What the hell you know about the 740?

Working on my book about America’s opiate epidemic, I’m just back from rural southern Ohio, along the Ohio River, and a town of 20,000, with a lot of abandoned buildings that once housed factories that employed people, called Portsmouth (area code 740).

This is rural heartland America, and it’s looking very rough. Lots of dope.

Heroin in the heartland. Who’d have thought? Depleted white culture. Tough to watch.

I’m not the biggest rap fan, but this video, put out by some Portsmouth kids known as RWR (Raw Word Revival), is pretty much journalism. The new town criers with a post-industrial, post-rural apocalyptic kind of groove.

(Turns out they filmed the whole thing on an iPhone. How punk rock/DIY of them….)

(Add: Here’s what you know about the 740 — an excerpt of many comments to this original post.)

What they came up with is certainly truer than all those Nashville country songs about small towns, shit-kicking good old boys working hard and drinking beer on Saturday and in church on Sunday out there in God’s heartland — all of which sounds to me like propaganda.

Actually, I found Portsmouth to be an optimistic kind of place these days, with a lot of new energy and recovery.

But more on that later. For now, I’ll just leave you with the RWR video.

Share it if you like it….

While you’re doing that … TELL US: What do you know about the 7-4-0? Tell us a story of the strongest or weakest person you know. The day you knew things were getting bad or getting better?

Read what others have said in Comments.

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My website: www.samquinones.com

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72 Comments

Filed under Culture, Drugs, The Heroin Heartland

72 Responses to What the hell you know about the 740?

  1. Sheila

    Mr. Quinones, rarely am I moved to publicly comment, but I just finished “Dreamland.” An incredibly powerful work, with raw insight in the Afterword. I was just looking for the 740 song you described. What you said about the need for someone to track kids’ diagnosed with ADHD and adult use of heroin resonated with me; I am so
    fearful what current populat video games are doing to my sons’ brains and what that might lead to in the future.

  2. Hi, I log on to your blog on a regular basis.

    Your story-telling style is witty, keep up the good work!

  3. B

    Welcome to the 740. It ain’t much better here in Zville. Crooked cops, corrupt politicians, drugs on every corner, and blood spilt at every disagreement. Home of the private zoo massacre and pipeline to Columbus’s drug supply. Welcome to the 740!

  4. Paul & Ruby Breech

    Me and my wife think you guys done a great job. She has Liston to over and over. And can’t stop crying when she hear it. There has been a lot of good people get mest up with that crap. And can’t get off of it. I know a few people that has been killed because of the crap. We have got friend and family on this crap. I just wish they could see that they ain’t only hurting there self. But everybody around them.

  5. Audrey

    Can’t say I enjoy the song or even understand what they are saying except for the profanity. I’ve been told that they are saying things that most people know but if repeated are ignored because those who have the proof are disregarded as reliable because they are addicts. I have never sold here, caught a case here, etc but I sure know the problems here and they originate at the TOP .It is the corrupt judicial and legal system here in Scioto County. It is profitable for the justice system to keep the vulnerable addicted. Until we all are willing to see and admit that the drug problem is manipulated by those in our legal and justice system and demand and seek change don’t expect things to get better. It is easier and more popular to blame the addict or the drug. Yes the drug is bad that is why those in power have such success in keeping the addicted down. Wise up 740 and start from the Top to clean up the town and then you will see success.

  6. amanda shively

    you boys are damn good singers and most people are to affried to tell obout their town im a recovering addict and i wish i could save someones life like me my husband helped me to get a second chance at life please dont stop doing what your ddoing thank you guys

