15 Apr 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Special to the Tri-State Defender
Renardo Baker is a young entrepreneur who is using his talents to uplift the youth in the Memphis community. The Youth Minister at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, he also is the founder of the non-profit organization C.U.T., owner of Malone Lawn Services, and the president/owner of Saint Nardo Music company.
|Simply put, the goal of Saint Nardo’s music is to grab people’s heart and turn them around to positivity. (Courtesy photo)|
“In the streets my name was Nardo, so when I became closer to God, that’s when my name changed, it was like being born again.
Saint Nardo’s most recent performance was at the SEA Rip The Runway Fashion Show last month. However, you can find him in the sanctuary of MBCC every Sunday.
These days, inspiration for Saint Nardo comes from his past lifestyle, looking into the eyes of his cousin and looking into the eyes of other guys that he used to be with in the streets, and who are still in the street.
“I just try to motivate them to choose a better way. Even though they’re in the streets, I can show them how to start their own business, where one day they can just walk away from the streets,” he said.
“As far as young people in the streets that might can’t find a job or don’t have anyone to talk to, I can provide a job, I can talk to them, I can give them the tools. I have avenues in place that you can walk down to elevate. The inspiration (for my music) comes from seeing the people’s pain.”
Simply put, the goal of Saint Nardo’s music is to grab people’s heart and turn them around to positivity.
“Recently I’ve been studying Curtis Mayfield and Bob Marley. Bob Marley says in one song “Love is My Religion.” Love is inspirational, I just want to plant seeds of love. It’s my duty and my privilege to inspire a young person; through want I’ve been through and then by the end of the day when I’ve reached them and have their full attention and have set the plate up, then I can serve them Jesus.”
Sounds like a good strategy.
Now, Saint Nardo is working on a project called “Who am I?” From his point, he sees a lot of our young people going through an identity crisis. Through the project he wants to motivate the youth to be able to say – and know – who they are.
One project that Saint Nardo has been continuously working on for the past few years is his non-profit organization C.U.T. (Communities Under Transformation), which is based in historic Orange Mound. Last summer, C.U.T, conducted a back-to-school backpack Drive that was hosted by the Melrose Alumni Association and held at Lewis-Davis Park. At the free event 500 backpacks were given away to the children in the community, as well as dental screening, haircuts, T-shirts, and school supplies.
C.U.T also conducts community block parties, where food and other things are given away, with Saint Nardo making a performance and giving a speech. He envisions broadening the reach of C.U.T to include educational initiatives such as starting an after school program and giving motivational speeches and performances to high schools throughout the country.
Jesus, he said, did not stay in the church, instead choosing to be in the streets helping the common people through his teachings and performing of miracles.
“I haven’t fed 5,000 hungry people yet but....”
I quickly interrupted to add, “You’ve fed 500 though, and you’re doing a good job.”
For those who would like to contribute to C.U.T., call 901-315-3376. You can make a donation and or volunteer your time. Another backpack drive will be held this summer and all the help will be deeply appreciated by the community.
(Check out music and upcoming performance information by Saint Nardo at facebook.com, twitter.com, memphisrap.com, and youtube.com.)
(Jason D. Burt is a special correspondent with “‘N’Style TV Show” (Tuesdays at 6 p.m.) and “City Beats TV Show)” (Wednesdays at midnight) – both on Comcast Cable Channel 17.)