Busta’s People of the Week: Like father, like son

Busta’s People of the Week: Like father, like son
April 28
13:13 2021

By Busta Brown

When I asked 21-year-old Corey Byrd to share one of his greatest weaknesses, he replied, “Self-doubt about my future.  I’ve always worried about that.” But his self-doubt was short lived, because Corey has someone in his life who all boys need: a supportive father, who is his hero. 

”My father would always step in to reassure me that everything will work in my favor, because ‘You’re an amazing young man.’ He tells me daily that I have the ability to be whatever I choose. So, I choose to be like him,” said Corey. 

I also asked Corey what he sees that is missing in the lives of young Black men without a father or male presence. “Guys without a father seem to be disrespectful toward their elders and women as well. They don’t know how to treat a lady. My father taught me to always respect women and my elders. Also, when speaking with others, always give eye contact, a handshake and a smile,” Corey continued. “Show respect at all times and to master self-control. As I’ve gotten older, I realize how much power there is in just listening. Guys my age need to learn how to not talk and just listen. That’s how you learn self-control,” he shared. 

As we talked, beside Corey was his proud father, Keith Byrd, who shared a few words about his amazing son. “Busta, the most rewarding thing is what other people say about him when he’s not with me. That tells me how respectful he is and that they think the world of Corey. As a father, I’m glad I’ve had such a great influence on my son. I had to break that generational curse. Unfortunately, my dad didn’t have some of the qualities I needed. He passed down some great qualities, but it was some things that he lacked and I learned from those mistakes by not repeating them with Corey. I wanted him to be a good man and he is,” said his dad. 

Corey’s dad is the legendary musician, songwriter and music producer, Keith Byrd. Keith is the minister of music at their church, and when their sound technician left, Corey stepped in and didn’t  miss a beat. “I was only 14, so it was hard in the beginning, but I got it now. Being a sound technician on a higher level is my ideal career, because I love music and I love making it sound amazing. When I’m at a concert and it doesn’t sound on point, it irks me,” Corey shared while laughing. “In my head, I’m saying, ‘I want to go onstage and fix it.’ 

“I love making music sound amazing, I’ve been doing it all of my life. Of course, there’s always something new to learn, but I’m at the point my dad doesn’t have to worry about the sound anymore. I’ve admired him as a child and still do. So, it feels great doing sound for him. I’ve always known at a young age that I’d follow in my dad’s footsteps. 

“My next move is to tour as Travis Scott’s sound tech. I’ve been to his shows and the sound and visuals were amazing. It was crazy!” 

Travis Scott is one of the most sought-after music producers, songwriters and also an extremely talented hip-hop artist. His stage show is on the level of Earth Wind and Fire of the 70s and 80s. It’s definitely not your typical hip-hop concert. So, I can see why Corey chose Scott to tour with. 

I asked the Winston-Salem State University junior how he balances school and work. “It’s easy. I make sure during the week nothing interferes with school, and on the weekends, it’s all about my job. Watching how my dad balanced being a father, husband and musician really helped me understand time management. And my mom unstilled so many good qualities in me, so both are my greatest inspirations. So, I try to instill what I’ve learned into my peers.”

Corey also shared his thoughts on police and race relations. “I believe we need to come together as one people, because no one race can fix what needs to be fixed by themselves. And one race shouldn’t be superior. The hate, racism and division must stop and it’s going to take all races coming together as one to make that happen. Also, we must do our best to not put ourselves in a predicament for the cops to hurt us. It’s unfair that we are stereotyped because of our skin, but let’s be the best we can to avoid being the stereotypes,” said Corey. 

Keith Byrd said trust is a major factor in their relationship. “I trust what my wife and I instilled in Corey, so when he’s out with his friends, he knows how to conduct himself.” Corey added, “It doesn’t make things perfect, but it does limit your chances of being stopped by the police. I believe when you teach a child young, we won’t depart from it.” 

One night Corey was out until 3 a.m. after leaving a concert. But Keith and his wife weren’t too worried, because they trusted Corey’s decision-making. “I remember when I was Corey’s age, I went to a Sly and the Family Stone concert and returned home late. My friends and I were just hanging out and chatting, so when Corey stayed out late that night, we knew he was fine, because of his coping and his conflict resolution skills,” said Keith. 

This father and dynamic duo love all genres of music. “As long as the music makes you feel good, truth is involved, it has a good vibe, and you can tap your foot to it, it’s good music. And it shouldn’t matter whether it’s country, rock, pop, or R&B, good music is good music. Corey and I teach each other about different music, so we’re both well-rounded,” said Keith.

“I just want the world to become a more peaceful place, and I’m going to use my musical abilities to help make that difference.” 

My phenomenal Persons of the Week are Corey and Keith Byrd. For more info, visit

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