Geonna “Chi Chi” Monet Baker said she remembers coming up with the idea for her first song, back when she was 6 years old.
“I just wanted to make a song for my class,” said Baker, now 10, of Capitol Heights. “And that’s how we came up with ‘I Like to Learn.’”
Chi Chi, who goes by the stage name Chi Chi Monet, said she has been rapping ever since. She gained notoriety in the Washington, D.C., area last year with her anti-bullying anthem, “No Bully,” which is available on iTunes downloadable media software and has more than 30,000 views on YouTube, an online video website with user uploaded content. Most recently, she has turned her attention to the problem of childhood obesity, recording the song “Move” and spearheading the Get Kids Movin’ campaign, an event sponsored by Washington, D.C.-based store Sports Zone Elite, featuring workshops and exercise activities Saturday at the Boulevard at Capital Centre mall in Largo.
Chi Chi’s father, Georon Baker, 33, a music producer, said discovering his daughter’s talent happened by chance.
“When she told me she wanted to do a song, I was just like, ‘OK then,’ because I can’t tell my 6-year-old daughter, ‘No,’” Baker said. “We wrote the whole song on the way home from school. We went into the studio, and I figured she’d just have fun. But when she went into the booth, she memorized it and rapped it like a pro.”
Chi Chi said she wanted to provide music with positive messages, particularly addressing issues facing children her age.
“I try to send messages that relate to the youth, trying to find solutions to their problems,” she said. “This way, they can rock out and learn lessons at the same time.”
Chi Chi said she has learned to handle juggling her music career while performing well at school.
Chi Chi is a fourth-grader at Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., where she recently lived.
“I just know that sometimes I can do my music, and other times I have to focus on school work,” she said. “Like right now, I went to school, and now I came here for an interview, and then I have homework.”
Chi Chi said she would like to continue to pursue rapping as she grows up, although she hasn’t decided whether to rap for a living or become a heart surgeon.
Desiree Gordon, Chi Chi’s fourth-grade teacher, said Chi Chi is something of a celebrity in her class, with her classmates often watching her music videos during recess. She said Chi Chi sets an example for other students.
“She’s a pleasant student and just gets along with everyone,” Gordon said. “The bullying video she did, along with our own non-bullying activities, that really helps the students and motivated them to do right.”
Chi Chi’s music is put out on her own label, Chi Chi Monet Entertainment. She can be found at www.chichimonet.com.
Baker said he thinks part of the reason his daughter has been so successful in rallying support for her causes is because of a combination of her positive messages and her age.
“I think a lot of people see others, particularly young people doing positive stuff, and they want to latch onto that,” he said. “If you hook up with like-minded people, it’s just something that’s meant to be.”