NovaCain, a hip-hop artist and blind activist from Evansville, Indiana, wants the world to know that being diagnosed with a disability shouldn’t signal your demise. Going blind at age 17, after a medication destroyed the nerves controlling his vision, altered the course he had planned for his life, but it also led him toward a new craft and a renewed sense of purpose.
“I was so frustrated and angry because I had 20/20 vision, and all of a sudden I had problems, but the doctors kept trying to tell me it would not cause blindness,” he said. “I had to suck it up, and I didn’t really feel down; something just told me there was going to be another lane I would take. I had fear of rejection and how people were going to treat me, but I told myself I’d have to deal with this.”
NovaCain didn’t always consider himself a “music person.” As a teenager, he was more concerned with the football field and basketball court. Today, NovaCain has earned himself a following on social media, and his music has been streamed more than 100,000 times on Spotify.
“I couldn’t play sports anymore, but music gave me a another craft. I want to show kids you don’t have to be like other rappers in the game to make good songs. I just want to be a role model.”
NovaCain said he hopes his music allows listeners to step into his shoes. His song “Life of a Blind Guy” mentions he will never get to lay eyes on his children, while his song “Snapchat Party” symbolizes his acceptance of things outside of his realm of control. But to NovaCain, his mission goes beyond music.
When he is not creating music, he works to advocate for youth and young adults with disabilities. He created what he calls the “Life After Blindness” movement, where he travels to raise awareness of the stigmas blind individuals face. He also hopes to encourage blind and disabled people to live beyond the limits put on them by society.
“Delete stereotypes. Fight what people say. A lot of people put (people with disabilities) in a box and say, ‘You learn this one skill and this is what your life will be.’ I want to encourage (disabled) people to live life and do what they want to do. Just because I’m blind doesn’t give you the right to bully me or give me limitations. You don’t know who this disabled person is going to become; that person could become Oprah or Obama.”
NovaCain recently released a new single titled “I Should Have Went to College.”
To listen to NovaCain’s music, visit novacain.net. For more information, visit facebook.com/realnovacain.