Meet Ireland’s self proclaimed answer to 50 Cent – Redcastle rapper, Kristian Shortt AKA General Capulet.
Like the US multi-platinum selling artist, Kristian has survived an alleged murder attempt, encountered police harassment and corruption, had a difficult school life and both have used hip hop in an attempt to escape their troubled early life.
Though ‘50’ openly admits to having sold drugs, Kristian is the complete antithesis. He has spearheaded anti-drug campaigns in Donegal and plans to do the same in Derry in the new year.
Kristian’s father, publican Frank Shortt was wrongly imprisoned for three years for allegedly permitting the sale of drugs on his premises.
After a long campaign Mr. Shortt’s account - that Gardai had tampered with evidence to show he permitted the sale of illegal drugs in his Point Inn club at Quigley’s Point in Inishowen, Co Donegal, was vindicated.
Kristian explains: “That is where my anger and my focus began. I have a lot to say about police corruption and what they did to my family. I had to move schools after everything that happened.
“People never treated us the same after daddy went to jail.”
Chief Justice Mr Justice John Murray concluded that Frank Shortt had been the victim of “a conspiracy to concoct false evidence” and “a shocking abuse of power on the part of two garda officers.”
Mr. Shortt senior had spent three years in jail. Last year he released his book: ‘Abuse of Power.’
Kristian said: “I was creating a website for my father at the start of the year to help him promote his book. It was a terrible thing that happened to my family. The Gardai planned to have daddy, an innocent businessman, taken away from his family.
“I’m not attacking them without due cause. They have never apologised for what they have done to my father or our family, for what they put my father or family through.
“The resentment is diminishing with the power of the book.”
Outlining his journey into the music scene, Kristian said: “I started recording a few songs and my friends thought I was good at it and I decided to chase this a little bit more and see where it takes me.”
Albums ‘The night that covers me’ and ‘Underground or Crowned/political assaults’ followed.
Kristian explains: “They promote my hip hop material rather than my political songs. I wasn’t always political. I used to wear bandanas and sunglasses and rap in the mirror.
“I never thought anything would come of it but the story of 50 Cent taught me I could go for it. That I should at least try - I’ve only one life.
“As of this week, my song ‘Eyes on the Goal’ has reached number 83 in the American Radio Chart and number 31 in the independent chart, not bad for a first song and first week in the charts over there.”
Kristian has invested heavily in his new found release which has taken him to the United States and a collection of his videos is making waves on YouTube.
“I’m doing songs for myself more than anything.
“When my tracks ‘Point Inn Gardai,’ and ‘The Ballad of Frank Shortt’ all got good receptions, I thought this could be the beginning of something new.”
Kristian, who now lives in Dublin, has recently returned from LA where he was signed by a manager.
Kristian who celebrates his 31st birthday tomorrow, says: “I’m still fighting to get a career off the ground. I believe I have the originality and spark to make it happen.
“My street cred’ is second to none, between the attempts on my life and our battle with the Gardai, I will catch the attention of record labels.”
Certainly with two alleged attempts on his life in 2008 and 2010, it is a back story which has grabbed many headlines.
The 2008 incident in Letterkenny saw him stabbed 30 times.
No-one has ever been convicted for the attack.
“I should be dead, in fact I died twice and had only three pints of blood left in me at one stage,” he said.
But Kristian believes things are looking up, or at least moving in the right direction.
“I have my own family now, my daughter, Abbie, is six months-old and I am doing this to get us a better life more than to get revenge on the police or those who attacked me.
“I have risen from struggle to become Ireland’s 50 Cent.”
Despite the fact he chose his stage name - General Capulet - after the most ill-fated pursuit in literary history, who would bet against another Shortt defeating the odds yet again?
Alongside his music, Kristian is also firmly focussed on his anti-drug campaign, which he began in Letterkenny earlier this year.
“I distributed almost 10,000 leaflets highlighting the harmful effects of drugs. In the new year I will be organising campaigns to infiltrate Derry with at least 20,000 of these leaflets personally delivered across the city before the summer of 2013 and hopefully even more afterwards.”
Kristian’s music can be found on iTunes under Capulet.
For more info check www.capuletbeats.com