Band strives for positivity

Lewis Thurston II is determined to make his vision come true.

Thurston, a senior music industry student from Tallahassee, dreams of positive music being played globally music free of record company demands and negative connotations of race and sexuality that often come with hip-hop.

In 2008, Thurston founded the group Positive Generation so that he could produce what he calls family-oriented, fun and uplifting music. On Tuesday, the group released its CD P.G.Exultant, which Thurston hopes will showcase the rhythms of hip-hop but avoid the obscenity that is frequently used in rap, hip-hop and R&B music.

Its our time to step up to the plate and make our statement known, Thurston said. We are doing positive music, and we are promoting change.

Positive Generation, a group of nine singers, rappers and dancers, is making a name for itself in Tallahassee. The group is exploring the many opportunities it has within the music industry, whether on the microphone or behind the scenes.

When Thurston and a classmate at Florida State University High School started the group, it was called PG-18 and focused primarily on creating beats. In the last four years, the group has grown to nine members between ages 10 and 44, who perform and write songs, such as Snowfall, which is a song about dreams of a white Christmas in Florida.

Each member contributes in the creative process.

Kevina Fullwood, a public relations student from Miami, sings and raps in the group. Fullwood said she never expected to be singing or rapping on stage when she met Thurston, who told her she had a great singing voice when the two worked together on a skit for the Southern Scholarship Foundation more than two years ago.

Fullwood said Positive Generation is a family that uplifts one another and is like a breath of fresh air. When one member of the group is not feeling confident, Fullwood said, the others give support. This dynamic improves the writing and performing of each member. She is also passionate about the groups commitment to create positive music for its audiences and said the music has inspired her and others to live more positively.

We dont curse, Fullwood said. Our content is definitely different, but its still hip-hop with the beats. I havent grasped how much this music can touch people.

Thurston wants to continue to inspire people and avoid the negativity heard in some of todays music.

Thats why were not looking to get signed, Thurston said. Were learning to manage and do the production ourselves.

Positive Generation is in control of the entire musical process, from creating the tracks to printing the CDs, so that the group may eventually establish its own label. The group has a small presence on the Tallahassee music scene, performing at the Homecoming Gospel Concert and the North Florida Fair this year.

Fans such as Porsha Lorick, a political science student from Dothan, Ala., see Positive Generation as a group that could succeed in changing music.

You go downhill only for so long, said Lorick, referring to obscene and negative music. Positive Generation can definitely be the one who changes that.