I always knew my brother was different. He was always talking faster than I could remember. That was because at the age of 6, I didn’t understand what rapping was exactly.

By the time I was 12, my brother Carlos Solis performed at a cafe called Mojos to help donate money for his friend’s baby daughter’s surgery. I remember the room — it was dark and almost kind of smoky. I just went with it and enjoyed being out of the house and in a completely different type of environment.

My brother wasn’t the only one who was on stage. There were other acts as well, the more the merrier to help make more money for the child’s surgery.

Carlos, who is 10 years older than I am, has always stuck to his passion for writing down rhymes. Whether he was writing things on napkins or an actual paper, there would always be papers from him littered around the house. I’d come across multiple pieces and just peek at them. Sometimes I didn’t understand them and sometimes I did.

The point is, my brother was always working hard. He’d always randomly try and have a contest with me to see if I could come up with a sentence that rhymed. I’d get stuck saying something like, “The cat was fat,” and he would say something like, “Your hair is a joke, I think I’m going to choke.” I never really was the one to brag about winning the contest with him, but it was all right because I had fun with it anyway!

Down the road, having those little interactions with my brother helped me become a better poet. I’d find myself writing random poems. Today, I can say I’ve definitely improved. In English class, coming up with a cinquain poem was no problem to me, but to my friends, it was a struggle. It never occurred to me that I was actually pretty good at writing poetry. I guess I have my brother to thank for that.

My brother and I are similar in some ways, even though he is 27 and I’m not quite 17. We both work hard to get what we want. I guess you could say that was the way we were raised. It’s crazy to think that parents have such a big influence on a child’s life. They are the ones that mold the child into who they are. It’s what makes each individual different. They then take that knowledge from their parents and become who they are.

To this day, my brother — whose rapper name, if that’s what you want to call it, is Reddbull — is still rapping. What started as a hobby became a business as he got older, performing at weddings and birthday parties. He is constantly working through the night on a song. Sometimes it can be a bother to hear thumping music blasting from his room (which happens to be in the same hallway as mine) but I deal with it.

Why? Because it’s his dream. It’s what can keep a person going every day. It’s perfectly clear to see that.

As an older brother, he’s taught me to always stand up for yourself and to fight for what you believe in. And most importantly, to never give up on your dream. That’s what life is all about.

Ceneca Solis is a junior at Clearfield High School. She enjoys art and spending time with her family and friends. Contact her 16csolis@davis.k12.ut.us.

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