Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Derrick Hargrove from 50 Cent's reality show The Money and The Power talks with Conversations Magazine

He was introduced to the world as part of a cast on the MTV reality show 50 CENT: THE MONEY AND THE POWER. Now 19 year old Derrick Hargrove is ready to stand out from the pack and make his own mark as a businessman, model, actor, recording artist and more. He talks with Conversations* about his humble beginnings, what keeps him grounded and what is next in his bright future.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
Well I would have to say it has been being a young black man in America and being raised in a small country town in Plant City, FL. Growing up I have faced many trials and tribulations just because of my skin color. I found myself separated from most of the people I grew up with. I say this because the average Plant City folk is taught to go to school, graduate and then go straight to work! There is not really any thinking about college or becoming a successful individual in this beautiful land of opportunity, so I often I found myself writing down my thoughts and keeping a book of poetry to soothe my mind to help me cope with things I was going through.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My grandmother has been my biggest inspiration in my life even though she did not give birth to my two brothers and me, she took on the role of being the 2nd parent. She practically raised us while my mother worked two to three jobs growing up! My grandmother has always taught me to work for the things that I want and nothing is ever just handed to us. I was taught that being educated is the key to success!

You were a part of the cast for the MTV reality show 50 Cent: The Money and The Power. What was the experience like to be on a national television show?

First of all I am so grateful for the opportunity. I would like to thank 50 cent and MTV for the opportunity! It was a life changing experience for me, and I can say it was the most fun I have ever had in my life. Who would ever knew a boy from a small country town could achieve his hopes and dreams and that simply was to make it on national TV. I definitely shocked my city because no one really has ever been on T. V but where I'm from. I knew that if I could make it on TV and just be myself that I could inspire all the people who thought it was impossible. The only thing that can stop you from achieving yours dreams is yourself. You are your greatest opponent! I learned from 50 that just because someone says "No" to you that doesn't mean you give up, so I never will. Hopefully I will continue to do different things on TV so that I can continue to inspire our generation because they are our future!

Do you think the experienced changed you?
It did not change me as a person or my character, but it made me have more of a drive and my thirst for success became so much stronger! I am definitely humbled and so blessed for the opportunity! My fans write me all the time and tell me that I inspire them to be better than what they are...that touches my heart! Saying that, I know I must continue to do what it takes to become better that what I am, so that I can continue to inspire people.

Did your friends treat you any differently after the show began to air?
My friends were so happy. They did not treat me different, but I knew I had set a higher standard in my life in front of them and the world.

You want to do work to benefit children with disabilities. Talk about that.
First off I would like to say "Do unto others as you want done to you". I say this because special needs and disabled people are the unforgotten people in this world, and they have a huge part of my heart. I want to start my own non-profit organization for special needs and disabled people hopefully one day becoming global. As a young kid growing up I have always had a heart for people with disabilities. While I was high school I was a part of one the biggest organizations in high school for special needs and disabled children called "BEST BUDDIES". During my time spent in high school I had accumulated hundreds of hours not only for special needs but also for our Boys and Girls Club to do as you.

One of my dreams that I achieved while being a part of the program "BEST BUDDIES" was a trip to Disney world. Not only was it just a trip, but it was a dream that I had one night. I found myself thinking how I could take 60 plus+ kids to Disney World? Being the self driven and motivated person I am, I told the president of the club that I had this dream. The next day she said that would be a lot of money and it was going to take a while to do it, so I said to myself there has to be a faster way. I single handedly went out gathered some info. and within 2 weeks was able to raise about $3,000 on my own which was enough to take my little angels to DISNEY WORLD! So for anyone who want to know why I want to start my organization, I will say this: Its not just something I want do. It is in my heart so I must continue to do what makes me happy!

I know you are interested in modeling. Is there anything else you see yourself doing?
I love modeling and also acting. One day I would love to model for some big name companies, but other then modeling I want to get into acting and music. I am a huge fan of of Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Brad Pitt etc. I would love to get on the big screen. That would be beyond my wildest dreams! There is also music: I love to rap. I am a huge fan of Tupac, 50 cent, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Ludacris and others. I would love to work with some of those inspiring artists one day. My stage name is Holly-Grove, because I have always felt like I would be a part of Hollywood.

What do you hope to accomplish with your success?
Personally with my success I hope to be able to provide for my family and not to struggle anymore. I want to be able to live life and to live that true American dream. Family is where it all starts. They are my back bone and my heart! With that being said the next thing I want to be able to do is start my organization and build a strong bridge for people to understand that disabled people are the forgotten people in this world and that we must start paying more attention. They are people just like us. It all comes back to what I said earlier, "TREAT OTHER THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED". When we can do this not only as a nation but as a world, I know we can make this beautiful land of our a better place.

* Derrick Hargrove will appear on Conversations LIVE! Radio on Friday, February 6, 2009 at 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT). To listen live visit or call the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.

To learn more about Derrick Hargrove, visit

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