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SJCC Student goes from street hustler to gospel artist

Eric Thomas

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[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Terrel Burns” align=”alignnone” width=”400″]SJCC student goes from street hustler to gospel artist[/media-credit]

Terrel Burns went from hustling drugs and cars to spreading gospel through rap

San Jose City College Media Arts major Tarelle Butts, better known as his stage name, “Street Spirit,” went from street hustler to gospel rapper after witnessing his own death.

“It all started August 24, 2000, I went over to my girl house, and she was sitting on the bed and, I was sitting in the floor, and we were talking,” Butts said. “Then all of a sudden I felt a sudden feel as if death came over me and I saw myself getting shot. I heard God telling me  ‘Marry her and I will spare your life.’ After I turned to my girlfriend and asked ‘can I ask you a serious question?’ She said, ‘Yea.’

“Do you think I will go to heaven or hell? ‘ all she said was ‘If you died today, I think you would go to hell.”

Tarelle said he asked her why, and she said, “Look at the way you are living. You are living fast.”

At the time Buttss said he was selling drugs, pimping, and buying and selling cars from auctions.

After seeing his own death Butts said he asked his girlfriend to marry him and he said she accepted.

The next day, he said they flew to Las Vegas and got married.

While in Vegas, Butts said he was having second thoughts about getting married and felt the sudden presence of death come over him again.

Then he said all of sudden it started to rain.

“You know Las Vegas it’s in the middle of the desert and it was raining. I knew it was God’s way of cleansing my mind, body, and soul,” he said.

After returning back from Vegas, Butts said he stopped hustling and pimping to follow the orders that

God had given, which were to write gospel music on his life, the streets and God.

He said this is how “Street Spirit” was born.

Butts said when people listen to his music, he hopes they can hear the harsh life of a street hustler turned gospel singer. Butts said his music is a blend of Jesus and Tupac an that Tupac is his inspiration.

Butts said his goals right now is to continue to raise his two kids Da’Moni Butts, age 9, and Jayden Butts, age 3, and transfer to a media arts school in Hollywood next semester. He hopes to become gospel rapper and be signed to Star Trek Entertainment label.

“My Husband does not follow where the path may lead. But, instead, where there is no path and He leaves a trail… He’s better then the next big thing, he’s the next big dream,” Butts’ wife Najla Butts said.

“We go back since elementary school and the one thing I can always remember about him is his dedication,” childhood friend Andre Tate said. “Whatever it was he wanted, I can guarantee he would achieve it. He is like my brother I’m proud of him.”

Butts said he hopes that with his music he can lure anyone away from the fast life whether it be pimping or selling dope.

“I hope that I can influence people from going where I went,” he said. “I feel like I can stand in the room with the baddest people, from street hustlers to gang members to even people that say ‘Hey do this for me’ and tell them my story and get them to give up the fast life.”

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SJCC Student goes from street hustler to gospel artist