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Local

9-year-old records hip-hop with positive spin

Kamel Ollie of DeKalb, 9, poses for a photoNov. 30 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb. Ollie, a fourth-grader at Brooks Elementary who's rapper name is "K.Ollie," wrote a rap song about getting good grades.
Kamel Ollie of DeKalb, 9, poses for a photoNov. 30 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb. Ollie, a fourth-grader at Brooks Elementary who's rapper name is "K.Ollie," wrote a rap song about getting good grades.

DeKALB – Nine-year-old Kamel Ollie is using rap to express himself, and the common thread of his rhymes set “K.Ollie” apart from other wannabe young rap stars posting music videos on YouTube.

Kamel has a positive message in every one of his songs. His first project, “Good Grades,” has been a hit among his Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School classmates.

“Everyone at school was like, ‘This song is lit,’ ” Kamel said. “They started telling everybody else. It’s taking off now.”

The young emcee only began spitting raps a year ago. He counts rappers Young Dolph, Yo Gotti and Meek Mill as influences, but no one gives Ollie more inspiration than his father, Jermel Ollie.

The father-son duo collaborated to write and record “Good Grades.” Kamel told his dad what he wanted the song to be about and picked out some lines to include, and Jermel ironed out the rest. It took less than a month for them to write, record and publish K.Ollie’s first song.

Jermel said his young prodigy makes him want to be the best father he can be.

“He’s my everything. That’s my guy,” Jermel said. “He’s changed my life around, that’s how we came up with ‘Good Grades.’ I just want to see him succeed and get his message across. He even helps me focus on myself.”

Kamel lives in DeKalb with his dad and two brothers. He just released his official “Good Grades” music video and has more projects on the way. All include a positive message: “Bullying Ain’t Cool,” “No More Chores” and “I Got Manners.”

K.Ollie recently performed during an assembly at Brooks Elementary, and now he’s hungry for more. His father hopes to generate sponsors and build fundraising so Kamel can go on a nationwide school concert tour. A few elementary schools around the country already have voiced interest, Jermel said.

“People are loving this song,” he said. “Hip-hop is big right now, and people love music. What better way then showing other kids you have to go hard for these good grades?”

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