Deaf Rapper Sean Forbes Makes Himself Joyfully Heard on the Hip-Hop Scene

Sean Forbes is a ground-breaking, one-of-a-kind talent. But the stories written about him usually start out with a bold statement – “Deaf performer defies his handicap!” – or an incredulous question – “He can’t hear music, but he can make it?!?” In response, Forbes would like you to know a few things. Yes, he is deaf (about 90%, due to spinal meningitis when he was an infant), but that certainly hasn’t held him back or “handicapped” him in any way. Second of all, he’s not just a “rapper”. He’s also a prolific drummer, songwriter and communicator.


“I didn’t want to create an album you could just listen to, but one you could watch.” Sean Forbes


“I’m influenced by so many different kinds of music,” Forbes says, “that it feels weird for me to be categorized as a rapper. Yes, a lot of what I do is ‘rapping’ vocally, but the music behind it isn’t always typical of rap or hip-hop.” While it’s true that profoundly deaf fans like Forbes can’t hear everything on every track – the exact pronunciation of words, subtle overdubs and faint instrumentation – with the help of hearing aids, they can hear the rhythm, the beat, the cadence of the lyrics, and in some cases, the melody.

Forbes is currently performing in various venues across the U.S. To learn more about Sean and his tour dates, visit his website by clicking here.

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