BIO Jamaal ‘AFIZHU’ Wells may rep the Poconos, or in his words ‘570 UT OH,’ but his life has been far from a vacation. After losing three of his best friends to gun violence before hitting puberty, AFIZHU learned early on to pour his anguish into poetry. Growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey, he remembers watching his mother sing in the choir and his grandfather lead a gospel group ‘The Rugged Cross Singers.’ Though those influences were strong, the call of the streets was too loud for him to avoid. By the age of 18, he was committing everything from petty theft to assault and eventually got slapped with multiple DUIs, which resulted in a five-year jail sentence. With the support of his mother, AFIZHU was able to forgo the five-year bid by enrolling into a 15-month Christian based program called Teen Challenge that taught him about spirituality and forgiveness. ‘I didn’t have any clue or direction prior to this program…I discovered was a void that needed to be filled and a big part of my inspiration was finding God,’ AFIZHU remembers. In a twist of fate, he was also chosen to be a part of a gospel rap group ‘Teen Challenge Disciples,’ where he wrote rhymes, sharing his testimony, and performed in front of hundreds of people every month. It was during this time within the program that he not only discovered faith but re-discovered his love for poetry and lyrics. Within the last three years, AFIZHU has been focused on putting the Poconos on the map. He has performed as an opening act for the Stop the Violence tour and has opened for national acts like Young MA, Vado, and Uncle Murda. And with tracks like ‘570,’ AFIZHU lets fans know that he’s here to stay. Currently, AFIZHU is readying his untitled EP that features the lead single ‘Too Extra.’ Defining his style as ‘commercially street,’ AFIZHU’s flow is a perfect blend of the streets mixed with the mainstream appeal that’ll grab the attention of hip hop fans across the country.