BET released a documentary today titled Murder To Excellence: Life & Hip-Hop In Chicago that shed light on the connection between Hip-Hop and the violence that is taking place in Chicago. The documentary features Chicago rappers King Louie, L.E.P. Bogus Boys, Sasha Go Hard, Katie Got Bandz, and more. It also feature community activsit Che "Rhymefest" Smith, Father Michael Pfleger, and others. Overall the idea behind the documentary was great. The fact that BET felt that what was going on here in Chicago needs to be brought to a brighter light I greatly appreciate because it is very true. Unfortunately the people in the video that have the most influence didn't offer any words of encourage or improvement for the streets of Chicago. I respect Rhymefest for giving the truth about what's going on in the streets then offering ways to combat it. To me it seemed that most of the artist gave an impression that this is normal and simply labled it as being "real". This to me only continues the violent cycle that we are in now. Don't get me wrong I don't expect these artist to clean the streets themselves, but they do carry enough clout in the streets to make a difference, which I think they dropped the ball on in this documentary. I commend Rhymefest, Father Pfleger, Cathy Cohen, TJ Crawford, & Monica Haslip for their work in the community in trying to break this vicious cycle of violence in Chicago. To the artist I just wished on top of telling the truth about what's going on in Chicago they then spoke to the youth about being better than this.
Overall I was happy with the documentary because it starts the conversation about making the necessary changes in Chicago to make this a better and safer place for us all. I just hope that the people with the loudest voice join in on the conversation, but if they don't we as the smaller voices still need to have this conversation and talk about this until its loud enough to be unavoidable.
The Mash is the teen edition of the Chicago Tribune - a high school newspaper distributed to Chicago area high schools, produced entirely by high school students! Today's issue brought Chicago hip hop to the forefront after the recent murder of Lil Jojo ignited a look at how hip hop and its violent, lyrical messages, especially seen here locally, is having an impact on the youth.
Simply put, this is a must-read for any local visitors where this topic hits home, but really to everyone reading out there, wherever you are. We can all assess how this issue influences our own communities and focus our intention on learning and growing from it. Big ups to The Mash for a job well-done informing and sparking conversation and action.
Read the full cover story here. Comment with your thoughts!
The Black Youth Project (BYP), Power of Purpose Inc. (POP), and Rhymefest came together to create a project that brings awarness to violence in Chicago. The mixtape features several different artsit all with the overall goal of helping bring attention to and ending the viloence that has taken over the inner city streets of Chicago. BYP has a pleadge that they are asking all to take that reads as follows, "With courage and urgency I PLEDGE TO take action and work WITH Black youth to fight against the inequality and injustice that too often define our world. By taking this pledge I agree to take action to ensure a promising future for Black youth. Enjoy!