Brian "DJ Vex (Versatile Entertainer Xtraordinaire)" Lewis, 36, is a 19-year veteran of the DJ game.
In January '05 he was the victim of an armed robbery. Legally licensed to carry a firearm, Lewis shot and mortally wounded his two assailants, but not before being shot 10 times.
"It felt like my extremities were made of salt, and somebody poured water on 'em and they just dissolved," he recalls. "Everything went quiet."
After six months of rehabilitation, and with the support of his good friend and lifeline DJ Dee Square, Vex decided to get back into DJing and use his craft to make a real difference in the city's violence-plagued streets.
"Dee Square, DJ Excel and DJ Aktive put some fire under my ass and got me back into the swing of things," Vex says. "Dee loaned me equipment, gave me gigs, not wanting anything for himself in return, and--boom--I came back with a vengeance.
"The violence in this city is so out of control. I'm a person who survived it. I think people should get an idea of what it's like to survive something like that, and to come back and continue on where their heart and passion is."
Today his focus is reaching out to the city's at-risk youth. A member of the Royal Family with Dee Square and DJ Sega at Jamz Roller Rink, he also works with Aikan Entertainment to throw positive events for an even younger set.
"We do a lot of stuff for kids. They wanna know about DJing and stuff, so you tell 'em they just gotta work at it."