For the past three weeks, we have been working very hard to shine light on the growing edipdemic of youth violence in America. It started with the beating death of Derrion Albert, continued with the tragic killing of Kevin Miller and seems like it may never end. When we first reported on Derrion Albert, we were humbled by the response from the hip-hop community. It started with people re-tweeting the story…champions like Reagan Gomez, Bow Wow, Ludacris, Trina, Big Boi, Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys, Cocktail and so many others. And then Nas wrote a blog, and Bow Wow did a video and Reagan wrote a blog…and all of a sudden it became a movement!
So with every movement, we need an anthem. Erica Ford & her incredibly important program, Bury Da Beef, reached out to Russell for assistance, as she was witnessing the violence continue to escalate in Queens, NY. A long time friend of Russells’, she knew that she needed hip-hop to come to the rescue of their fans. So, Russell reached out to Nas and asked him to do a record, and he said YES. He then was talking to Swizz Beatz about being honored by the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding and Swizz offered to produce the record! WOW! Industry heavyweights like Chris Lighty, Steve Rifkind and Lyor Cohen have all offered their help. Russell told me the other night, he doesn’t forsee anyone saying no. This will be record that everyone will want to get on. How could you not want to get on?
So, who’s next? Who is next to stand up and say enough and enough. Now is the time for us to reclaim our own destiny and in the spirit of Self-Destruction, produced by D-Nice twenty years ago, let’s create a new soundtrack for the peace movement!
Let’s make it happen!
Politics/News Editor, Global Grind & Political Director to Russell Simmons
Follow Michael @michaelskolnik
Follow Erica Ford @ericafordnyc