  7. April

    Not a rap fan myself, and it was painful listening to the F bombs as well as the TRUTH about Portsmouth. My husband, our kids, and myself moved to Wheelersburg 10 years ago. We always thought Portsmouth had issues. As a business owner in the area, we were baffled that people that could make difference in the areas economy just weren’t interested. For instance not pursuing a dock for river front access which was on the table years before we arrived. It could have brought so much business downtown. Many leaders at the top of the economic ladder are corrupt we found out years ago. Then the pill mills hit town, when Portsmouth started showing up on the national scene for it’s drug abuse, and subsequent deaths the county wanted to finally get involved. I have to take issue with those that take drugs even once. What in the world are you thinking? Why would you CHOOSE to loose your self-control? CHOOSE to be a victim? CHOOSE to lay down, and take what life dishes out? One time, is all it takes to get hooked, and go from successful to dead in a few short months. My mom taught me from the Bible why bad things happen, and that it’s only temporary. We had hard times growing up, but it was only temporary! All minor bumps in the road compared to what I’ve accomplished, and my potential. I’m a stronger, more successful person because of some adversity. The only thing drugs do is make your existence temporary, and I don’t think that the majority of people do drugs to escape this world, but rather their problems. If you already have problems in your life, isn’t ruining your health, family, community just adding another problem? It’s a sad commentary on this area, and many rural towns in America.

    • Lawrence Allan Salem Jr

      I’m 39 years old and this song sings nothing but the true place portsmouth is .this town is a wort on us is ass.this place is a tax right off for our goverment and yes this town sucks you in and you will never get out .grate song boys I’ll be the first to buy your song .

  8. holly

    I lived in portsmouth most of my life, had good times and bad and sometimes even miss the place. When I was younger the town was booming lots of action downtown and jobs, I was a very naive teenager growing up here til I started working at a dairy bar across from an old rundown hospital, ppl actually lived there I seen ppl get jumped,I heard gun shots and watch dealers sale dope in the parkinglot learned quickly to keep ur head down and don’t ask questions… I myself never got on thedrug band wagon but became a alcoholic tried to party like a rock star. I left 4 years ago since I have a child, I’m loving my job and keep moving up the ladder and happy to say I never drink… I do miss my friends tho and visit when I can… This town sucks u in I hope things change

  9. Bj

    I have lost 4 first cousins and my only brother to drugs and Portsmouth, and so many friends I can’t count anymore. You either get out of Portsmouth early or perish.

  10. Angie Thuma

    I’m 34 and born and raised in portsmouth. Growing up I didn’t know anything about drugs or alcohol. My parents weren’t rich but we were comfortable.I went to nursing school and became an LPN at age of 24. I then graduated from Shawnee state with an associates degree. I’m intelligent, but the first time I snorted an OxyContin, it was over. I remember thinking this is the best I’d ever felt. The point I wanna make is that we are all someone’s child or mother or brother or father.This epidemic is overwhelming. What scares me the most is all of the girls who have disappeared and no one seems to care. We need help, this has been going on for years and there are never any answers as to where these girls are at. I thank god on a daily basis for just being alive and thank him that I’m clean and sober today. I fell hard, I was homeless, I was eating out of trash cans, I robbed, I stole anything I could put my hands on. I did all that pregnant. I gave her up for adoption because an infant would interfere with getting high. All of the addicts saw the heroin epidemic coming from shutting down the “pill mills” why didn’t the police? I’m sharing this with you because people need to realize that all walks of life are effected by our drug abuse and everyone has their own story. The next time you turn your nose up to a drug addict, a homeless person, a criminal, remember that person is no different than your own child, we were just unfortunate to draw the short straw and become addicted. We have a wonderful recovery population here. All with their own stories. That’s what needs to be promoted is you can recover and get your life on track. It’s hard, but anything worth having usually is.

  11. Kortney

    I am a grateful recovering addict myself. My addiction took me places I never imagined it would.. I was raised in friendship/west portsmouth, and was completely blind to what addiction was growing up. My mom kept us safe. She kept us sheltered. In some aspects that’s great. My child hood couldn’t have been better. I was raised poor but didn’t know it. She worked hard to support my brother and I. I was in my mid 20’s when I met mr wonderful and was introduced to that lifestyle. Within 4 years I had willingly gave up my children, moved to The streets of Huntington WV, was homeless. Robbed, stole and lied everyday to survive. Caught charges witch took me bk to ports where my 2 1/2 year journey then started! I’m a hard working, honest living, mother now. I thought I had lost her. Portsmouth is the type of town where it is what we make it. It’s a humble little town that I’m grateful to be a part of! Great video guys!! Keep on keeping on!!

