Edgardo Acevedo, is a gifted Speaker, Rapper and Youth Director whose distinctive style helped him to share stages with influential Hip-Hop acts and travels all over the country sharing his story. Born and raised in Washington Heights, he was influenced by the culture of Hip Hop and started expressing his rhymes at age nine. The intensity of crime in his neighborhood presented him with obstacles that challenged his development. Witnessing robberies and experiences of murders forced him to transform his confusion and anxiety into lyrics. Even though writing helped ease the agony of adolescence, much of the comfort he received came from the church.
Although he attended church, at the age of fifteen he had a powerful spiritual experience during a mission trip that increased his desire to share a positive message with his peers. However, he realized the difficulty of sharing the Gospel with teens who faced the hardships of an urban environment. Confronted with this bitter reality, Edgardo abandoned the church after graduating high school in order to seek understanding in other places.
His journey snatched him from the chaotic streets of Washington Heights and introduced him to the peaceful neighborhoods of Pella, Iowa. Inner turmoil coupled with intense racism forced Solomon to turn towards a lifestyle full of drugs and alcohol. Although he pursued a B.A. in Religion, a life of holiness was far from his mind. Heavy drinking, drug abuse and drug-trafficking was his lifestyle but Edgardo could not erase his need for reconciliation with God.
This reconciliation came for him during a night so distressful that he cried out to God in repentance. This event began a rapid transformation that landed Solomon back on the right path. He started to attend Crossroads Tabernacle where he is now a member of Storytellas, a music ministry that evangelizes in prisons, churches and streets throughout the NY tri-state area. Edgardo also performs and speaks all over the country under the pseudonym “Solomon Starr”, in such states as Atlanta, Indiana and Oregon and sharing at major events like Rap Fest and Holy Hip Hop.
Through out his life, Edgardo never stopped incorporating the language of Hip-Hop into his Christian identity and utilizes this skill in order to help illustrate the dynamics of societies structures to the young people he seeks to empower. His lyrics tell his story and share the realities of the streets in a positive light. Edgardo finds no greater satisfaction than helping to transform people, especially teens trapped in a lifestyle of crime and delinquency, through the powerful gifts given to him by God.
Edgardo has a Masters in Divinity at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. He is currently in the process of ordination and is serving as Minister of Youth at his childhood church, Fort Washington Collegiate. He is working on two books that present models for teaching leadership to urban youth.