Image Credits: Media Dis & Dat

I recently discovered deaf rapper, Sean Forbes after being referred to him by my older sister. After hearing about 10 seconds of his song “I’m Deaf“, I immediately fell in love. I wrote a long letter and in my letter I explain just what makes me love Sean and his music so much. I’d really love to hear back from Sean as he is such a huge inspiration to  me and I’d love to hear more of his story. You can view my letter to Sean Forbes below:



Dear Sean:

I have recently discovered your music after being referred to you by my older sister, Noel. Noel saw a story done about you on Fox News and immediately informed my dad about you, telling him that he had to tell me to give you a listen. My sister was interested in your music because she’s a huge fan of Eminem. Anyone that Eminem endorses, she endorses. When she heard that you were being signed by a label that helped Eminem get his record deal she knew that you must be great. More than being a fan of your music, my sister was immediately hooked on your story and inspired by the way you overcame your obstacles with being deaf to become an accomplished rapper.

Even though I am not a rapper or any form of a musical artist, I can relate to your story well. I am legally deaf (I have a 90+ dB hearing loss) but consider myself a member of the hard of hearing community rather than the deaf community because I have never learned sign language and I operate with the hearing world. I am inspired and in awe of you for going to college, getting your engineering degree, and becoming a famous musician even when everyone seemed to turn their backs on you and not believe in your ability to succeed.

Just like you’ve known from a young age you wanted to be a musician, a career that many people don’t think the deaf are capable of having, I knew from a young age what I wanted to do, and it too was in a field that many people don’t think the deaf/hard of hearing are capable of succeeding in; I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer.

Many people have the misconceptions that those who suffer from hearing loss will never be able to read, speak, write, or hear music. You’ve defeated the odds with your music. I don’t make music, but I am in love with it. I’m currently listening to some Pink Floyd and I will be ordering your album and listening to it on repeat in the very near future.

I’ve defeated the odds in my own ways, too. I never listened to anyone that told me I was “deaf and dumb” or incapable of success. When I was younger I would read everything in sight, something that I still do to this day. I took an interest in writing from an early age and published my first poem when I was just 10 years old. I have recently graduated from Rowan University with two bachelor’s degrees, one in Writing Arts and another in English along with a concentration in Creative Writing. I also graduated as a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Communications honor society. I have previous work experience in the fields of writing, social media, and editing. I am looking to expand those skills into a full time position now. I never listened to anyone that told me I couldn’t succeed as a writer due to my hearing. You know how you’re extremely passionate about music and use it as a way to express yourself? That’s me and my writing. Words are a very important way for me to communicate. I can’t always hear verbal communication, but I can always read words and write my own.

Sean, you’re very inspiring to me and I’m so glad that you’ve followed your dreams and are really making it big now as a musician. You’ve had all of the odds against you, but you’ve beaten them all. I can’t begin to tell you how refreshing it is to see a deaf musician redefining music and showing people that yes the deaf community listens to and loves music, too! I love your song “I’m deaf” for helping to bring awareness to the deaf community and I also love your song “Def Deaf Girls” for the way you show appreciation and respect to deaf girls. The deaf community is often times ostracized from the rest of society and made out to be a weird little community of people. You’re here to show the world that those views are wrong. It’s like that quote from Frederick Schreibert, “The deaf can do anything the hearing can do except hear.” I think you and I are both living proof of that.


Image Credits: YouTube

I was sad to see on your website that you don’t have an upcoming tour dates for the Philadelphia area. I would really love to see you perform and/or hear you speak in the future. I’d really love to have the opportunity to meet you as well. I am not currently in school, but I’ve considered trying to talk to some people at Rowan University (my alma mater) to see if they could try to book you for an appearance. If I ask maybe they’d let me attend since I’m alumni and all. I was also wondering, if it’s not too much, could I please receive an autographed photo or something? Anything you had would be amazing. I’d love to continue to share your story with others. It truly is inspiring.

Thank you so much for your time and more importantly, thank you for giving a voice (a very beautiful one at that!) to the deaf and hard of hearing community. I can’t wait to purchase your album and listen to it until I completely wear it out and I look forward to one day meeting you in the future and learning more about your story.


Kimberly Erskine