Todd Williams' skin is definitely marked with signs of a turbulent past.
He is inked head to toe which looks intimidating but this rapper -- also known as Louie Knuxx -- is a feminist, vegetarian and a writer.
Mr Williams grew up with seven siblings in Marfell, one of the rougher parts of New Plymouth.
His family says he was a delightful, creative, bright and independent kid but getting into trouble became the normal way of life.
He left home at 14 years old with nowhere to go and -- after getting done for burglary, theft and assault -- he found himself behind bars.
But that's where his life changed and he found solace in writing rap.
Mr Williams is not just a musician but a mentor to kids who have been kicked out of mainstream education and he also works alongside the police.
Story joined Mr Williams as went back to a Taranaki home for youth offenders where he himself spent six months.
"If you're keen for a change, this is a real good time and a real good opportunity. The time you spend here could affect the rest of your life in a positive way if you work hard at it," says Mr Williams.
Watch the video for the full Story report.