ATLANTA — There is a renewed push to stop violence among teens. Atlanta city leaders said rap lyrics are promoting a rise in gang violence. Now, some local rappers are stepping up to say enough is enough.
For the first time, Atlanta Rapper Young Dro is publicly sharing new music that addresses youth violence.
“I was speaking out to my young guys, tired of hearing your momma cry, tired of seeing this bloodshed, tired of hearing these gunfire.”
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Those are just some of the lyrics to Young Dro’s new song, “Guns Down.”
“Every time I turn on the TV, it’s killing and shootings and stuff like that,” said Young Dro.
Atlanta police said the latest shooting in the city involved three teens who were shot Monday night on Northside Drive. Investigators believe the shooting was part of an ongoing argument.
“We’re just losing them at an alarming rate,” said Young Dro.
Young Dro tells Channel 2′s Larry Spruill he knows firsthand about gun violence.
“Um, I got shot at the age of 15,” he said.
Now, as a father, he wants to do something. That’s why he’s planning a panel discussion with other rappers and community leaders to discuss youth violence and rap music.
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“I came up with, ‘It Still Takes a Village.’ It’s like a panel, but more like a conversation between parents, kids,” he said.
Young Dro said his “It Still Takes a Village: Guns Down Initiative 2023″ tour will happen on Jan. 26 at the City of South Fulton Arts Center. He knows that young teens listen to his music and other rappers’ lyrics, so he wanted to use this panel discussion to address the words in his songs.
“When kids hear it, they misinterpret what we’re actually meaning by it,” he said.
“I think that holding a panel or having a conversation, for me to explain to you, what kind of content I just put out, after every release of an album, that’s what my approach would be. (Do you think that would work?) Yeah, I think it will work,” said Young Dro.
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He has received criticism for his music in the past, but this time around, he believes his message will be heard and received.
“I’m very much hoping that the kids will receive this message and I hope the parents will receive it also. It’s never too late. I think that, if you don’t say nothing now, then when are you going to say something?” he said.
Young Dro is known for his popular song, “Shoulder Lean,” featuring Atlanta rapper, T.I.
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