Philanthropist, Owner of Two Non-Profit Organizations, and Musician Overcoming the Odds After a Rough Experience in the Foster Care System
Philip Hodge does not have your average success story. While many musicians have incredible odds stacked against them, his story went above and beyond just rising out of poverty. After listening to an interview conducted by Bridget Smith of Kens 5, the CBS news station in San Antonio, I learned about his situations he encountered and how he rose above them were very unique. At the age of nine, Philip and his three sisters were taken away from their mother by child protective services when he was only nine years old. His mother was a drug dealer in San Antonio, and lived in a rough section of the city. One day, his mother was attacked by a man who kicked down the front door, and he dangled Philip over a balcony. His father, whom Philip did not know very well passed away that same year.
After that period, Philip was separated from his sisters, and he was shuffled between a total on ten foster homes throughout his teenage years. During that time period, Philip began channeling his pain and hardships into rap music. He would be seen as a menace to society, while he just crying out for help. Emotionally, it was a lot to handle for a teenage boy. The case workers had labeled him a "thug", just because he acted up once in a while and he was a rapper. He was put on different kinds of medications, because the case workers thought pills would be the answer to his behavioral issues. After some life changing advice from a staff member, Philip was encouraged to balance his lifestyle and control his anger. She encouraged him to use music as an outlet. He was told to use it as therapy and to portray his past in a positive light. Philip adopted the name "Thuggizzle". The "Thug" part of his name was derived from being called a "thug" by the case workers and "Izzle" meant "Is Him". He did not pursue drug dealing and violence as a means to earn a living while he began recording music as the case workers thought he would. He instead joined the Job Corps and earned his diploma.
The next step Philip took was attending medical school and then becoming a certified medical assistant. Instead of leading the life many people thought he would live, he instead utilized the fact he is a hip-hop artist to reach out to young people who could relate to your typical adult. He created two non-profit organizations. He created Thuggizzle Cares, which is a program that has seen success in San Antonio and Atlanta in breast cancer awareness. He also created Save Our Children, which reaches out to foster children currently in the system and adults who had been in the system in the past. He wants to help make their situations easier so they do not have to go through what he went through. He recognizes the over 518,000 children in the United States who are in foster care are among the highest at-risk children in society.
Musically speaking, he compares his childhood reality to 50 Cent's story. As an artist now, he signed a distribution deal and his current single "Get Cha Hustle Up" is being played on several major radio stations throughout the United States. He is also a father now as well, and recognizes the importance of being a positive role model to a child.