Stefan Roberts knew music was going to be a part of his life as early as 13 years old. With self-determination and strong support from his family and community, pursuing an education and his passion in music are two aspirations within his reach.
Stefan, or Lang Amaru, is a 20 year old hip-hop artist from Monticello, Fl.
“Lang is an acronym for Love Ain’t No Good, which I developed when I started writing poetry at a young age, and Amaru is in tribute to the late-great Tupac Shakur,” Roberts said. “It’s his middle name.”
He first realized his passion when he started a competition with his cousin.
“I realized that music was my calling when I first started so-called freestyling,” Roberts said. “One summer I got on Myspace just to be surprised that my cousin Rob had music of him freestyling rapping on his page. Just having a competitive nature, I laid down four freestyles that same evening. It’s like I caught a bug, and I still got it.”
But something that started out just for fun, turned into something deeper for Roberts.
“I chose music because it’s the only outlet I can go to that ensures me that people value what I have to say,” Roberts said. “That’s kind of how I see rappers: people who identify with the culture that will stand for the test of time and that are natural leaders of their individual community.”
Starting at such a young age, you may think Roberts didn’t receive much support from people, or more specifically his family, but you can think again.
“My biggest supporter hands down would have to be my Pops,” Roberts said. “Since the beginning, even when I was too scared to tell him about rapping, my dad never has downed my dream. One day he told one of our neighbors about my aspirations, and the neighbor gave his input. The rebuttal consisted of how hip-hop is such a pitiful genre to even want to be a part of, let alone be glamourized by people. I’ll never forget how my dad basically replied saying he’d support me no matter what. I’ll always respect him for that, and he may not even remember.”
Even though his family has never had doubts, Roberts is hit with self- pressure from time to time.
“Two summers ago, I walked away from rapping for about a month,” Roberts said. “That was the last time I told myself I couldn’t go on anymore. Taking a break to me now is only wasting time. I know my purpose.”
Seven years into his personal journey with music, Roberts has accomplished so much.
“My biggest accomplishment so far is getting my latest project ‘There’s Alwayz Tomorrow’ on multiple streaming services,” Roberts said. “I can legit tell people to google me now, and I pop up as a legit artist.”
But of course, as any artist does, Roberts has his favorites.
“My best project would have to be my Freshman job ‘18 <’,” Roberts said. “My favorite performance would have to be when I was a part of the ‘Second Wind Showcase’ in Adel this past August. I don’t have a specified favorite out of all of my work; that’s like picking your favorite kid.”
With this just being the beginning, Stefan Roberts or Lang Amaru has a lot to look forward to.
“All I could ever hope for is reaping generational wealth from my passion,” Roberts said. “If there’s any other way to obtain that status, I’m going to find it; I’m just that determined. The only fear I have is the Man above.”
All in all, Roberts has one message: “If you aren’t growing exponentially in life, then you’re doing something wrong, and whatever it is you love, never lose sight of that end goal. It’ll make the journey well worth it.”
You can find Lang Amaru’s album “There’s Always Tomorrow” on GooglePlay, Apple Music and Spotify.
Written by Hunter Terrell, Social Media Editor. Photo courtesy of Stefan Roberts.