Lamont McNair performs at HACC Fest 2014

‘Monty’ McNair wants to be a role model

In HACC News, Profiles, Students by Robert Beiler

Lamont “Monty” McNair has had an inspiring journey that landed him at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) Lancaster campus. McNair is reaching the end of his second year as a Business Administration major, but also has interests as an aspiring musician.

McNair has been well received as a rapper; he has even worked with rap groups such as Team Backpack in Los Angeles, California.  McNair’s parents encouraged his interest, with his father at one point saying “you’re gonna do this” to McNair as he was getting older.

McNair grew up around rap, but states he didn’t really listen to lyrics when he was younger. As McNair got older, he realized the lyrics were not promoting a positive message. The big artists like Little Wayne, despite being role models who were so popular, were promoting what McNair felt was a bad lifestyle of partying, smoking, sexuality, and negativity. McNair also referred to this as “phoniness”.

While McNair says rap has always been in his life, it was within the last few years that he began to get heavily into the scene himself, including performing at a number of HACC events in that time. McNair says that he wants to be able to do something fun, that people can “bang their head to”, but also something people can relate to and learn from.

Before rap, McNair had an intense interest in poetry, describing himself as a “kid who was always walking around reciting [it] to himself”. As a high school junior, one of his teachers pulled him aside and complimented his work doing poetry in an English class assignment, which encouraged him down that path. McNair feels that rapping is an extension of this and that it comes easily to him. McNair also stated “I’m not good at talking; rap is like a whole other language for me”. McNair comes off polite, respectful, and almost shy in his speech.

McNair was originally born in Brooklyn, but moved from state to state growing up. McNair experienced a lot of negativity around himself, including hypocrisy and other elements McNair decided he didn’t want to be around. Some of his life choices almost come as a reaction to that, wanting to be a righteous man who makes something of himself. He lived in New Jersey before moving to Florida. Returning to New Jersey not too long after, he noticed the neighborhood he came from appeared a little scarier. People were afraid to open their doors, cops were around more often. McNair also believes his parents’ divorce caused him to grow up quicker than a lot of other kids. His father was also a great influence to him, teaching him about subjects like how to respect women. McNair later found out that his father did not always follow his own teachings, but he still sees his father’s words as a good guideline.

McNair also really enjoys talking about the positive experiences in his life. McNair is planning on transferring to Millersville to study either International Business or Music Management. He also reminisced of an experience working in retail where an older woman spoke to him of her own experiences. Seeing a woman so lively and in shape at such an advanced age has been an encouragement to McNair to live a good life while also showing people another side through his music.