  12. melanie

    I am Nick “RWR MEMBERs” younger sister and I am very grateful to say he is my brother, a hard worker , a understanding man & great father…
    He has been working on his music for some years now, along with the other members in the group & I feel they have come a long way in getting their point across & showing our community there is hope…
    I don’t feel like they are using their music to make PORTSMOUTH LOOK BAD.. Just trying to make people realize the lives being lost here behind the drugs.. Not only do the addicts surround their selves by other addicts , they are someone’s kids & they all need help…
    my brother has been around drugs his whole life and has never picked up a drug !! myself, recovering from addiction has reached out to him for help several times and he has always been there.. nick is a man that feels like failure is never a option & if he can help in any way HE WILL πŸ™‚
    even though nick might not come from tons of money or fame he would give his last to make a difference.. I hope their music touches the lives of those who are still suffering & seek help!! LOVE U NICK GREAT JOB RWR

  13. I’ve lived around the Portsmouth area most of my life. Never fell into drugs myself but have many friends who’ve been affected by it. Just helped my best friend from high school into rehab a few months ago, in fact. Like you said, Sam, there is a lot of fresh energy in our city and much hope for the future. For instance, I’m currently involved with a group of people who are looking to start a worker cooperative in the city as a means of providing work and education for the unemployed. I know others who are doing what they can to improve things as well. I’d love to chat if you’re ever in town again.

  14. Dwight Lewis

    I was born and raised in “PO” 740, I actually lived literally a stones throw from my man Nick. Portsmouth is a small town with big city problems. Good people still there, I just hope we all have pity on those struggling with habits, PO so small we have all been affected with this epidemic one way or another.

  15. anon

    at one point, my son had exactly ONE friend not hooked on oxycontin. raising him here has been the hardest thing I could imagine. watched the girl next door go from straight A’s to prison in just two years from the first O/C. watched my son’s friend go from valedictorian to living in his own filth, without any utilities. local boys tagged a neighbor’s garage with 740 about 5 years ago, and I wonder how many of those kids have managed to avoid prison. not many. there are no jobs, there is a tidal wave of parental addiction, at one point the estimate was that of every 10 adults in Scioto county, 7 were addicted to oxycontin. think about this. you go to the store, the clerk is high. you take your dog to a vet, you see the pinprick pupils. you stop at the post office, you see the obvious proof of addiction, it is … as if someone crop dusted the county. with opiate. the game is a lure, I was told right away that (I have legitimate spinal injury, but take NO narcotics) that I could make 4 thousand dollars a month selling my scrip if I just saw the right doc. yeah four grand. I make SSI, ONLY. less than 700 per month. but I could have had 4 thousand per month, were I willing to risk the game. I could not risk this, my son used to be angry at me for my refusal to play. he could have had a much nicer upbringing. but I could not join any game that was turning the kids and parents I cared about into zombies. I laugh about the obsession the nation seems to have with “zombie apocalypse” shows/movies/books. just come to Scioto county. it’s already happened.

  16. Rachel Rakovan

    I just wanted to say congrats to Nick and Clint. We graduated together from high school and even though we did not hang in the same crowds I am glad to see we are all working toward exposing and remedying the problems of southern Ohio/ the 740. I am finishing my Master’s in natural resources and environmental science so I can publish research on this post industrial town and its resulting drug addiction. Congrats on being the change we wish to see!

