“I would love to see the Tri-State cleaned up like this song and hope we can spread a positive message,” Webb said.

ASHLAND A local woman is setting an example as a rapper.

Ashland native Alison Webb, 39, has released a track titled “Wannabe,” which she said uses no foul language and avoids inappropriate topics.

Webb graduated from Shawnee State University in 2008 with a degree in dental hygiene and has practiced her vocation ever since, until the COVID-19 pandemic curbed her work.

She’s always been surrounded by music, even if she hasn’t always been a musician.

“From church, vacation bible school, and many aunts, uncles and cousins that either sang or played instruments, I developed a love for music and the way it made people feel,” she said. “Other than choir classes in middle school and a handful of guitar lessons from the Pied Piper, I haven't had any training.”

While she was in college, she made a friend who would give her the opportunity to perform. She met Terrence Davison in an English class in 2004.

“Good friends turned into best friends and we walked the stage at graduation in 2008,” she said. “Terrence went on to develop an organization called GMGFC, Gentleman Making Good Financial Choices. This brand included party planning and event coordination. Another facet was the Get Money Get Fresh Crew, the rap group. Terrence and the boys were signed and put out several albums. Recently, he thought it would be fun to do a collaborative track with me. He asked for a verse and a chorus. What I came up with became 'Wannabe.'”

Webb, a member and teacher at the Ashland Area YMCA, said it’s important to her that her music be clean.

“I don't think I need severe language to get people's attention and I hope to show the years I spent in English courses before hygiene,” she said. “My topics are clean because it reflects my life. I'm not into drugs or violence and I don't want to try to incorporate anything into my music that I'm not familiar with. Hopefully parents and kids can listen together. I like to say I’m YMCA-approved.”

Webb said the rise of Zumba has been an important aspect of her life.

“I’ve loved performing since Zumba came to the YMCA over 15 years ago,” she said. “Fitness gave me an outlet and a stage to have as much fun as possible with the most amazing members. Exercise gave me a confidence that permeated my whole life.” She has participated in Trunk or Treat, Halloween at the YMCA and Healthy Kids Day. She also has volunteered at several elementary schools to present hygiene lessons, free toothbrushes and sometimes Zumba.

Webb has overcome a great deal to be able to teach at the YMCA and dance and sing.

“I had a near fatal car accident in 2001 and I wasn’t given a hopeful prognosis. I was told I would be in a wheelchair and wouldn’t be able to go to school or hold down a job,” she said. “I wouldn’t accept their predictions and had to make my life mine, not one of a victim.”

She said she hopes her music will inspire goodness in the area.

“My goal is to educate people by showing them that being true to yourself always pays off,” she said. “I would love to see the Tri-State cleaned up like this song and hope we can spread a positive message.”

She also said in a time when racism is a hot topic, she hopes to inspire understanding with her song.

“I hope people can see that differences only make us interesting and can actually bring people closer,” she said. “Terrence and I are very different, but I love him like he's my brother and his friendship is a blessing in my life.”

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