Rapper hopes to educate youth with anti-suicide message

Video production by ‘Mentality’ Huckins involves his familyand friends

Elijah “Mentality” Huckins lives with his wife Sheri, and daughters Kayla, 12, and Christine, 3, in Vancouver. Huckins, a former Washougal resident, recorded his CD “Risk It All” at Good Job Studio, in Portland. He hopes his single “Leaf on a Limb” will inspire youth and their parents to talk about the tragic reality of suicide. Several friends and family members participated in the making of the video.

A former Washougal resident is hoping to make a difference, particularly in the lives of youth.

Elijah “Mentality” Huckins recently released a suicide prevention and awareness music video “Leaf on a Limb.” It is among the songs on his CD “Risk It All.”

In addition to hoping to reach as many youth as possible, Huckins thinks the video could be a great tool for parents.

“Parents could use it to communicate with their children about this tragic reality,” he said. “This video shows what is left behind and most importantly that there is help and hope. These are not just actors but people who have really lost someone to suicide.”

Huckins, 32, wrote “Leaf on a Limb” after a friend committed suicide.

“I wanted to make it into a video, because I felt a video would relay the message better,” he said. “I thought it would be good for people to be able to see the effects. I made sure to use people in my video that have lost someone, so that it was more realistic to the viewer.”

The video included Huckins’ friend’s brother as well as his friend’s car.

“I wanted this to be a very accessible resource and a visual aide that kids would actually pay attention to,” he said.

Middle school students at Living Hope Church, in Vancouver, recently viewed the video, and Huckins was a guest speaker.

His CD features songs such as “Wake Up,” “Family Tree” and “Walk On.” Proceeds from the sale of the CD go to Living Hope Church projects. Additional information can be found at www.cdbaby.com/cd/mentality2.

Huckins recorded the CD at Good Job Studio in Portland. The studio is owned and operated by jazz singer/musician Johnny Martin, who appears in the video and sings on the chorus of “Leaf on a Limb.”

The CD cover photo features Huckins wearing a baseball hat with the initials “BFC,” which stands for “Bikers For Christ.” Members of the motorcycle ministry’s local chapter “Not of This World” visit hospitals and participate in events that benefit the Salvation Army and Options 360 pregnancy clinics in Vancouver and Battle Ground.

Huckins said he has had the stage name of “Mentality” for 12 years.

“My cousin gave me the name when I first started rapping, because I always spoke what was on my mind,” he said. “Whatever my mentality was got projected in my music.”

To view the “Leaf on a Limb” video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yAmVXokV24.

The video ends with individuals holding signs with words of encouragement, such as “We do care,” “There is hope” and “Talk to someone.” It concludes with the toll-free phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273-TALK, as well as its website www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.