  17. Julie

    I think that these mean expressing the hardships in this town is quite fantastic. They are telling a true story. On the outside, the “740” appears to be only about the bad. But if you are from here, born and raised here, you know that there are many good things about our small town as well. There are good things about everyone knowing everyone. This being said, people stick together and do seem to try and put a stop to the violence, drugs, and prostitution that goes on. Everyone’s family has been affected in some way, and I think that these men are brave and the use of the art of expression is spot on! Now we need some videos about all the good happenings! πŸ˜‰

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  19. Vanessa Downey

    Thank you so much for sharing this video on your blog sight! This video is a bit personal to me, I am a recovering addict who has lived that lifestyle that they refer to in the video, in short I know exactly what they are rapping about! But you are right, we are recovering like crazy down here in little ole Portsmouth!!! I also know one of the men in the video, watched him grow into adulthood and become a GREAT man, a father, and a caretaker despite all of the hurdles that he faced, and he really did beat the odds. Love you Nick Mungle! I personally have overcome my past, and will not let the downfalls of MY hometown get me down or pull me back! I did it and so can you Portsmouth!!!! All you need is a lil inspiration, and thats what these men are!!!

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  21. Lisa

    I see people who feel oppressed and are hungry and angry and life is a struggle to just plain survive. I see predatory industry’s and even local capitalists exploiting the desperation of the oppressed and impoverished in the 740. Pain pills are the perfect mind numbing slave producing narcotic in the 740. Pain pills easily corrupt most who consume or handle them in the 740 even beyond those who are admittedly hooked. The people who become addicted are very compliant and easily controlled by those who control the drug, and they become commodities in the 740. I see people who know this and use it to exploit the innocent in the 740. I see people who have become so beaten down that they even allow this to happen in the 740 and fear challenging this even though they know it’s wrong and terribly messed up. Sort of a feudalism society where the lords control the peasants through control of the drug. Things are very UN-American in the 740 where people are dying from this incredibly messed up scenario that isn’t far removed from District 12 in the Hunger Games. But I see change happening in 740…….the peasants are revolting and its a lovely site to see in the 740. The people in 740 are braver than they ever knew and are fighting back now that the cloak has being lifted.

  22. Randall

    “The new town criers with a post-industrial, post-rural apocalyptic kind of groove.” Uhmmm, dude…could you possibly stretch anymore? You’re a modern day “Easop”? Yeah, it’s bad here. REAL bad. You’re “passin’ through”. Keep walkin’…and good luck with the “book”??? *shakes my head*…

  23. Julie

    WTH do I know about the 740? I was born and raised here I watched it go from a quiet little town, where you didn’t have to be afraid to go out at night, or lock your doors, to a poverty sticken, low job rate, drug capitol. Portsmouth is starting to fight back finally, and if the corrupt judicial and legal system around here can be overcome we just might succeed in making our community a better place again. I have a sister who is a recovering addict, who wouldn’t narc on people so instead of walking she did a few years in prison, and got out and has turned her life around for the better, going on 6 YEARS clean, and doing everything she can to help others who are in the same situation she was in turn their lives around. These guys did a great job with the video and I hope their message spreads like wildfire and lights a fire under more people in our community.

  24. billiet

    I have seen both good and bad in 740 I am a mother who use to addict to pain pills been to prison twice and finally went to treatment in the 740 which changed my life for ever.Now I have been working full time for 5 years going back to school to finish my degree and have overcome a lot trying to stay clean and sober it is possible in the 740 I was born and raised here found recovery here due to the fact that I never knew people lived in recovery till I got clean it keep me out there for a while this place is the safest place IN THE WORLD I WOULD WANT TO RAISE MY KID IN yes crime rate is high however its not as bad as some city by far.TO NICK AND THE RWR CREW MY HATS RAE DIFFENTLY OFF TO YOU YOUNG MEN WHOM I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE TO WATCH GROW UP TO BE GOOD YOUNG MEN THIS SONG KICKED A@@ AND REPECENTS P-TOWN TO THE FULLEST KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK AND THANKS SAM FOR SHOWING LIGHT TO OUR CITY

  25. Kathie

    This video is amazing and the individuals who wrote and produced it are very talented. Unfortunately, it does tell the true story of the decline of Portsmouth, Ohio. I have lived in Scioto County most of my life. Drugs have touched almost every family here in one way or the other. Rich or poor, black or white, the addiction has not discriminated. The economic decline and lack of jobs is definitely a contributing factor. This along with a population that is under-educated and many who have grown up on public assistance creates a recipe for those seeking escape. You spoke of the country lyrics of small town USA, and we are those people as well. Country boys in work boots driving big trucks can be seen throughout the county. They refuse the temptations to sell and use, and get up every morning to go earn their dollars. Those of us who love this place and consider it home refuse to give up on it. That’s what I know about the 740.

