Jacob Jay Webb –or Kash, as he calls himself- knows that his rap music videos on YouTube, where Baldwin Park is featured along with references to money, alcohol, marijuana, guns and bullets, can be seen as negative by many people.
However, for Webb, that is his life story; the way he puts to music the difficult upbringing he claims to have experienced while being raised by his grandparents, since both his parents were in prison.
“I am not saying that my music is for everyone, I am not trying to portrait anything or to say that I am a role model. This is simply what I have experienced in the past or maybe what I am going through at the moment”, Webb explained during an interview with Patch.
“I am not saying [to young people] to be like me, I am just expressing my point of view without sugarcoating what people have lived through, here and in other places, you know”, he added.
The four videos are Webb's most popular, and together they have more than ten thousand views on YouTube.
The "Life of a King" video begins by showing Kash's baseball cap with the word "Suiside" on it, followed by a Baldwin Park monument, with the rap song in the background.
At some point in the video, the author shows a pistol and aims it to the camera.
“If you go to Baldwin Park, you can see the same history of broken homes, maybe there are some where parents have made better choices but some of us got difficult lifes”, said Webb.
Kass said that in spite of all difficulties, he managed to graduate from Sierra Vista High School and now has a regular job at a warehouse in Industry.
He claimed that his music can inspire some people facing the same difficulties he faced in life.
“Maybe it won't motivate people who already live in a good home, but it could help somebody who has been in my same situation to make better decisions”, he expressed.
But according to some experts, rap music can have a negative influence on young audiences.
A study by the Muse Project at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that rap music enthusiasts show significantly higher delinquent behaviors and feelings of inequity and social injustice, compared to people who prefer other types of music.
However, Kash sees his music as something deeper and he hopes that it leaves a mark on others.
“I just want my music to transcend, and if I obtain success and triumph, I want to help the people I care for and that have supported me”, he added.
For Ray Vera, of Westlyfe Muzik and producer of Kash's videos, the 24-year-old shows a lot of promise in the music industry.
“He has already been invited to many concerts in Hollywood and other places”, he explained. “If more people saw the passion and drive that he puts into his music, they could be inspired”, Vera added.
But there are also others who disapprove of Kash's music.
Vera has had to eliminate various “negative” messages from the “California Lifestyle” video, and has asked that people stop leaving comments on the videos.
Sources at the Baldwin Park Police who has seen the video said to Patch "they don't comment on any gang video or any video that shows any gang activity".
“Those comments push me to continue”, said Kash. “The negative comments fuels me, they make me continue and keep on going”, he added.