Devine Carama


Devine Carama is a nationally renowned, 2022 Emmy Award-winning hip-hop artist, author, educator, community activist, & motivational speaker from Lexington, KY. He was most recently featured on Good Morning America and the Jennifer Hudson Show after a video of him teaching emotional intelligence to young boys went viral. He is the new director of the Mayor of Lexington's youth gun violence reduction program, ONE Lexington, which has launched several new initiatives in its first 2 years under his direction. 2023 saw a considerable drop in homicides and shootings in Lexington and that progress continues in 2024. Devine is also the founder and director of a youth-focused nonprofit organization called Believing In Forever Inc. 

In December 2018, Devine performed outside in the cold for 48 hours straight to raise awareness for his annual youth coat drive, "A Coat to Keep The Cold Away". Over the last 10 years, Believing in Forever has facilitated the collection and delivery of over 22,000 coats to children in Central and Eastern Kentucky. In 2017, Believing In Forever led a citywide effort to collect thousands of gallons of water to combat the Flint water crisis. In 2020, Devine walked across the entire state of Kentucky (Pikeville to Paducah) to raise voter awareness. 

Other Believing in Forever initiatives include Sons Of Single Mothers Mentoring Days, Senior Summer Jam,  "A Coat to Keep The Cold Away" Youth Coat Drive, Community On The Corners, Poetry In Motion Youth, & Quarantine Care Packages (during the pandemic) more! In 2020, he started “The Luna Library” in memory of his late daughter, Kamaria Spaulding, which provides FREE black history/character-focused books for children within the Lexington area. To date, the Luna Library has given away nearly 1,500 books to local children of all ages and is a featured collection at the Lexington Public Library's Northside Branch. Devine is also featured at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches a course called “Lyricism & Leadership: Hip-Hop & Community Change”.

Musically, Devine has worked with and/or opened up for acts such as Rakim, Big KRIT, J. Cole, Talib Kweli, Nappy Roots, LL Cool J, Black Eyed Peas, Canibus, De La Soul, Little Brother, & many more. His music has been covered in major music publications like The Source, Vibe, & Complex Magazine. In 2010, Devine became the first rap artist to ever perform at the historical Lyric Theatre. Most recently, Devine was the first 2-time winner of NBA All-Star, Dame Lillard’s “Live Cypher” Rap Contest. Devine is also a 5-time “Lexington Hip Hop Artist of The Year” award winner. 

In 2020, Carama brought black girls and women together (middle school, high school, and college) to create an album called “The Black Girl Project”, which focused on the journey of maturation for black girls coming of age in a society that doesn’t always value them. Devine’s intersection of hip hop, education, and activism continued in 2023 when he collaborated with professors at the University of Kentucky and Rutgers University who were doing a fatherhood study analyzing the disenfranchisement many fathers feel in the justice system. Devine collaborated with longtime producer, JK-47, and R&B artist, Bryce Jamel, to create a song called “Invisible Father” which artistically brought to life the data in that study. Later that year, Devine did a 1-week residency at one of Kentucky’s most prestigious higher ed institutions, Centre College, where he taught classes, lectured on social justice, hosted a student open mic, and performed 2 shows on campus. 

Recent awards and recognitions include the 2017 Lauren K. Weinberg Humanitarian Award, the 2017 Coretta Scott “Spirit of Ivy” Award for community service, the 2018 Black Achievers “Special Achiever of the Year Award, and George W.H. Bush’s “Point Of Light” Volunteer Award, 2020 LEXI Music "Community Service" Award, as well as the 2022 Lexington Forum’s “One To Watch” Award. Devine Carama also won an Emmy for best “News Promotion” from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is the first and only hip-hop artist from Kentucky to ever win the prestigious award. In February of 2024, Devine was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in both music and activism by the Lexington Music Awards committee.