  26. Jessica

    No doubt that these kids have talent. But you find this is just about every town. I would like to see a follow up video with positive things about Portsmouth.

  27. Amanda

    I returned to the area in 2005, after years away, and the first story I read in the paper was about the prostitution problem. All the prostitutes worked John Street, which I joked about, because if it weren’t funny, it’d just be true. I left town again a few years later. In a college course I was teaching, one of my students mentioned that he was a transfer student from Shawnee State in Portsmouth. I asked him why he left SSU. He said, “Too many prostitutes.” He was joking, a little, and made reference to the larger problem – the crime that surrounds the campus. And, the pervasive crime in the area in general.

    The last time I lived there, I noticed an out-of-towner at a coffee shop and asked what brought her to town. She was on a boat trip down (and back) the entire length of the Ohio River. In all her trip preparations, no one had ever mentioned Portsmouth. She had pot lucks and stops scheduled in towns all along the river, but stopped in Portsmouth by accident, to pick up supplies. She added a couple of days to her itinerary to look around. “What happened here?” she asked. “This was a real city once,” she said. “All the buildings are taller than a lot of places I’ve stopped. But it seems like a ghost town.”

    There is something ghostly about it. Even now, when I come home, it’s easier to think about what it once was. It’s easier to think about the potential, too, instead of what it IS right now. I think RWR captured it, and the result is impressive. When I mention I’m from the Portsmouth area, the first thing people say is, “Oh. The drugs.” One person did say, “The Bigfoot movie!” A few people even know about the floodwall murals.

    It’s hard to condense everything in one comment, because the 740 is so rich – in history, in story, in character, and in dysfunction. There’s a lot to know. And a lot to learn from getting acquainted with the place.

  28. Mary Ann henson

    I’ve been a drug dealer I have the felonies to.prove it! I am an addict who has found recovery. I’ve done alot of things in the 740 I’m not proud of. I’ve loved in Portsmouth my whole life. I knew our town was on trouble when peope young and old we’re lined up down Chillicothe at.pillthe main stree t in Portsmouth) to see. Pain pill doctor. Or maybe it was when I bought pills fra friendsfriends . Grandmother. Or how about wewhen I saw a former high school cheerleader walking the stro. I’m not sure when it really hit me. Like thethe Phoenix we will rise from the Ashes and this is what i know about thr 740 Ashes

    • samquinones

      Keep telling the story, Mary Ann. thanks for all your help.

      • maryann henson

        ha ha ha i was typing on my phone when i wrote this comment! But I think you all get the point. Portsmouth has recovered from may trials and tribulations. We can recover from this! It is the sense of “family” in the 740, that we’ve been taught our whole lives, that will save portsmouth. I believe RWR and this song is the perfect catalist for rebirth in the 740. GREAT JOB RWR!!!!! keep up the good fight! And thanks Sam. I think you were lead to our town for a reason, to remind us of what used to be,and what can be again. P-TOWNERS!!!! STAND-UP!!!!! Let’s make a change! WE WILL RECOVER!!!!!

    • and sister can i say i was very honored to know you in your road to recovery and many othres god is god all the time and all the time god is good that’s what they tell us at welcome home christian fellowship right the biker church

  29. Kath Balfour

    Hi Sam– First of all, I really look forward to your blog every week. Photo-tracking the Virgin across LA is a great quest! Everything you say about LA & Mexico rings true– it’s expected. But after living here in the bubble called Australia for nearly 40 years, I read the Portsmouth story in stunned disbelief. The whole rust belt, addicted??!! ( Having been born in the relatively prosperous factory city of Allentown PA just after WW2, I was equally enlightened by the story Billy Joel sang of its demise some 25 yrs ago…). I turned to Wikipedia for further info on Portsmouth’s history and reversal of fortune– very sad. I’d heard about oxy being hillbilly heroin, but am wondering what, exactly, 7-4-0 means. It’s probably bloody obvious, but its gone right over my head. Unfortunately, I was unable to pick up all the words of the rap, but the spirit of those youngsters was touchingly clear! So am I right in concluding that oxy and heroin are in competition with the Mexican dealers exploiting the demand by bringing in a cheaper & cheaper product? Good luck with your research and thank you for keeping us posted. cheers, Kath in Perth

