Rapper “Streetz” finds Life in Music



By Trena Allen

Jonathan “Streetz” Paya found salvation through rapping while going to school.

“I couldn’t stay out of trouble,” Paya said. “I didn’t find a reason or purpose for living until I found myself at College of Southern Nevada. I feel like Hip-Hop and CSN chose me, opposed to me choosing them. Hip-Hop allows me a therapeutic outlet for the struggles, strife and troubles of life, and CSN gave me a place to be myself and help others at the same time. I’d be dead or in jail without either of them.”

Paya started rapping in 2002 and the encouragement he received fueled his passion.

“I started off writing poetry and after a few of my friends noticed I had a mind for rhyme they pushed me to start rapping,” Paya said. “After that ‘Streetz Tha Extremist’ was born.”

“I rap about life experiences and how good I am at rapping,” Paya said. “I don’t rap about most of the materialistic nonsense that we all hear in the mainstream. I just want folks to feel what I’m saying and maybe take something positive or creative from what they’ve heard.”

“I love rapping because it provides me with an outlet to vent my frustrations in life and about society as a whole,” Paya said. “By the grace of God, other people feel and embrace what I have to say.”

Paya began rapping regularly and continued to write poetry. He wanted to expand his education so he enrolled in CSN in 2011 pursuing a degree in communication. As a student he was able to gain an education, connect with others and do what he loves. CSN has boosted his confidence and career and will be beneficial to his future.

In the past Paya joined ASCSN, student government, as a senator. That’s when he began to give back to the community. For the past few years, he helped coordinate March Music Madness Arts and Music Festival to raise money for CSN students.

“I wasn’t the best or most productive member of society and events like March Music Madness allowed me to give back to a community that I regretfully took from as a youngster,” Paya said. “Too often, we let second chances slip through our grip and here was an opportunity to give back.”

“Being a student has been useful to and for my music,” Paya said. “Through CSN, I have been able to network and collaborate with other students across various genres. CSN has been one of my largest platforms outside of an AHAT cipher battle setting.”

Paya continues to rap and is currently working on an extended-play album that has several of his original works. It will be released this summer.

“Unlike the average artist, I don’t do music to make a career out of it,” Paya said. “I do music because I love it and it just so happens that other people enjoy what I have to say.”

He is also working with Bright Legacy Entertainment, an organization that showcases local talent, where he works with different artists, photographers and engineers.

Miguel “Pasi” Pasinoble, singer and songwriters, has known Paya for over 10 years and enjoys working with him. Pasinoble has watched his friend grow in many ways.

“He’s determined to make a difference even if it’s small and he’s been a positive advocate for people losing their way,” Pasinoble said.

Las Vegas disc jockey Kelly J, a friend of Paya’s for over three years, lends her support.

“I’ve seen him at the beat battles just there to show support,” DJ Kelly J said. “I honestly can say he supports all the entertainers, producers and artist. He’s passionate about anything he’s involved in.”

Streetz with DJ Kelly J and other Krayz

Streetz with DJ Kelly J and Krayz

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