Cutright and Ike Hill provide engaging and interactive assemblies and workshops, and schools nationwide are amazed at how well the messages connects with all students no matter their age or background. They've had the privilege of reaching over 700 schools (K-12) throughout the United States for the past 3 school years, catapulting the hopes and dreams of over 300k students nationwide.
The pair has shared the stage with Grammy, Dove and Stellar Award-winning artists such as Lecrae, Mali Music, KB, Derek Minor, and Social Club Misfits while still impacting their local communities throughout North and South Carolina, serving alongside various public events, neighborhood outreaches and prison centers.
Comic books. Choir Practice. Hip Hop. These are a few of the ingredients that helped shape Richard Cutright into the man he is today, creating a unique perspective on life and the world around him.
The oldest of three siblings, Cutright spent the first few years of his life growing up in one of the meccas of Hip Hop: Queens, New York. His father was Assistant Pastor at a local church in the city, while his mother served as the lead musician for the church. While singing various choirs, he began to appreciate the power of unity and developed a love for creating and performing music. Those years would help fan his creative spark but one chance encounter would soon stoke a forest fire in his imagination.
He would be introduced to the world of comic books while visiting his grandparents one summer, changing his world forever. His love for comics fueled his hunger for reading and his love for the literary arts. He also discovered his passion for art through drawing and composing short stories, which helped him find his voice through creative expression. Cutright and his family would relocate to North Carolina a few years later.
Although Richard was very outgoing as a youth, he struggled with confidence due to a speech impediment, which caused him to be ridiculed by friends, family and peers for most of his life. Unbeknownst to him, his world would soon be changed once again on the day he tried to come up with his first rap. It was on that day that a switch flicked on in his mind and unlocked a talent he didn’t even know he had. His speech impediment seemingly disappeared that day, allowing the young teen to grow a more positive demeanor.
His father would pass away in the following years, shaking the foundation of his young life. He vowed to follow in his fathers footsteps, promising to bring positive change to those around him and become a voice for the voiceless. It was this promise that has lead Cutright to use his gifts and talents to benefit others.
Cutright has since received several awards for his artwork and music production, with several of his songs being used for NASCAR. He was the winner BET’s Showtime at the Apollo Tour and is co founder of the JustHis League, serving as the groups music director for the past decade. Yet with all that he has accomplished, he is most fulfilled when planting seeds of hope into the next generation.
Although he has survived a life full of hardship and heartbreak, Cutright still believes in the power of positivity and in the potential of others. He desires to see the world changed for the better and encourages others to rise above the adversity that surrounds us all.
“Stay faithful.” -Cutright
Growing up in a military home with a Korean mother and American father, it gave Ike an appreciation for different cultures and an admiration for the differences that make our world unique.
Being a father of 4 boys, Ike has made it his mission to bring out the best in his children, as well as every person he comes in contact with. He grew up playing a variety of sports and musical instruments, and that gave him the confidence and realization that anything was possible as long as he learned as much as he could and worked hard at applying the knowledge he acquired. He learned how to be the best he could be and how to turn his failures and mistakes into valuable lessons that would set him up for future success.
With his father being a musician, Ike developed a love for music at an early age. His musical skills developed starting in Middle School, playing a variety of instruments in which he received various county, district and state awards throughout his school years. He began producing music with his friends and it evolved once he realized how much his music could influence others. Late in Ike's college years, he started getting involved with various youth programs and outreaches throughout Charlotte, NC and looked for ways that he could use his musical talents to make an impact with the youth he was serving. He started to DJ at various functions and began making music that they could enjoy, and bring a positive message. That passion has continued to this day and his desire is to see others use their gifts and talents to change the world.
Even though Ike found success and happiness in various areas of his life, not everything he experienced was positive. There were moments in his childhood where he was faced with hate, racism and abuse, and often thought about suicide. At a young age, his mother would find letters where he would detail wanting to take his own life. As he grew older, he looked towards drugs and various negative outlets as a way to escape and it ultimately led him down a path he was never meant to follow. Seeing how destructive his actions were towards himself and others he was close to, he made a decision to live the life he was meant to have, cut out all the negativity and focused on the positive things around him.
Ike believes everyone is here for a purpose and that their passion can take them places they would never imagine. It's his personal mission to encourage everyone to focus on being themselves and following their dreams.
"Dream big!"- Ike Hill