According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, over 40,000 Americans commit suicide each year. An American dies by suicide every 12.95 minutes. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Suicide is the 5th leading cause of death for ages 45-59.
19 year-old Louisville rapper – Stefon Fletcher (Fonn the General) – was confronted with the harsh reality of suicide when his pregnant girlfriend took her life in 2014. He and his girlfriend were a young couple that were seemingly eager about expecting the birth of their first child when tragedy struck.
“LAST JANUARY SHE WAS PREGNANT WITH MY DAUGHTER AND SHE SAID THAT SHE GOT OVERWHELMED AND ULTIMATELY TOOK HER LIFE… SHE WAS 18… SHE CALLED ME WHILE SHE WAS DOING IT… SHE HUNG HERSELF… SHE CALLED ME AND THEN DROPPED HER PHONE… SHE WAS ON LIFE SUPPORT FOR SEVEN DAYS… SHE HAD THE BABY BUT THE BABY LIVED FOR A MONTH AND THEN DIED.” – FONN THE GENERAL
The entire ordeal was extremely difficult for both families to overcome – so being a musician – Fonn’s outlet for pain came in the form of music. The then 18 year-old, immediately went into the recording studio with his brother – Travon- and penned a song entitled – Ridah – in dedication to his lost love and child. The sincerity and raw emotion of the song was a key factor in helping both families heal faster.
In honor of Fonn’s lost girlfriend – the brothers sponsor an annual event each September called ‘Jass World’ to raise money for “Suicide Awareness” organizations. They believe that depression among young people – which can possibly lead to suicide – is an overlooked issue in popular culture today. The first event was held in September of 2014, at Vissing Park in Jeffersonville, IN – which is his girlfriend’s hometown.
“I STARTED THIS CAMPAIGN, IT’S CALLED ‘JASS WORLD’… ONCE A YEAR WE DO A FUNDRAISER AND WE DONATE ALL THE FUNDS TO SUICIDE AWARENESS GROUPS… WE’LL GET TOGETHER ONCE A YEAR AND HOLD A BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AND ALL THE MONEY WE MAKE OFF THE TOURNAMENT, WE DONATE IT TO SUICIDE AWARENESS GROUPS.” – FONN THE GENERAL
Fonn the General and his 23 year-old brother Travon Fletcher are members of the rap group T.T.U. (Too Turnt Up) as well as co-owners of a record label of the same name. The brothers have rapped individually since 2009, but officially became a group in 2012.
Travon’s older cousins were local rappers and he grew up watching them write and record songs. Influenced by the craft – as a teen – he began writing lyrics in his personal notepads but only as a hobby. At the time he was unaware of his natural ability to write meaningful music but that all changed once his cousins discovered his notepad.
“I HAD A BOOK FULL OF NOTHING BUT RAPS I WOULD WRITE… THEY FOUND MY BOOK ONE DAY WHILE I WAS AT SCHOOL AND WHEN I CAME HOME THEY ASKED ME TO GET IN THE STUDIO WITH THEM.” – TRAVON
Over the past few years their music careers have been rapidly escalating. The brothers have collaborated with each other on group projects as well as producing solo efforts. The duo have performed shows in Nashville Tn, Chicago, Elkhart & South Bend In, Radcliff, Ky as well as their hometown of Louisville.
Recently the group remixed a song by Rowdy Rebel ft Bobby Shmurda called Computers. The original version with Bobby Shmurda became a YouTube sensation and spawned remixes by Fetty Wap, Safaree, Montana of 300, The Migos and many other nationally recognized rappers. In the spirit of competition T.T.U. recorded their version of the song which quickly rose to over 11,000 YouTube views in the first few weeks and was included on HipWiki’s list of the best remixes of that song.
THE COMPUTERS REMIX… “IT’S ORIGINALLY BOBBY SHMURDA’S SONG AND I JUST KEPT SEEING PEOPLE REMAKING IT AND I FELT LIKE I COULD DO THAT AND BODY THAT BEAT… MY HOMEBOY, YATES, ASKED ME IF HE COULD HOP ON THE TRACK, SO WE COLLABED AND WE DROPPED THE VIDEO… IT’S CURRENTLY AT 11,000 VIEWS AND THE NUMBERS GO UP EVERY DAY.” – FONN THE GENERAL
T.T.U. released their first mixtape in June 2014. Fonn the General followed up with the release of Fonn vs. Everybody in May 2015. Future projects include I am Travon – coming in November 2015 – and Fonn vs. Everybody 2 which currently doesn’t have an official release date.
T.T.U. can be reached for bookings and CD purchasing by contacting Too Turnt Up Entertainment at 502-994-6478, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Fonn the General and Travon Fletcher on Facebook as well as @TooTurntUpEnt365 on Instagram and @TurnUp365 on Twitter.
Below is T.T.U.’s video of Ridah – Dedicated to the memory of Fonn’s lost girlfriend.