Obama Students Seek Rap Glory

Leeza Tokarski

Hitman, we run this town! Peace up, 2 gunz down!”

 This lyric and many more can be heard from Obama’s own rap group, Hitman Productions. Members of the group include Sam Conturo (known as DJ  Mafia), Raihoz Johnson (known as Trell), Michael Peterson (known as Mikey P), Myron Taylor (known as Woo), and Jaraad Johnson (known as Jae R). The group was founded in May 2008 by Obama’s juniors Conturo and Ray Johnson. “We were chilling and needed a name for the crew. We knew it had to be hard and have meaning. We also knew we made “hits” and were men. So that’s how we came up with Hitman,” stated by Conturo in a one-on-one interview.

The group all started when Conturo and Ray Johnson downloaded a program and started messing around with beats. Conturo discovered he had a special talent in beat-making and Ray Johnson had a strong ability to write lyrics and rap. As their talents increased, the two entrepreneurs looked around school for more rappers to join the crew. That is when they hit upon Mikey P and Woo.

 The first albums released by Hitman Productions were called “Welcome to Pittsburgh” (2009) by Trell and “Flyin Out” (2009) by Jae R. Last Spring of 2010, “Killin Spree” was dropped by the entire Hitman Production group. “Killin Spree” received a 4/5 star rating at www.datpiff.com which is a mix-tape website. It also had over 300 listens and family/ friends really enjoyed the music. Their upcoming album, “A Night at the White House” is soon to be released featuring Trell and Mikey P.

 Not only are they dropping albums but they are also performing. Past shows have included the Shadow Lounge this past August and the Istanbul Grill in the past month. Both performances received good reviews and managers of the venues thought highly of them. At the Istanbul Grill, Hitman faced problems with the sound check but overcame it all and performed a top-notch show. They expect to perform many more shows, so be on the look out.

 You can follow Hitman Productions on Facebook and Twitter. And for anyone that wants to pursue a future of rapping, remember Conturo’s words: “Have originality, creativity, overall determination. Be sure to work together and appreciate what you have in the end,”