Music & Soundtrack


All the music in Determined 2 Make It was performed and created by the boys and girls of the Southeast Michigan Juvenile Justice System who participated in Youth Arts Alliance! music workshops. The workshops were facilitated by Ben Cohen, Yusuf Lateef and Akili Jackson of Radiant City Arts, a Toledo based company that provides arts programming for kids in detention facilities, local school districts and arts education programs to develop leadership skills and self-empowerment.

Diamonds Under Pressure

Radiant City released an album, Diamonds Under Pressure, with the 9 songs that were created in the Youth Arts Alliance music workshops. Much of the sound is hip hop with original lyrics written by the youth, containing their poetry, stories of pain and suffering, and hopes and dreams for the future. To listen to any of the 9 tracks, go to



Ben Cohen is a composer, musician and educator. He has composed music for film and television and has taught the art of music production and beat-making to people of all ages all over the United States. Ben is a founder the experimental electronic Jazz collective HEAVY COLOR and the Midwestern Nostalgic Folk Group The Antivillains. His music has been featured on, Detroit Metrotimes, Time Out New York and WNYC.

Ben Cohen at Jackson County Youth Center

Yusuf Lateef is a visual artist residing in Toledo, Ohio.  His primary focus is on painting but he also considers himself to be a creative engineer who uses his love of the creative process to find ways to engage the public through the means of  visual literacy.    An MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University, Yusuf Lateef aspires to use art as a vehicle for self reflection, growth, and outward change in his community. He has completed over 17 murals and has participated in several collaborative art projects in communities in Ohio, Michigan and Spain. Lateef is currently devoting his energy to his studio work as well as the expansion of programming for Radiant City.

Yusuf Lateef

An advocate for community based programs, Akili Jackson has participated in and coordinated groundbreaking urban projects that serve to motivate parents and inspire youth to become forces for positive change in their communities. Akili has conducted workshops in Community Education using Hip Hop music as a tool for classrooms in Columbus OH, Atlanta GA, and Manhattan NYC. Akili has presented as a frequent guest speaker for the National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) and a panelist/speaker at Antioch University, University of Pittsburg, and University of Windsor Law School. He has served as a guest lecturer at Washtenaw Community College for African Poetry and Literature and at Eastern Michigan University for “Building Effective Classroom Communities”. Currently Akili is a founding member of Community Records L3C, an organization dedicated to building community activism through music.

Akili Jackson at the Jackson County Youth Center