A trip to New York was the experience of a lifetime for a Sumter man after it appeared on a Times Square billboard.
"It was my first trip to New York," recalls Jair Golden. – I've never been to New York.
He will never forget Gold's first visit to the Big Apple. He was there for a meeting to work on his music and was about to appear on the biggest billboard when he heard one of his songs, Ain't Too Many Solid.
“We look at all the little ones. He says 'He' and then boom, I see my bus stop, Mira, my mother, my aunt, my window. I just see everything I know, everything. It's from my house.” Golden explained. "My past. I know him and it's been very good for me. Very good. I can't even explain it to you."
It wasn't easy to get here. Golden has been interested in rap since she was seven and constantly strives to get better. Later, in 2016, he was involved in a motorcycle accident.
"It was very new and very scary," Golden recalls. "I've never been so close to death."
He stopped the music while he learned to walk again. Then he got in trouble with the law and got five years probation. During this time, Golden says, he turned to music and found community support for rapping along the way.
"I just got off five years of probation and my parole officer supports that. I'm proud of that because when I see Jair on a billboard, I see PO," says Golden. “I see the parole officer, I see the judge. I see my old bosses. I see my old boss, I see all the people who told me it was going to be good. I feel like I've been there, I feel like I have to go to him."
He says it's the testimonies of people back home that he uses to inspire others in Sumter.
Her producer and brother Lakim says the recognition is a way to show off her hometown.
"Hopefully this gives the high altitude community an opportunity to have channels to help us get the team home because that's all we really want to do," Lakim shares. "It took a whole village to grow up and give us the sanity to say we're going to do more with this music, you know, it's never been done here."
"It's something everyone needs to see, hey, even if you don't have it or you don't have it, it can still happen to you," Golden said. "It can always be for you and yours."