OGDEN -- When Mound Fort Junior High School students Ty Ray, Jalene Prieto and Crystal Lopez heard the Ogden Police Department was presenting a rap concert for an assembly at their school, they admit they were less than thrilled.
"I thought it was going to be a bunch of old guys rapping," Prieto said with a laugh.
Instead, they were greeted by James Allen and Kirsten Banks -- also known as Inglewood and Royce, respectively.
The two rappers, both in their 20s, shared their life stories, along with the positive message for the students to stay out of gangs and create goals and a better life for themselves.
And the students said they got the message.
"They sent out a really good message, and brought people who have gone through that, that a lot of our classmates can relate to," Crystal said.
Inglewood and Royce's CD was produced by the Ogden Police Department and the American Dream Foundation.
Police Lt. Scott Conley said he thought of the idea for a rap album with a positive message after hearing local rap music last year that glorified a gang lifestyle and was demeaning to women and defiant to authorities.
Students from three Ogden junior high schools received the "Red Sky" CD at assemblies Thursday.
Conley said after the assembly at Mound Fort that he couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.
"I am very, very happy with the response," he said. "You can see how involved the (students) were in the music, but also how quiet they got when (Inglewood and Royce) were sharing their life stories."
Students clapped, pumped fists, stood up and waved their hands in the air as the rappers performed songs from "Red Sky."
The two rappers took a break from their 11-track CD to share with the students how they overcame obstacles in their lives.
Inglewood, from Inglewood, Calif., came to Utah to play football at Brigham Young University, went to play for the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL and came back to the Salt Lake City area when his playing career ended.
Royce spoke of his gang involvement when he lived in Texas, detailing how he had stolen, gotten into fights, was stabbed twice and eventually changed his life after he was shot in the shoulder.
Now, the two are debuting their music with clean, positive lyrics that the students can relate to.
"I feel their pain," Royce said. "I've been there."
Both said they use music as a positive outlet and hope they can share their anti-gang message through the lyrics they weave on "Red Sky."
"Kids are influenced by music," Inglewood said. "Music is key. I've seen how it has helped me."
Fifteen-year-old Diego Navarro, a student at Mound Fort, joined Inglewood and Royce on stage to perform a rap he wrote about staying in school and setting goals.
"Go to school, get knowledge, get into college and have goals," Navarro said about the message of his rap. "Basically not to be a loser."
He said he hasn't always been speaking such a positive message. He, too, got into trouble and eventually ended up in the court-ordered CROSS program, which connects young people with resources to help them get out of a gang lifestyle and out of trouble.
He has been in the CROSS program for a month and has a goal now -- to be a successful rapper.
"I want to be up there (on stage) with the other ones," he said. "I'm really trying."