A 14-year-old girl left America’s Got Talent’s judges stunned after she delivered an incredibly powerful rap song she wrote in tribute to her father, himself a rapper who died before she was born.
Flau’jae is the daughter of Camoflauge, a rapper who was shot and killed aged 21 outside his recording studio in Savannah, Georgia, back in 2003. Flau’jae wasn’t born yet at the time.
Over the years, the teenager has found her own passion for rap, and has been coached by some of her father’s friends. She now wants to fulfill the dream he didn’t get to live out by embracing a career in rap herself.
Talent: Flau’jae, a 14-year-old rapper, left America’s Got Talent ‘s judges stunned after she delivered an incredibly powerful rap song she wrote in tribute to her father
Family: Her father is the late rapper Camoflauge (pictured with Flau-jae’s older brother as a baby), who was shot and killed aged 21 in 2003
Legacy: Over the years, the teen has found her own passion for rap, and has been coached by some of her father’s friends. She now wants to fulfill the dream he didn’t get to live out
‘Before I was born, my father, he was a rapper. He died before I was born so he couldn’t fulfill his dream. So that’s what I’m here to do,’ Flau’jae told the judges in a preview of Tuesday’s episode, which will mark the premiere of the show’s 13th season.
When Simon Cowell asked if she had written the song herself, the teen replied: ‘Yes I wrote it. I was scared, I was like, “I don’t know if I should put this out, because I don’t know if they’re ready yet.”‘
But Simon assured her that if she’s passionate about the song, it’s ‘exactly’ what she should be performing, and Flau’jae launched into her stunning performance.
Delivering her lyrics with a powerful mix of strength and emotion, she opened her rap song with the words: ‘If you would have put that gun down, then he would have been here right now.’
‘Do you know what it’s like to not have a father? No one to talk to when you get mad at your mama?’ she continued.
‘I know you ain’t gonna pick up the phone, I still call you. The reason that it hurts so bad—I never saw you.’
Flau’jae has been rapping since the age of nine, with the help of some of her father’s friends as well as her mother, Kia Jones.
Career: Camoflauge, whose real name was Jason Johnson, released four albums over the span of three years. He was fatally shot outside of his recording studio while walking his son
Performer: Delivering her lyrics with a mix of strength and emotion, she opened her rap song with the words: ‘If you would have put that gun down, then he would have been here right now’
Won over: By the end of Flau’jae’s performance, judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Mel B, all looked deeply moved by the song and impressed by her performance
‘I’m thinking she’s really little, but I ended up saying OK,’ Kia told the Savannah Morning News last year. ‘People started calling. I just had to figure out a fee. It was a blessing she had this hidden talent. Now we are focusing on her career.’
Last year, Flau’jae was featured as part of a group of five aspiring rappers on Lifetime’s The Rap Game, which follows young hip hop artists trying to jump-start their careers.
Her father Camoflauge, whose real name was Jason Johnson, released four albums over the span of three years and had a contract with Universal Records, which was dropped after his arrest for possession of crack cocaine, The Independent wrote in an obituary.
In 2000, Camoflauge was charged with murder as part a case related to the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy, Kenneth Capers. A grand jury did not indict him, and the rapper was released.
During the year before his death, Camoflauge was shot a previous time and suffered minor injuries.
Although he was arrested several times on drug possession charges, Camoflauge, who held Tupac as his hero, was considered a role model in his community, and was sometimes invited to host pep rallies at high schools in his native Savannah, Billboard reported at the time of his death.
‘He watched out for the community, not just himself,’ a fan told the website after the rapper passed away. ‘He didn’t kick us to the curb. He was trying to get Savannah on the map.’
Practice: Flau’jae has been rapping since the age of nine, with the help of some of her father’s friends as well as her mother, Kia Jones
Words: Asked if she had written the song herself, Flau’jae said: ‘Yes I wrote it. I was scared, I was like, “I don’t know if I should put this out, because I don’t know if they’re ready yet”‘
Choices: Simon assured the teenager that if she’s passionate about the song, it’s ‘exactly’ what she should be performing
Moved: Flau’jae’s mother, Kia Jones, looked emotional as she watched her daughter perform, along with Tyra Banks
Savannah has a long history of violent crime, and last year placed 13th in a ranking of the 30 US cities with the highest murder rates, based on FBI data published by the Rapid City Journal.
Despite an increase in violent crime since the summer of 2015, the city saw a drop in homicides and violent crime over the course of last year. Authorities investigated 35 homicides in 2017, fewer than the 50 cases that surfaced in 2016, while violent crime decreased by 7.3 per cent, the Savannah Morning News noted.
No one has ever been charged in Camoflauge’s death. Some believed he was shot and killed as part of a series of local homicides that left five dead in 2003, while some locals speculated that the rapper was killed in retaliation for the death of Kenneth, in which Camoflauge was charged but not indicted, XXL previously wrote.
Before Flau’jae delivered her powerful plea against gun violence in front of America’s Got Talent’s judges, her great-grandmother, Bessie Green, told WTOC: ‘It’s time to leave the guns and violence alone. Do something positive with your life.’
Speaking shortly after Camoflauge’s death, she added: ‘Don’t revenge, don’t go out there saying you are revenging, saying you are doing something to revenge for my grandson. He wouldn’t want violence.’
By the end of Flau’jae’s performance, judges Simon, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Mel B, all looked deeply moved by the song and impressed by the teenager’s performance.
Howie, Heidi, and Mel all got up to give her a standing ovation, while Simon mouthed: ‘Wow.’
While Flau’jae’s fate on the show has not been revealed in the preview clip, all four judges looked won over by her talent, suggesting the young rapper is likely looking at a positive outcome for Tuesday night’s episode.