  30. Kathy Newman

    Thank You Sam for the time that you took talking to so many of us in recovery. I am very proud of this town and how we are starting to recover from this epidemic. I was honored that you chose to listen to my stories of addiction and recovery. We have a long road ahead of us but I believe we are on the right track. We don’t have to live in the misery anymore and we don’t have to die. I hope someday that normal people don’t look at us with that stigma of the “addict” anymore. But until then people like you that have an open mind and a voice will have our backs. Thank you again for showing the hope that we have here in Portsmouth.

  31. Amanda

    Here’s what I know about that 740: I lost my husband to the 740. I am now raising our two little boys alone. They were so young when they lost their daddy that they will never remember him. I have been unable to find steady work since before my youngest son was born, and now we are struggling to make ends meet every month. If it weren’t for my husband’s disability checks we would be living with family or in our car, because work in the 740 is very hard to come by. Even with the SSI checks coming in every month we can only afford to live in PMHA housing, and even that is almost too expensive. With gas and food prices constantly going up it is becoming more and more difficult to feed my children. After so many years of not having steady work I have found it impossible to find someone that will hire me to a permanent position so that I can afford to feed my kids for the entire month instead of for just a few days or weeks. My dream is to move out of here to a less economically depressed area so that my kids have better opportunities than I have had. When you’re from the 740 there are many of those. No one wants to admit that they are associated with people from the 740, because they are stupid enough to believe that everyone from the 740 must be druggies, felons, or whatever they all think we are. I am here to say that we are not all addicted to drugs, not all of us have been to jail, and despite all of that we are not all blind to the issues in our area. We want change as much as everyone else!!!

    • samquinones

      In my mind, the 740 is code for large parts of America, a lot of it rural heartland. I’ve been to some of these places. Southwest Kansas is in the 740. So is part of Oklahoma.

  32. B

    I have lived in Portsmouth my whole life It was always a little bit like it is today but nowhere near as bad I was raised not to worry about locking doors or running home before it got dark but my children sure know to lock doors &not wander far from the front porch during daytime, never going anywhere after dark It’s sad but I used to be part of the problem I lived there, sold dope &caught a case there I was the addict/dealer contributing to the mayhem other parents were protecting their families from Now I’m on the other side of the fence I was like any other addict, saying there was nothing in Portsmouth but drugs &crime but after 2yrs in recovery I now see the other side There is alot more to our town &seeing something positive like these boys making a rap video &seeing the recognition they are getting is proof that there is positivity in P-town It trully is about who &what you look for &associate yourself with when you live in Portsmouth Thank God for the FBI &Scioto Co Sheriff’s office for doing their job &arresting me &putting me in treatment If I hadn’t caught a case I would probably be dead by now Thank you for focusing on the positive things that are

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  34. Sara Patton

    This place you refer to as 740 was once my home town. A place that I reflect back on when thinking about my childhood. It is sad that what was once a very prosperous and industrial town is now considered one of the largest drug havens on this side of the Mississippi. For this town to have even made Dateline there is a problem. The people to need to fight to save not only their town but also the youth they are losing to such an unfortunate circumstance that sweeps many towns and that is poverty. Drug dealers feed on poverty stricken towns and take over. The saddest part is the local government that continues to turn a blind eye to the very place they call home.

