A spiritual hip-hop artist who has used his own struggles as a basis for positive messages he sends out to his fans, Beleaf was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Born Glen Henry, and also known as Beleaf Melanin, the rapper dealt with physical and psychological abuse as a child, and went on to struggle with severe depression as an adult. In time, Beleaf relocated to San Diego, California, and had a spiritual awakening as he accepted Christianity, though he prefers not to identify himself as a Christian artist. Beleaf got his start as a recording artist with the group theBREAX; Beleaf DJ'ed for the group and wrote lyrics, which also featured producer and MC Ruslan. After two albums (2007's Eye Am Productions Presents the BREAX and 2008's When theBREAX Sold Out), the group fell apart, but Beleaf and Ruslan would join forces again in Dream Junkies, a hip-hop trio that also included John Givez. Dream Junkies would drop their first album in 2014, NREM Edition, with Good Religion following in 2016. Also in 2014, Beleaf released his first solo album, Red Pills + Black Sugar, a concept piece inspired by his ongoing battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. In 2015, Beleaf launched a video blog titled In Fatherhood, in which he dealt with his experiences as a new parent, telling the media he didn't want to be branded for life as the depressed rapper. The series inspired his next solo album, 2017's In Fatherhood. As the album was being released, Beleaf announced that it would be his last, declaring the time he spent recording and performing would be better spent at home with his family. ~ Mark Deming
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