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Rap musician Garage MC Maxwell D supports prisoners swap crime for grime

The famous top rap artist is helping cons swap crime for grime - after turning his own life around.

The Garage legend Maxwell D, whose real name is Denzol Cameron, a friend with the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Skepta - is running musical courses in prison to help prisoners avoiding the same offences.

The rapper most recent audience was at HMP The Mount, home to more than 100 lifers in Hertfordshire, but his musical career has intertwined with US rapper Ludacris and Ms Dynamite.

The 41-year-old rapper is delivering talks to the inmates on how to have success and increasing opportunities in the music industry.

Denzol Cameron is helping new talent. Image credit: Denzol Cameron/Mirror

Denzol, best known for his top ten hit Serious, is also giving music masterclasses to vulnerable schoolkids in London. He originally comes from East London, and he is now helping others, being the witness of the power of music and how it saved him from a life of crime.

Indeed, he previously served time for robbery after falling in with a bad crowd when he was a teenager.

Denzol, who also starred in the Pay As U Go Cartel, explained: “I just want to give people hope that there is another way - and it might end up where I am.

“I had a taste for prison when I was young, and I never wanted it again.

“I did two birthdays, two Christmases. I was a young teenager - wild and unruly, but now in a cage.

“I was in a dark space and music was a big turning point for me when I came out.

“I remember getting my first £100 and being paid to do something that I dreamed of.

“A year later I had my first UK garage hit, ‘Serious’. I shot a video, travelled everywhere and was being interviewed on Channel 4 and the BBC.

“I’ve always been a person who wants to give back.

“I wanted to show people that if I can do it, then anyone can.”

Denzol Cameron aka Maxwell D. Image credit: Denzol Cameron/Mirror

Denzol educates prisoners on how to be in front of the microphone, but also on how to produce music and do business within that field.

He is also mentoring any talented young musician to help them to have a shot at success.

The married dad, who grew up on rough London estates and spent time in foster care, claimed: “I’ve always felt that where I come from is important to me. I come from a place where not many people get a chance.

“Some of the prisoners are shy, some don’t want to talk. Some of them are only there because it’s the chance to get out of their cell.

“But before you knew it, we had a nice brotherhood. Everyone was keen and there was no trouble.

“There is some serious talent, untapped raw talent. But obviously, they need to be educated.

“Some of them have been in so long they don’t even know how an iPhone works.

“I just want to allow them to grasp and help them with life skills so they don’t re-offend.”

Denzol had been also approached by other prisons who asked him to deliver his classes through his charitable foundation as well, the “Music Through The Bars” charity, before the current pandemic outbreak.

He is also helping youngsters through the “London Village Network”, where professionals in the city volunteer to achieve social equality and community cohesion for young people from deprived backgrounds to help to cultivate life and career skills beyond the classroom.


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