Born and raised in Crown Heights, the preacher, activist and political candidate has made a life of connecting religion and hip-hop to the local community.
A friend of local elected officials like Borough President Eric Adams, Whitehead has plans to run for office, including for Adams’s spot in 2021.
“The hip-hop community and the streets, they are excited about this. My slogan is, ‘He’s one of us,’” he said. “I’m one of you. There’s nothing that I did not go through that someone in Brooklyn didn’t go through.”
Whitehead’s family history is deeply embedded in the borough. His father, Arthur Miller, a businessman and community leader, was strangled to death by 16 police officers in 1978. His death led to protests against police brutality.
Whitehead, 40, continues in his father’s footsteps in community work. He has teamed up with artists like 50 Cent and Foxy Brown on various events, such as turkey giveaways for Thanksgiving, and toy and clothes giveaways during the Christmas season.
He began modeling at age 14, and connected with artists while doing hip-hop celebrity fashion shows and later in life when he ran a music management company.
But he has run into some trouble with the law. In 2006, Whitehead was busted for a $2 million identity-theft scam, landing him in prison for five years. In 2016, he was questioned for allegedly making up programs run by his mentorship group.
Whitehead said those “scars” in his life have made him want to give back even more as an activist and community leader.
“It’s time for someone that is from Brooklyn, that has scars from Brooklyn, the pain of Brooklyn, the history of Brooklyn, to run for office,” he said. “To be more of a liberator for Brooklynites.”