The Making of Illinois’ Next Rap Legend

My Name is Anthony Sidney Cherry, I was born in Springfield,IL on December 15th 2000. From what I hear, the start of my life wasn’t the best. I was living with my mom and older sister in low income apartments on the Eastside Of Springfield,IL to later get separated from my sister by DCFS after an accident occurred from my mother being intoxicated. My sister went to live with my Grandparents and my father was incarcerated at the time so mother ended up keeping custody of me. I was too young to really remember much of that but as I got older I came to realize everyone involved in my early life did the best they knew how to do with what they had and for that I’m thankful and forgive them because nobody is perfect. What I do remember from my early childhood was spending time between my mother and grandparents who encouraged my creative expression through letting me experiment with different instruments such as the guitar,harmonica & piano. My earliest memory of hearing music was in church, I was always infatuated by the different sounds vocals and instruments could produce by themselves as well as together.

I am my fathers oldest living son after my oldest brother Eric was shot and killed in Chicago when I was a few months old. I am my mothers only son with ten other siblings.

Most of my adolescence was spent living back and forth between my mom’s in Springfield and My Dads In Decatur Both In Illinois. I met my father & other siblings around the age of 13. When living with him I bonded with my older brother (SkeeBandzz) & younger brother (Dreadheadthekid) with music which they both make as well.

In School I enjoyed learning about Art, History, Literature,Psychology,Philosophy & Theology. I played Football & Basketball which helped me distract myself from issues I was dealing with at home most of my life such as domestic violence, parental substance abuse & physical abuse. I ended up attending 4 different middle schools & 3 different High Schools. Getting kicked out of some for fighting & gang affiliation, so I never was keen on making new friends because I wasn’t sure how long I would be there. I was also pretty self conscious about my body because I was born with a physical disease called “gynecomastia”, which led me being bullied often resulting in me fighting often as well too. By the time I got into high school I was keeping myself out of trouble for the most part and focusing on sports but not the best student usually maintaining below average grades. At this time I did know that I was passion about music after free styling for friends and getting positive feedback from them. Throughout this time I dropped Music under the names “ACtheKidd & A.CiD” later on linking with a group in my hometown called “GlobMob” and a producer named “T-Band$” who showed me the ropes on how to record music professionally and he also was my engineer for the first songs I released.

I still had my doubts if I would be able to do music professionally but I knew it was something that gave me satisfaction and it was something I’d grown to love. I also wanted to rejoin with a childhood friend “Young Pac From FGM” at this time because he was someone I looked up to when I was younger because he embraced what made him different and the things he made music about I could relate too, he also taught me about family, god & money the most important thing we have in this life. In my last conversation with him he told me “To do what I need to do to survive but don’t get stuck in the streets because they aren’t going to get me out of the situations I’m in” That was the last thing he told me in person after later having to go away to serve time for a murder charge. I wish I would have listened but like anyone I had to find out for myself, when I was 19 I reached a low spot in my life after dropping out of school, losing a mentor to cancer, an uncle to a heart attack & friend to an overdose. In this time I was dealing with mental health issues after a few failed suicide attempts resulting in me going to the pysch ward a few times to be diagnosed with Clinical Depression,PTSD,Substance Abuse Disorder,Anxiety Disorder & Bi-Polar 2. At this time I figured I was broken as a person and I’d never be fixed and my habits for abusing Xanax, LSD, Molly & PainKillers increased and if I couldn’t get high my back up was self mutilation because I felt this overall numbness and I knew what pain was but at the time that was enough for me because I just wanted to feel something. I started getting involved in more things that I shouldn’t have been doing to have my mom kick me out of her house and be homeless for a while. Till a friend of mine Juan let me live with him till I could get back on my feet. He didn’t have an extra room for me or bed so I spent most of the time there living out of suitcase in a storage closet even though I didn’t have a lot all I could really do was make music and at this time I saw music as a way out of this self inflicted hell I was In because of my decisions and I needed to just get out so I planned to pack up and move to Atlanta with some family but was told they didn’t have the space for me and I also wasn’t in good shape and didn’t have a good reputation amongst them which was well understood but my sister offered to take me in anyways while she was in Nashville,TN.

A few months into Nashville I got a call from my mother that my Grandfather was dying, I sadly had to watch his last moments and say my goodbyes through FaceTime because I couldn’t afford a train ticket back. That broke me to my core that man was a father to me when mine was absent and through all the mistakes I made he reminded me regularly that he loved and cared about me and that there was something special about me and he knew it since the day I was born.

I stopped fearing death that day and came to understand I can only postpone my time because everyone meets the same fait, but what I do with my life is my responsibility and my responsibility alone. I took some time away from the world too sober up, enroll back in school, go back to the gym, get off of social, take care of my body, mind & soul, ask myself what goals I want to achieve in my life, who do I want to be remembered as, what are my strengths and what are my weaknesses as well. Without the pressure of my peers, my past, old diagnoses, my reputation, my family & my environment dictating my answers. I found confidence in the uncertainty,Peace in my chaos & myself in the confusion. Once I understood that energy couldn’t be created or destroyed I had a choice on what type of energy I wanted to reflect. I asked myself if nothing else, what do I want people to remember me for when I die, the only word I could think of was Great. Not the smartest, strongest, fastest or flawless none of those things because those aren’t what I am but that doesn’t mean they can’t be things I can’t strive to be.

What I can be is dedicated, disciplined, curious, hardworking, resilient, focused, adaptable & sacrificial and if I embody those things consistently I think those align me towards greatness and with time to push me to it and hopefully past it. Regardless I am no better or worse than any man, all the good I see in others I see in myself but that goes for the bad as well. I am just a man who is mortal. We have our differences but we aren’t different. Anything I can do you can do too and vice versa. I see myself in you and hope you can see yourself in me. One of the scariest things to me is that I almost quit, because I didn’t realize how close I was to living out my dreams. I just had to take one more step and keep going on my journey slowly but surely the night turned into day and I could see the path I was walking on again. My life mission became to learn daily on how to be the best version of myself hopefully inspiring people to want to do the same. In January of 2023 I released my first single under “A.T.G ANT” called “NOWADAYS” which was the first project I worked with Freddie.B on which was my debut single of my reintroduction to the rap game. After that I linked up with Victor who has been a major help for me getting my message out to the world and connecting my work to be heard by a lot of amazing people. In a few months with the help of my team I have reached nearly 1 million streams on SoundCloud,Been Featured On Numerous News Articles & As well as Played On The Radio with Show Opportunities Coming In Daily. My journey can seem hard from the outside or maybe even easy both would be true depending on what part. Either way I became better because of it even if I didn’t see the value in it at the moment, I’m grateful that I kept going when there were a lot of times I didn’t because if I didn’t this would have never reached you and that’s all I ever wanted.