After lecturing across the country from UCLA to the University of Cincinnati, Pave' is now getting his chance.
He is now making national headlines for his underground work in the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, he said it is a constant challenge explaining Memphis culture to outsiders.
"It's like, how are you going to tell me about our city when you're not from here?" asked Pave'.
In August 2015, he was a featured by TedxMemphis as a speaker for TedTalks, an engaging series devoted to spreading ideas through dialogue. Pave', however, speaks through music.
Categorizing himself as a Project Pat meets KRS-One, spitting urban country consciousness with confidence, his lyrics paint a picture of struggle.
As a Millennial, he is able to reach the masses through the power of technology.
"It's changed because we are able to highlight the movement in such a quick moment," he said.
Yet at 23 years old, he feels three obstacles keep him from impacting mainstream markets.
"My age, my race, and my genre of music."
Still, Pave' is forcing the world to take notice. From "Hobbyist to Lobbyist", he supports the arts by establishing scholarships for local high schools students.
He said he's ready to change the game by infusing hip-hop and activism.
"I'm going back to those roots and I'm using my voice as a hip hop artist to talk about social justice and talk about what we can do to change our community."