Something Positive: Atlanta Rapper Seeks to Unify Atlanta Against Gun Violence

“It’s way too much killing,” Rapper Young Dro sang to a packed auditorium earlier today at the Southwest Arts Center in Fulton, Georgia. Young Dro’s message was broad. He spoke about hip-hop, gun violence and his desire for community unity. “After the recent series of shootings targeting children across metro Atlanta, people in one community came together Thursday night in hopes of putting an end to it.”

As reported, he told children, parents, and community leaders at the Arts Center that change is desperately needed. Young Dro preemptively addressed criticism of rap and hip-hop music as being a factor in youth violence. “Amid criticism about rap lyrics depicting violence, Young Dro said that while artists could be part of the problem, they could also be part of the solution.” Young Dro elaborated: “To blame hip-hop I feel is an insult and also alarming because I feel like it starts in the home,” he said. “Hip-hop is a negative influence, but also a positive influence. We’re not solely to blame.”

References in the article were made to several young people who had been murdered recently, such as 13-year-old Deshaun Debrose last week and, a few days earlier, a 17-year-old boy in South Fulton nearly died after he was shot.”

Statements from people who have lost children to gun violence were quoted. “We got to do something about it,” said Marcus Gray, who lost his son Kewan in a shooting in 2020. The need for parental oversight and authority was emphasized by some people quoted in the article. “We have to take back our families out here, you know instead of letting our kids run wild in the streets.”

Young Dro added: “I want everybody to start coming together, joining hands, and actually being involved in our kids’ life. It makes no sense for you to stay across the street from somebody that’s in your community and don’t speak to them for 10 years.” Young Dro has an expansive vision for his message. He “hopes to expand his mission to other cities in which children have been heavily impacted by gun violence, such as Chicago.” The article features a slide show which includes this poignant statement from Young Dro: “Put the guns down!”

D & B Staff

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Episode 19