  35. Melinda

    It’s all true! Even what is shown or said does not come close to how REALLY bad it is. Not trying to be a downer, but I believe in reality. We can’t sweep it under the rug like so many residents of Scioto County want to. Lock them up!!! Yes, that’s what many say, until it’s their child. Judges, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and many others from all profession have children or a family member addicted. We need more awareness, more rehab facilities, and more funding. My daughter is in her early twenties and has worked hard since she was sixteen. She has been using for two years and desires to be clean. What’s the problem? No insurance and no money!!!! So, hear you have someone who is sick with this disease and we can find her NO help. How sad is that?? We need to do better!! And hear is a dose of reality for the others out there that want to point fingers. Your 4.0, very respectful, all around “good” kids that excel in sports in Portsmouth are drinking, smoking pot and some doing pills while you turn your head. Yes, if you are reading this, you better open your eyes. Parents would be shocked!! They tweet about it all the time. How can parents not know? Look!!! This addiction is NOT about “bad” kids!! It knows NO boundaries!! Someone has to say it like it is!!

  36. Doug

    I am really glad to see drugs finally exposed in this town. They have been prominent as early as Dr.Lily and Dr.Proctor years. With a steady and fast decline ever sense then. With businesses shutting down. No work around the area. It had been a depressing area. I do personally see hope with the area. I see more businesses opening on 2nd st. I see more people exposing the problem of drugs. The citizens of Waller St took back there block. Lisa Roberts has really helped this town as well…This is a joint and community effort…We can do this together.

  37. Tanya

    Man do I know bout 740 an I grew up with a few of these boys. Let me tell ya a story bout my life cause I’ve lived here all my life everything they have talked about is real one of thier lyrics if u haven’t lived here worked here sold here caught a case here what the hell you know about 740. I’ve done all those things went to prison cause I couldn’t stay clean my mom did a lot by raising my oldest most of her life,sometimes it’s like a never ending battle,but we do have recovery in our town,an once again back in treatment services trying to stay clean it gets over whelming but it can happen.. They told my story for sure an I’m so proud to have known them almost my whole life change can happen if u want it!!! So proud of u all

  38. Matt Risner

    I know alot about the 740!!! Im still here and I recently just got out of rehab.. So I know what is this towns demon is!!! And yeah the ones that have never done anything you will never understand the addiction of an addict!!! It’s rough as hell!!! I know!!! Im recovering from it!! This town use to be one of the best towns in Ohio with work, but now you have to pretty much move out of here or draw some kind of check!!!! I used to love this place as a kid but now that I am older I see everything so much clearer now!!! RWR you guys did a damn good job on pointing out this towns problems!!!! I love it by the way good job!!!!

  39. The same group has another song about Portsmouth — it, too, discusses drugs, corrupt judge, and the daily life of living in an economically depressed area.

    Check it out here:
    Random – Hometown

  40. Lyn

    What I know about the 740 is good people are doing something about it. Portsmouth is no different than the surrounding Appalachia tri-state area, however, we are being recognized because we are not hiding our problems. We are letting everyone know we have problems and setting an example of how to fight the battle.

  41. Peter Roscoe

    Are you sure this is Rap music, Sam? I heard the word “f#@&” fewer than a dozen times.

  42. Stacy Litz

    I know very well about the 740. I’ve only been free from prison since May 31st,2013 and I know I can’t go back to living in Portsmouth. I nearly lost my life there and through the corrupt Scioto county officials I became incarcerated for 4 years and 9 months (1737 days) and I was told by my court appointed attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge that I would only be at ORW for 6 months, and then they would give me the help I needed by sending me to STAR for 6 months. But I never saw STAR, it was all lies just to get me to take a plea deal. I lost a lot while I was down. My mother passed, My then 16 month old son never saw me during that time, he will be 7 years old in March and he barely even knows me, I lost everything I owned. I found myself during that time and I have 5 years clean, I have a job that I love, and I have relocated to Cincinnati where everything is coming together for me. I’m very proud of these guys for creating this rap song and video, for simply overcoming the insanity of Scioto county. That’s what I know about the 740.

  43. Miranda

    I had seen the video before. Good work guys. Positive things need to come from this area. There are so many good people here. What defines us is not what we’ve done in the past. What defines us is what we are doing now.

