Wednesday, April 21, 2021

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Rap artist gives back to his community

susan meeker • pioneer review • © 2020
Solo artists Eric Contreras (red hat), known as rapper Feric, and Matt Gaddy hand out school supplies to children at the Colusa County Migrant Housing Unit, in Williams, on Monday, as a way to give back to the community.

An up and coming rap artist from Williams is giving back to youth in the community in which he was raised.

Eric Contreras, also known as Feric, handed out school supplies on Monday, assisted by fellow musical artist, Matt Gaddy, of Colusa.

Contreras said he used his large social media following to raise money for school supplies, which he gave to the school aged children of Colusa County’s Migrant Housing Unit.

Contreras said helping to meet some of the challenges faced by students in the era of COVID-19 and distance learning, was a way for him to give back for the second chance he received following his DUI head-on collision, in Butte County, which seriously injured himself and several others.

“I could have died, but I didn’t. I could have gone to prison, but I didn’t,” Contreras said. “Now, I use that eye-opening experience to help others. In a way, the universe was talking to me and the universe said, ‘it still wants me around.’”

Contreras said his contemporary rap music incorporates some of the challenges he has faced in his 25 years of life, even inserting his DUI and the lesson he learned into his songs.

Contreras (Feric) has a number of YouTube videos, including “Pipe Down” and “Think About it.”

His albums, including “Riding Through the Dub” and “Welcome 2 Hell On Earth,” produced by MBM, are available on Amazon and Spotify, and Contreras performs in concerts throughout the North State. Gaddy, also a solo artist, is produced by the same record label.

Contreras said it did not take him long after posting his desire to provide students with school supplies that he raised enough money to buy students binders, paper, pencils, pens, crayons, and everything else they will need when they return to in-person instruction.

“I raised just over $600 is a very short time and put in a couple hundred of my own,” Contreras said.

Now that he learned on Monday that he must navigate City Hall for permits, Contreras said he plans to return to Williams around Thanksgiving with additional offerings, such as food, and again at Christmas, with toys.

Dozens of children were excited about the cache of school supplies they received from the rapper on Monday, and were looking forward to the singer’s return.

“I’m really glad I could help out,” Contreras said. “I’m really blessed right now, both financially and spiritually.” 

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