An interview with RWR, “…the hell you know about the 740?”

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Last week, as I was busy working on my book about opiates in America, I was amazed to see the reaction to a rough-hewn video from some guys from Portsmouth, Ohio known as RWR (Raw Word Revival).

The song they put out, “What the Hell You Know About the 740?”, describes the several crises their town has lived in for decades — and describes a lot of heartland America as well.images-1

Among them, Portsmouth was ground zero in the opiate epidemic that is now sweeping the country. I’ve been there four times for the book: twice to hear about the degradation that took place with economic decline and the rise of prescription pill use; twice to hear the stories of how Portsmouth is emerging from that hell and a recovery community is forming.

I hope to return a fifth time.

What I found electric about the RWR video was that it was not a celebration of thuggery. Instead it was journalism — a description of what these guys had grown up in, using Portsmouth as the video backdrop — and a call to rebirth for their images-11hometown.

I suspect Bruce Springsteen and Merle Haggard would find a lot to value in the RWR and their song.

Plus it was DIY all the way, and, as a fan of early punk rock that pioneered DIY attitudes, I thought it looked great.

Anyway, five of the nine members of RWR  took some time to talk to me about the group, the song, the reaction and more. Portsmouth born and raised, they are: Clint “Random” Askew, Nick “Big Mung” Mungle, Donricko “D’Gree” Greene, Barry “B.E.Z.” Munyon, Justin “JLew” Lewis. (Others in the group include Lexxy “Riide R Diie” Jackson, David Packard, Arrick “Lil Mont” Montgomery and Angelo “Anjo” Jackson) rwr8

You can listen to them at the link above or download it.

Check out their story. Tell me yours. Leave it in Comments.

Meanwhile, you can read the fantastic comments so many left on earlier posts I did last week.

And follow me: On Twitter.  On Facebook.

Here’s my website:


More posts from True Tales: A Reporter’s Blog:

From the 740: An addict talks about poetry and dope

What the Hell You Know About the 740?

Here’s what I know about the 7-4-0

Where have you seen the 740?

I who am your Mother … The Virgin of Guadalupe


Filed under Culture, Drugs, Podcast, The Heroin Heartland

3 Responses to An interview with RWR, “…the hell you know about the 740?”

  1. exaddict

    I am from Portsmouth Ohio. I grew up in a all town outside of portsmouth and moved here when i turned 18. I had a baby boy and and was in my early stage of my active addiction. I lived in Wayne Hills which is a mecca for dope. I experimented with lots of drugs until i found heroin. I got pregnant again with my second child and at 9 months pregnant my 1 yr old child passed away. I had my daughter and begun my downward spiral into a living hell. I have overdosed like many users and ive saw some terrible shit that will haunt my dreams for life. My third child was born addicted to heroin. My fiancee gave me an ultimatum. Leave wayne hills and dry out or stay but if i stayed he and i would be done. I thank God that he asked me this because its changd my life. Ive been clean since Dec 5th 2012. And counting. I got custody of my youngest daughter back and i am building back the relationship with my older daughter. I am grateful to be alive today. Portsmouthis filled with drugs prostitutes dealers etc.. but its also filled with hope. There are places to get help. Portsmouth has an amazing recovering community. The odds arent very good for us addicts. But i believe that with Gods help there is no such thing as odds. I can do aprom things through christ who strengthens me. I hope to one day see Portsmouth as my elders talk about; a booming pr

    • exaddict

      A booming promising city. If things dont change around here im leaving state. My kids deserve more options in life. I deserve more as well. Its not like this everywhere.

  2. So raw, so real, so much hope. Like I told someone in church, no they’re not my kids and they’re not your kids. But as members of our community they are OUR kids. I could not be prouder of them as they help Portsmouth face its problems head on. No shame no blame, things just can not stay the same.

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