Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Terrence Faison, 22, also known as King Moe, lived in between the two states for much of his childhood.
“When I was in school, I never completed a whole year at the same school,” he said. “I was in kindergarten in two different states. It was like that all the way up to the 8th grade.”
Terrence said growing up he and his family struggled.
“We went through a lot,” he said. “We really never had our own place. I would stay with my grandparents in Pennsylvania, and we would stay with family members in North Carolina. I came up kind of rough and saw a lot.”
He didn’t like moving so much and having to make new friends all the time, but he became used to it and embraced it.
“The last move was my decision,” he said. “I would’ve stayed in Pennsylvania, but I didn’t want my mom to be alone. I felt like she needed me. I felt like I was the only one that could keep her alive and safe.”
In March of 2015, Terrence joined the armed forces to travel, connect with people and further his music career rapping. A year and a half ago, he chose to come to Fort Campbell, Kentucky because of its proximity to Nashville.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Terrence is picking up where his father left off.
In the 1990s, his father, who went by the moniker Moses, put out a rap album called Bloody Diamonds.
“They had the stamps and everything. It was official and a classic album,” he said. “They used to call me Moe-Moe because of my dad, and that’s where my name comes from.”
Terrence said his father was lyrical and frequently embarrassed other well-known rappers on stage in North Carolina.
“To be picking up where my dad left off means like I’m completing a prophecy. That’s how I look at it. I feel like I’m carrying out my destiny and completing a legacy.”
He said he remembers when he was eight years old in school he used to write track listings of his future albums and songs titles before writing any songs.
“One day my dad read it, and one of the songs was called ‘Ghetto Niggas.’ He asked me when did I start using words like that, and I just told him I wanted to rap too,” he said laughing
Growing up and becoming more familiar with Rap music, Terrence first favorited Eminem.
“I’ll never forget I had this cassette tape with songs from the Marshall Mathers LP and the song ‘Marshall Mathers’ is still one of my favorite ones. I used to listen to it over and over,” he said. “For me, he painted a picture. He took me through the experience that he was going through, and that was amazing.”
When music became available on CDs, Terrence’s first albums were Kayne West’s debut album College Dropout and Snoop Dogg’s Doggstyle.
“Kanye’s first album had me feeling like I could be as creative as I wanted to be,” he said. “Snoop was creative but when I listened to him it took me through another experience. After I had finished listening to his album, I felt like I had just gotten back from another world. I was young.”
Terrence wrote his first song called “T-Unit” at 11 years old.
“I let my homeboys at school hear it, and they told me it was good. I had a DJ and another rapper with me, and we thought we were a little group,” he said.
“We were kids with a dream.”
Terrence said he went home and rapped the song for his mom and her friend.
“I’m going to honest with you,” he said. “It was wack, but I had flow.”
Musically, he said some of his biggest influences include people like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Juvenile, R. Kelly, Lil Wayne and Citizen Cope.
Terrence said his music is a direct reflection of his experiences.
“All I had was music,” he said. “If you listen to it, I’ve been through so much. What Kanye West and Snoop did for me, I want to do for someone else.”
Terrence wants to use his music to spread awareness about poverty, mental illness, and adoption.
“No one talks about people with anxiety, depression or schizophrenia, and with the music I’ve got, those are some things I want to shed light on.”
After a series of tough times and close calls, including being robbed at gunpoint and friends getting caught up in trouble with the law, he decided to further himself by joining the Army.
“In Goldsboro, my songs were playing on the radio every week, and I was starting to blow up there,” he said. “Right then was a reality check, I kept saying to myself that I couldn’t keep doing this.”
In September 2014, Terrence was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The next month he was deployed in Africa until April of 2015.
“A community should be a group of leaders raising babies to be leaders.”
Terrence said if people raised children up in the way they should go, then they won’t leave those teachings. He said it’s not just the family that plays a part in a child’s life, but the whole world.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child, so depending on how the community is, depends on how the child turns out,” he said.
“I grew up in the projects, and I came up doing stupid stuff like breaking into houses, not talking to the police, and not obeying authority, but that’s stupid. Only a fool doesn’t obey authority,” he said.
Just like any other community around the country and the world, Terrence said in Nashville there are areas of poverty and areas of wealth. He said because of the music industry he feels like he has more of an outlet here than he did in Goldsboro.
“Nashville has a rap scene, and there is a lot of talent here, but people are being slept on,” he said. “Atlanta is the outlet to Rap music, and I feel like it should be Nashville with it being Music City, you know, why not? Why have it be just country music? Why not have outlets for all genres?”
Terrence said people should come together and invest in the Rap scene if they want to see it become more prominent in the city.
“If the unique come together and unify it creates something great.”
He said he’s been in the Nashville area long enough to see some things change. He said he sees more changes in the city’s future.
“It’s inevitable, but it’s more so about how will you adapt to the change? You can’t always control it.”
He said the rich are going to be rich regardless, but people show-should focus more on the youth and the poverty stricken neighborhoods.
Terrence has an album going out soon called OiL: Obstacles in Life. He plans on releasing the album on June 29th, the birthday of a friend who was killed at the age of 18.
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