Growing up in Savannah, Ka'von Grace listened to popular rap music on the radio, but longed for a more positive message.
"If you really listen to what they're saying, you realize a lot of it is stupid," he said.
So when Grace, or "Amazin' Grace" as he's known on stage, released his debut album "My Journey," this September, the 24-year-old wanted to show another side of rap music.
"You don't have to live a life of drinking and smoking and having sex with this girl and that girl," Grace said. "I didn't want to lead young people down the wrong path. If I was going to do music, it was going to be music for God."
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Grace taught himself how to make music, drawing inspiration from other gospel rappers, such as Flame, LaCrae and KJ-52.
"You listen to people and build off of it," Grace said. "I didn't really have anybody to sit down and tell me, 'This is how you do it.' "
Grace has been a Christian his whole life, and his lyrics tell of God's love and mercy in an imperfect life.
In "Hellbound," he reminds his listeners:
"This world is full of obstacles, twist and turns
You got to stay focused on him until the king return
I know you gonna trip cuz of the bumps in the road
I know the devil busy sometime you may want to explode
So kneel down and put your hands together
Repent and give your life away to join him forever."
In the 10th grade, Grace and two friends started the gospel rap group "Good Fellas." They made a CD and performed at churches and venues around Savannah, with a few trips to Florida as well.
But the group disbanded the next year and Grace took a break from music until 2010, when he graduated from high school.
"I stayed there a little longer than I should have," Grace said. "Once I graduated, I started getting things back in order and started writing music again."
Like anyone trying to make it in the music industry, he knows he must be prepared for a long and uncertain road.
"You have to ask yourself, 'Is this going to be worth it?'" he said. "It's going to take a lot of time, and there's going to be a lot of frustrations. Some days you got it, and some days you don't."
Grace is now an assistant manager at a Savannah Kroger and hopes to begin touring in January. Last October he married his high school sweetheart and is involved with the Seed Church, where he teaches Sunday school and works with the youth group.
Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.