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Violence in Peoria
This was broadcast April 7, 2022, on a special episode of All Things Peoria, focused on the long trauma of violence in Peoria.

Peoria teen songwriter and rapper uses her music to process her pain

Peoria rapper Taurey Best released her first hip hop single "Danger" back in November. She recently came into the studio and Rae joined us remotely to talk about the story behind her first track.

Taurey Best is a Peoria teenager and rapper who is working hard on her songwriting as she establishes herself as an artist.

Her cousin Ray DeCambra started a record label called Raedar Music, and Taurey is one of his featured artists.

Taurey Best released her first hip hop single "Danger" in November. She recently came into the WCBU studio and Rae joined us remotely to talk about the story behind her first track.

Taurey Best: "Danger" is basically my life story, basically telling a little bit of what I overcame, a little bit of what made me the person I am and what made my music what it is today.

Daniel Musisi: Is there anything else you might want to say about the song, or Ray, maybe you can elaborate a little bit?

Ray DeCambra: Well, she'll be the best person to elaborate, and I think I have to give her that push. And like she said, the song is basically what she'd been through. And if you listen to the song, it has such a story, that a young person that experienced that could be traumatized for the rest of their life. There’s a few different paths in life that they could’ve eventually taken. So I think her putting out that first song, represents where she's from. What she's been through at an early age.

Can you tell us the story of the song?

Taurey Best: Basically it’s saying, when it's over, I have to leave some type of mark in life. I gotta keep going. And it's telling about the murder I saw at (age) five. And it's telling the effect that it’s left on me. It's telling the effect that it’s left on me, but I'm not … I'm not giving up — like, I'm still going...

Yeah, I'm sorry. I know, this can be hard. So and the murder that you saw — it occurred in here in Peoria?

Taurey Best: Yeah. Yeah. In front, in front of the Taft Homes, I think it was.

DeCambra: I think maybe she is trying to hide some of the details, because we are going to shoot the "Danger" video in Peoria. And there's a lot of little details from what actually occurred, we're going to re-enact in the video. Because she witnessed it, she was actually one of the key witnesses at 5 years old. So, she actually put the person that did it behind bars. And moving forward, years after when he was helpful parole, her statement kept him behind bars. As a young kid, like I said, it was a lot, and I think the person was kind of close to her. I said it wasn't … the person that died — it wasn't family, it was a friend, right?

Taurey Best: No, it was like a family friend. Yeah.

I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. No one, especially a 5-year-old, should ever have to witness anything like that. I cannot imagine. I'm wondering how else the city of Peoria has inspired you to write music or to continue to write music?

Taurey Best: To come up in the city of Peoria is kind of challenging, because of how people are persuaded, and people follow behind people. So if you're not the next big … like if your name’s not really ringing out here, you're not really gonna get supported. So, I think to keep me going it’s like … you got to be bigger. You got to have a bigger crowd than Peoria, because you can't just rely on Peoria. I want to evolve. I want to be bigger than Peoria. So, I think that's what keeps me going.

Does Peoria remain a character in the songs you're writing?

Taurey Best: Yeah, definitely. Like in the beginning of the "Danger," when I say Taurey Best, you know "from the P," like, Peoria will always be a part of me. I was born and raised here. But Peoria just won't always be me. I'm going to expand bigger, but Peoria will always be known and have a part and a role.

TAUREY BEST on Apple Music
TAUREY BEST on Spotify
Raedar Music
Raedar Music on Instagram

Daniel Musisi is WCBU's Assistant Audio Director. He's also the host of our daily newsmagazine All Things Peoria.