Keith Monikape Squires, local musician, artist and now hunger fighter has joined the fight against hunger in our community and beyond. Monikape had heard a lot about Grind Out Hunger through his good friend Chris Rene and after learning more about the mission of the cause, wanted to get involved on a deeper level.Playing a big role in Team Love Life and wanting to inspire the youth, Monikape is ready to take the next step as a hunger fighter, spread a positive messsage, and help mentor the youth so they have a safe, positive future filled with happiness and purpose.
Q: Give us a short background of yourself and how you became "Monikape".
A: "Growing up, I had a Leave it to Beaver kind of family; we were churchgoers, family people, everything. Growing up, I was a skater, and had been sponsored for a while, but there wasn’t a lot of skateparks around or other outlets that I could use as a kid, so I kind of just did my own thing.
I have two sisters, one of which has passed away. Her name was Monica. She was my dad’s daughter, and my half sister. She passed away while commuting, and she fell asleep at the wheel. At that point, my dad kind of went off the deep end – started doing drugs, cheated on my mom – my family kind of fell apart after that, so my mom took my other sister and my dad took me.
About 6 months later, a buddy of mine, Nick, got into a car accident on 17 and died as well.
My release from everything happening became music, freestyling in particular. I didn’t know what my name was going to be, but a lot of people called me gorilla, or ape, because I was bigger than most of the other kids and whatnot, so eventually I made the collaboration of my sister’s name, my buddy’s name, and my nickname all in one: Monikape.
Q: What does Grind Out Hunger mean to you and why are you involved?A: When I first started out as an artist, I was very angry. I went on a long binge of drinking, fighting, doing drugs, etc. and did a lot of angry rap. I was young and I was venting, and not being positive, and a lot of that had to do with my surroundings. I didn’t have an outlet like Grind Out Hunger provides for the youth today, or at least one that I knew of at the time. That’s why I want to be a part of it so bad, and why I want to be a hunger fighter; I want these kids to have an outlet and role models to look up to. We’re in the music scene, and it’s a positive thing right now. I think that if we can lead them in the right direction, they’ll be able to teach that later. If we do that perfectly, the way that we’re supposed to, it’ll have a positive impact down the line. When we’re gone, they’ll keep it going. That’s why I became a hunger fighter."
Check Monikape out on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/monikape831