  44. Teresa Lodwick

    These guys are great thank you so much Sam for sharing

  45. heather

    My husband is in this band. And in the video tge one in red. These boys are trying to send a message to everyone. I really dont like rap i usually listen to country but i loved this song n so proud of them..

  46. C

    You got to survive the 740 is what the hell I know. Don’t get caught up in the culture. Don’t be a victim of circumstance. Survive get out and make something of yourself and never forget the 740. Only the strong survive.

  47. Cindi

    Portsmouth is not as terrible of a town as what many people think or say. It is truly who you surround yourself with…which is true in any other town in the U.S.
    Portsmouth gets a bad name very often, but I love all of the friends, family, and acquaintances that I have! I wouldn’t trade this place for anywhere else…well maybe Hawaii (haha) but in all seriousness, for people who think so negatively of this town….there are 2 options: be the change you want to see, or change your surroundings & the people you spend your time with!

    • wake up

      just because you chose to turn a blind eye to how bad your community is getting doesn’t mean it isn’t there.It’s people like you that make change so hard, not only do you lay blame on others your surround yourself with good and not care about all the bad going on.WAKE UP if change is going to happen all of Us good people need to contribute Portsmonth gets a bad name simply because the drugs and violence has forced good people into their homes behind locked doors.So the next time your around your good friends and family why not bring up the typical of what can we do? at least these boys are showing the real side of this town bravo boys job well done.

  48. Tracy

    It’s sad what Portsmouth has became. It used to be a place where you could raise your kids without fear. We never locked doors and never had to worry. Now we live behind closed locked doors with alarms on them. The working class is worried about keeping what they have while the others steal to get what we work for. Kids being raised by grandparents because of the drugs here. We have lost to many young people to drugs. It’s a shame:-(

  49. Sue Zuefle

    Don’t care for rap but good job guys.proud to be from Portsmouth(West).

  50. Molly Jarrells

    So proud of of these guys for creating such a poignant video! It certainly makes a statement. I’ve lived in Portsmouth and West Portsmouth all of my 47 years. The decline has been so disheartening. I saw it when I was in law enforcement, and I see it every day all over the town. The people here need to save our “740”. No one is going to do it for us. Thanks for including the video! πŸ™‚

    • samquinones

      My pleasure. The rhyme rocks! Also very much enjoying my visits to Portsmouth — last week was the fourth time. I’m impressed with how the town is rebounding from those scandalous pill mills.

  51. These are talented kids who deserve this break. Noone more worthy of it than them. Helping their moms raise nieces and nephews working at convient “Hilltop Market” having brand new babies of their own…..i hope not only that this takes them outta the 740 but they use their fame to help all reclaim the town that was once a wonderful thriving place to live……Wonderful job Nick, Clint and crew……you make us proud! We love ya:)

  52. nick mungle

    As a member RWR my self and the rest of the group would like to thank everybody for all the support . we really appreciate it

    • samquinones

      good job on the rap and the video….how about next a story about a person you know who grew up in all that?….a hooker? an addict? a dealer? someone recovering?

      • Kim Reed

        Nick, that video is awesome. Tells the story of our town perfectly. Good job and I see it is starting to go viral. Proud of you.

      • Jade

        I can tell from me being one person who grew up in all that and have kids still growing up in it. My son lost his life to a drug overdose.His sister is a recovering meth addict who to this day has joined SOLACE and supports other addicts in their recovery.I am very proud of her and of all the others in recovery that opened their eyes before it was too late.One thing I wish to express is that addicts are not the only ones in recovery,the parents and the loved ones are too as we are standing behind you and we suffer as you suffer,we heal when you heal,and we pray for you 24/7.

  53. Although I live about 17 miles west of Portsmouth I have been proud to call Portsmouth my hometown for 41 of my 65 years. If I did not have enough reasons to run for the US House of Representatives in 2014, these young men have given me another. Through this plea for someone to listen, they also offer us so much hope for the future. We should listen, they are our future.

  54. christine

    intense stuff/devastation in every part of our world — glad you posted this/hard to get a video woven into the book format, but I know you’ll try πŸ™‚

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