Jo Smith

Jasiri "Jo" Smith

  Jasiri “Jo” Smith
Biographical Sketch

Jasiri “Jo” Smith is the founder and president of LYRICS Inc. LYRICS is an acronym for Leading Young Rappers In Career Success. LYRICS Inc. utilizes the Hip-Hop culture to teach young people various life skills and educate adults on its tremendous influence. During his many years of working with youth through his employment with Pittsburgh Public Schools and consulting, Smith learned to merge education and entertainment by tapping into his love of Hip-Hop and coupled it with his experience as a performer. Smith saw an opportunity to positively impact young rappers and entrepreneurs by showing them the benefit of an education to their future careers. Smith further realized the need for parents, educators, and organizations to increase their knowledge regarding this global phenomenon, Hip-Hop, that is profoundly affecting the language, fashion, and behavior of today’s youth. LYRICS Inc. has had tremendous success pioneering groundbreaking workshops, training sessions and projects for the State of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University, the African American Heritage Project, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, the Three Rivers Clubhouse, and the Pittsburgh Board of Education.

Smith is also a Teen Parent Advocate, specializing in teenaged fathers, for Pittsburgh Public Schools. Smith has excelled in mentoring young men via his ability to effectively communicate with today’s youth. Smith is responsible for the advocacy, motivation, counseling, advising, guidance, and mentoring of all teen fathers in the Pittsburgh school district. Smith takes his role as Advocate seriously and is always seeking new and creative ways in which to encourage our youth to aspire to greater heights. Within the Pittsburgh Public school system Smith gained administrative accolades for pioneering and organizing the Hip-Hop Club; an extremely successful after-school endeavor that allowed students of varied walks of life to channel previously misdirected creative energy into a positive environment yielding positive results. Smith attended both the University of Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh majoring in economic studies. His comprehensive educational, social, and personal perspective has led to an effective consulting career with various companies within Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and surrounding cities.

Smith’s Hip-Hop resume includes performances with Wu-Tang Clan, Redman, Xzibit, Foxy Brown, and Kool Keith. He has been featured in InPgh Magazine, The City Paper and the national magazine Playback. He has held television appearances on "On Q" and "Underground Hip-Hop Video Magazine", and has performed in many shows throughout the United States. Smith has also tried his hand in promotions with the groundbreaking event, "The Cypher", that for the first time brought a Hip-Hop format to the "Strip District" in Pittsburgh. This event, though held in the month of January and on Wednesday nights, was an overwhelming success bringing upwards to one thousand people to Rosebud night club to witness live performances, a DJ contest, and a Hip-Hop fashion show.

Smith also has gained admiration in the Spoken Word genre. In his very first Poetry Slam hosted by legendary rap artist KRS-ONE he reached the finals. He has performed at various “Open Mic” venues and was recently honored by the United States Federal Executive Board for a piece which paid homage to the one hundredth year anniversary of The Souls of Black Folks. He has performed with Def Poetry Jam and continues to perform spoken word on a regular basis.

Jasiri “Jo” Smith is a devoted husband to his wife, Celeste and proud father of son, Imran and daughter, Jannah.

Jo Smith can be reached at (412) 580-1577 or for further information.