Artist and rapper Jason Mallas, whose style of music has turned into what people are calling "hick-hop," is set to perform Aug. 10 and 11 at Journeez night club in Elkins.
Mallas said it's rap music, but it's not about money, cars and girls; it's about the everyday struggles of people who live in poverty- and drug-stricken areas of West Virginia and throughout the United States.
A documentary film crew will follow the artist to Elkins to put out a DVD on his journey with life and music. Mallas, whose stage name is "Mini Thin," is set to open for national powerhouse country/rap star Colt Ford on Sept. 21 in Parkersburg.
Mallas grew up in Weirton, and after his high school years at Weir High in Weirton, he got mixed up with drugs and alcohol and was sentenced to a three-year prison term. Upon his release, he chose to go to Davis & Elkins College to get away from his area. After continuing to struggle with drinking, he eventually entered Alcoholics Anonymous and has not had a drink in almost 10 years.
He later began entering rap competitions at the urging of his late friend, Ian Rood.
He has since written a song called "Coal Miners Lullaby," which is about the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster and has become very popular in the region.