Deaf rapper Sean Forbes ‘beats’ down stereotypes

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OLATHE, Kan. - Musicians like Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles are famous artists known more for their talent than for their inability to see.  One rapper from the Detroit came to the Kansas School for the Deaf Tuesday to prove he and anyone else can also be known more for their talents than for their inability to hear.

Sean Forbes is used to playing for crowds of eager fans these days, he's about three weeks into a nationwide tour, but many of his fans know him first from his YouTube music videos.  Forbes caters to the deaf and hard of hearing community by signing and showing the lyrics on the screen because he, too, is deaf.

Forbes grew up in a musical family, so his love for the art came naturally.

"It's just something that I wanted to do, I always wanted to be involved with the music business," Forbes explained.

Forbes started drumming, then decided to start rapping, his parents weren't always fans of the genre.

"They were like what is this stuff?  You now, they didn't like it, but it was something that I discovered on my own," he said.  "The way that rap kind of has this rhythm to it, it just spoke to me."

Forbes says he didn't have a role model to guide him through it, but he was determined to break into the music business.

"Nobody ever motivated me to chase my dream, they tried to steer me away from it," Forbes explained.

Today he's the role model, touring the country inspiring other kids, deaf or not that they too can chase their dreams.

"If a deaf kid's going into music?  What's stopping you from doing anything?" Forbes said.

His music reflects that positive message that nothing can stop you, especially when you're being the best you possible.

"I woke up one morning, and I was like, 'You know what?  This is who I am, I'm going to be like this for the rest of my life,' and from that moment of accepting myself, life got a lot easier after that," Forbes said.

Forbes says his next venture is going into clubs with his music, using lights, screens with the lyrics showing, and even vibrating floors to cater to hearing and deaf communities.  He's also committed to helping the deaf artists community through his non-profit organization called D-PAN or Deaf Professional Arts Network.

To find out more about Sean Forbes, click here

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