Fueled by the explosive success of "This Far," their third consecutive single to reach the Top 20 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart, Akron OH based R&B/Hip-Hop trio Half Mile Home is putting the hard hitting socially conscious message of the song into action with the launch of their anti-violence non-profit The Boiling Point.
The popular group, whose members include Darryl Brownlee and brothers Todd and Terence Burton, recently posted the organization’s mission statement on their Facebook band page: "What drives people to hurt someone else? Anger is the reason why so many people have died behind the hands of someone else. Gun violence & senseless crimes have affected too many lives, and it’s time to put a stop to it. We will use this non-profit organization to provide and teach people how to channel that negative energy. We want to turn anger and pain into to a positive matter."
The organization has teamed up with the Minority Mental Health Group and many other similar services to offer the expertise of trained professionals to give these people a chance of hope. The members of Half Mile Home realize that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The Boiling Point offers the help that is needed, with the hope that troubled souls will reach out before they reach their boiling point and make that life changing, community shattering decision.
"We have started this grass roots campaign in the streets of Akron, in clubs and bars and on basketball courts, among other venues, talking to people in our community about it, creating awareness that we have created a safe place that can help you deal with troubling issues," says Todd Burton. "You’ll never know when you’ll be at the boiling point when you need to talk to someone. We have found that a lot of people, both young and old, often want to reach out to someone before they go and do something dumb and violent – and we collectively overlook their need until it’s too late."
"This Far" was inspired by Todd Burton’s personal tragedy of losing his 21-year-old son Deandre "Dre" Andrus to gun violence in October 2017. Ironically, this happened just blocks away from the spot in Goodyear Heights where his other son Treyvon Burton was shot in the head months earlier (he survived). Todd and his wife were in Chicago celebrating his 43rd birthday when a family friend called and told them someone had found Deandre’s body. Half Mile Home has been using their national platform to spread a two-pronged faith-based message: Accept that God is in control, but that God also gives people choices and decisions they make that can either lengthen or shorten their lives.
"The song starts off by saying that so many great leaders have given their lives so that black people can have a voice," Todd adds, "but our community has been shaken by this body count and we can’t ignore that. Many in our younger generation are ignoring or abusing the gifts that men like Dr. King gave us. The overall message is positive, though, because we’re affirming that God didn’t bring us this far to abandon us, and we know that His love will carry us through no matter the circumstances. We can apply that message to those about to make a fateful violent decision which will ruin their lives and those of so many others. God didn’t bring you this far for you to throw everything away just because you have moment of anger, and he didn’t bring you this far so you could commit suicide, either. This is not what God wants and it should never be acceptable to any of us, either."
Formed in 2004, Half Mile Home’s previous radio single "Thinking of Me," which reached the Top 15 of Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart, was ranked #49 on the publication’s 2017 Year-End Top 50 Gospel chart. Their third album Church Muzik & Inspiration (Church Boy Muzik/Selecto Hits), was released in 2013 and peaked at #9 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart. Their latest offering Don't Judge Me reached #11 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart and included "Thinking of Me" and the #11 airplay hit "More than Enuff."