Challenges and traumatic experiences in early life and childhood adversely affect a person and lead to numerous psychological, emotional, and social issues and disorders. Losing a relative, loved one, or friend during adolescence and childhood drastically impacts a person during adulthood. The negative impact of childhood trauma increases substantially after witnessing a murder or losing a friend or relative due to homicide. The traumatic experiences usually lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other issues.
Long-term Effects of Childhood Trauma
Many children who experience trauma engage in antisocial behavior as adults due to a lack of guidance regarding dealing with issues. Many adolescents engage in delinquency due to their childhood experiences to escape the trauma or alleviate emotional and psychological suffering. Most people succumb to the vicious cycle of antisocial behavior while facing negativity due to a lack of a support system or mechanism. However, some people escape delinquency and antisocial behavior through productive or meaningful activities.
Music as a Healing Medium
Music is a prominent medium that helps people express their emotions productively while escaping an endless cycle of bad behavior or habits. Many musicians and singers turned their lives around by producing or singing songs in various genres. Rap music is one of the most prominent genres helping singers transform their lives from delinquency or antisocial behavior to proactive and productive individuals with meaning or purpose. Despite people’s perceived negativity about the genre, rap music positively influences singers and audiences. Although rap music is usually associated with violence and gangs, many rappers turned their lives around through the genre by expressing their emotions positively.
Serio’s Childhood Experiences
Prominent rapper Serioalso used the Chicano rap genre to transform his life and transition from adversity to success. Jonathan Pérez, popularly known as Serio, is a prominent rapper ranked among the top Chicano rappers in the United States. However, he was not always a rapper and had a troubled childhood. The rapper faced significant childhood trauma and adversity, leading to long-term implications. Serio developed a serious character and personality from early childhood due to several traumatic experiences. He witnessed his cousin, José, and a friend get shot while hanging out. Serio’s cousin survived the shooting, but the friend was killed. Serio lost another cousin Ramón was also killed at age 13.
Troubled Youth and Adult Life
The traumatic events adversely affected Serio, who developed a serious personality, and his grandmother nicknamed him Serio (Spanish for serious). The traumatic experiences led to severe depression and despair, compelling his mother to send Serio to live in the northwest. Serio started rapping and performing among friends at parties or events. Most people told him how good he was at rapping, but being a self-critic, he perceived that he was not good. He discarded his notebook comprising his lyrics, believing his rapping skills were poor. Serio fell into trouble with law enforcement due to a shooting allegation and served some time in prison.
Serio’s Journey to Rap Music
After his release, he discovered that a friend was developing beats and requested Serio to rap and sing to his beats. However, Serio refused to rap while perceiving his poor rapping skills and again fell in trouble with law enforcement for an alleged crime. He ran into another Chicano who wrote and sang rap songs while serving in prison. The person convinced Serio to rap and influenced him to write a song called Nightmares Turned into Reality. He performed the song in the yard and received recognition from other inmates. The Chicano friend convinced Serio to write more songs and perform them in front of others. People loved his songs and performances and asked him about his future albums.
Rising to Prominence with Multiple Albums
The positive feedback influenced Serio to develop his first full-length Chicano rap album during his sentence. After his release from prison, Serio decided to produce his first album and released his first album, Nightmares Turned Into Reality, in 2006. He produced and released the album within two months despite a lack of production experience. The album had twelve tracks, including Nightmares TurnedInto Reality, En La Pinta, They Call Me Serio, I Got to Have You, and The End of The World. Serio released his second album in 2008, N.I.T.R Part 2, The Revenge of Serio. The full-length album had thirteen songs, including After All, I Do What I Do, and Serious.
The album also featured the pioneer of Chicano Rap, Kid Frost, on two titles, including In La and Frost and Serio Skit. The third album by Serio, Gansterism Part 3, was released in 2011 and comprised thirteen songs. The prominent songs from the album include Sexy Ladies, Baby I Love You, I’m a Gangster, and It’s Time for a Blunt. Serio released his fourth full-length studio album Soy Chicano Rap, in 2013, with eleven titles. Some prominent tracks from the album include It’s Time to Kill a Punk,
Serio transformed his life from a troubled childhood and young adult life to a successful singer and musician using rap music. He used his songs to alleviate the negative effects of childhood trauma while improving his circumstances rather than succumbing to emotional and psychological pressures. Serio portrayed from his actions and effort that rap music can positively influence a person’s transition from adversity to success.