ONE of the country's youngest rap stars is planning to release a CD after winning €2,000 to buy recording equipment.
Thirteen-year-old Calvin McNamara beat off stiff competition to be crowned champion of the 'Stars in the Hood' rap competition held in Limerick's Moyross housing estate.
The contest was organised by local youth worker Jamie Daly who works closely with the Moyross monks, who opened a friary in the estate in July 2007. Calvin, who performed 'How do you like me now?', lives near the monks in the Delmege Park area of Moyross.
The 13-year-old was one of the youngest contestants and beat off competition from 24 other acts from across Limerick to win the top prize of €2,000.
And yesterday, he began spending his prize money and bought a new laptop and microphone.
"I won the biggest trophy in the north and south side of Limerick and €2,000 to spend on recording equipment. Once I record my CD, I plan to release it in the shops," explained the excited teenager.
"I should have it done in two weeks," he added.
Mr Daly, whose eight-year-old son Daniel also took part in the rap contest, said he was thrilled by the success of the event.
"I was absolutely delighted with how it went. We had 24 acts from across the north side and south side of Limerick city taking part," he said.
According to Brother Shawn Comer, who has been living in the Delmege Park Friary for the past three years, the rap competition was an ideal way of reaching out to young people.
"It's also a way to promote the positive and keep the kids occupied," he explained.
Br Shawn says the key to the monks being able to support such activities in the area is the fact that they live in Moyross.
"In the past six months especially, we have gained the trust of locals. They see us here helping as part of the community," he said.