Friday, May 31, 2013

Youth Speaks 2013 Hip Hop & You


YOUTH SPEAKS “2013 Hip Hop and You…
Bronx Youth Empowerment Program

When youth step-up and take a stand we as adults need to take notice and pitch-in the best we can. Council Member Andy King and his wife Neva Shillingford-King founders of the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program held their annual “YOUTH SPEAKS” Forum with Y.E.P yesterday at Evander Childs HS in the 12th District of the Bronx. The topic of this year “YOUTH SPEAKS” was on the degrading lyrics that are being used in today’s Hip Hop music and the artist and big companies that capitalize on this kind of music.


It was an eventful afternoon for the youth who attended and those that put the event together. Y.E.P members along with the Council Members staff form the 12th District Council office did a great job. Several parents in attendance we’re proud to see a community of young strong-minded individuals coming together to tackle an issue that is so huge and profitable in world today. Kathy Mason said “she never saw something so positive like “YOUTH SPEAKS “and that next year she will be bringing all her grandkids”.


Accountability, Respectability, Acceptability (ARA) was the words for the day and that message rang loud and clear from the youth panel as well as those who attended. Moreover, an even stronger message came from the Council Member to all that choose to profit off our youth. The message for big-business and their artist who keep degrading and demoralizing the culture or artistry of Hip Hop music, “we will be on the frontline of this battle until the day they are held accountable for their actions”.


“We have those in our communities that take these artist and their lyrics to heart and they live by what they hear and that causes our worlds to be flipped upside down. And sadly we only react when it touches home when one of our love ones become a victim of these violent and abusive songs/lyrics”. —CM King

The artist panel was very informative; they brought insight to why things are the way they are in the state of Hip Hop and the music industry as a whole. The panel consists of music and Hip Hop vet and Rock n Roll Hall of Famer Melle Mel, Rodney C of the Funky Four Plus One, Music writer Hasan Johnson, and Radio host Dr. Bob Lee from WBLS 107.5, and NYPD officer Charles Mack who has a degree in music. The five panelists gave the attendees a vase amount of information and I’m sure we all learn something yesterday. Furthermore, hats off to the special invited guest NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.  He knows his Hip Hop history and his speech showed he is in tuned with the youth and what’s going on in the inner city streets… “He’s going to make a great Mayor for the city of New York” stated Brian Melford of the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program “because he understands us”.


Y.E.P “YOUTH SPEAKS “is just that and what we need to do is applaud them and stand side by side with our youth of today. Not all young adults are out doing wrong and the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program represents some of the best of the best youth I know.