Nearly 20 years after the first Stop the Violence campaign was birthed, Hip Hop pioneer KRS-One is re-launching the effort with many of the today's notable MCs.
50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Immortal Technique, Chingy, and Rick Ross are just a few of many who will participate in the series of public service announcements designed to curb the increasing levels of violence among youth.
"We are in a state of emergency—school shootings, nooses being hung from trees, domestic violence, gang violence, police brutality and war. In the midst of mass turmoil the Hip Hop community cannot afford to stand still," KRS said about the need for a new campaign.
In addition to the PSAs, various youth programs, lectures, films, and a new Stop the Violence album will follow.
While Hip Hop has been widely criticized for violent imagery that often celebrates death, the rappers involved with the project recognize that the culture has the ability to change society.
The project even drew the attention—and support—of Stanley Crouch, an outspoken critic of Hip Hop culture.
In an editorial that appeared last week on the SacBee website, Crouch praised KRS—while condemning T.I.—for a campaign that "couldn't come too soon."
"If this smart campaign is successful in lessening the slaughter of black people from coast to coast," Crouch writes, "we will all be glad to admit that hip-hop has begun to discourage the kinds of actions that resulted in the ominous charges now facing Clifford Harris, way down yonder in Atlanta."
The original Stop the Violence campaign began in the late 80's in response to rising violence in the community and the death of Boogie Down Productions co-founder Scott La Rock. The movement birthed the classic anthem, "Self Destruction", which featured a who's who of Hip Hop including Doug E. Fresh, Public Enemy, Stetsasonic, and Boogie Down Productions. All proceeds from the campaign were donated to the National Urban League.
(Adapted from www.HipHopDX.com)