“Don’t let the city get me…don’t let this hood take me under.”
As we go about our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to forget how good most of us have it. I recently saw a video called “Under” by a young up-and-coming singer named Ahsan. The video depicts the life of too many black kids in America, struggling to survive in a city where there are more opportunities for things to go wrong than there are to go right.
Newark, New Jersey is one of the top 5 most dangerous cities in America. Their streets are no stranger to shootings, murders, and drug deals every single day. Ahsan’s message is powerful, “don’t let the bullets hit me, don’t let the dealers trick me…” It’s a desperate plea from a teen with so much potential, so much to lose, and in real fear of where his life might end up if he doesn’t get out.
But the same story can be told in cities like Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans…the list goes on and on.
Thousands of teens, particularly black males, are killed by unnecessary gun violence every year. Many we don’t hear about. It’s become so common that often times these young men who had so much more life to live come into the world and leave far too soon, and no one even knows about it. Ahsan’s message, and mine as well, is to put a face on the forgotten ones. Let them not be “the forgotten ones,” let’s share the message that this is happening across America and we must do whatever we can to stop it.
I am proud of Ahsan. I am proud that an artist would use his voice to talk about something that can really change our communities. Celebrity is worthless unless you use it to uplift others. At an early age, Ahsan has learned this important lesson. Let’s support the record and let’s support the movement.