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The Post-Derrion Renaissance?

Submitted by on November 13, 2009 – 6:49 pm7 Comments


Derrion Albert

It’s been nearly two months since the brutal and senseless slaying of 16-year old Derrion Albert.

In the time since his death, we’ve seen and heard a lot from prominent (and lesser-known) people in hip hop.

Is it enough?

Nas wrote his “Open Letter to Young Warriors In Chicago.”


Rapper Add-2 recorded his song, “Chicago Kids” (it’s probably the best song I’ve heard on the subject).


The ever-outspoken David Banner recorded the anti-violence anthem, “Something is Wrong.”


More recently, DJ Kay Slay put together a remake of the 1989 classic positive posse cut, “Self Destruction”, which featured KRS-ONE, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, and Chuck D just to name a few.

Just in case you don’t remember it, here’s a flashback.

KRS-ONE put that super group of emcees together, collectively known as the Stop The Violence Movement, to record this song after a fan of his was killed during an audience fight at a Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy concert.

20 years later, Kay Slay’s new cut – the aptly-titled “Self Destruction ’09″ – features Busta Rhymes, Bun B, Sheek Louch, and Papoose, among others. It also features the same chorus as the original and was inspired by the death of Derrion Albert.

Having just written an article about the negative messages in hip hop and the need for those at fault to take responsibility, I wonder if this man-induced tragedy may be the turning point for the entire culture.

However, I must say that I would have appreciated these songs and efforts a great deal more had they come before we got to this point. Proactive measures are always better than those which are reactive.

Also, a few songs with a message will not do the trick. In fact, it may all turn out to be for naught if the same rappers who recorded the positive songs eventually go back to the murderous and vengeful lyrics which helped to get us to this point.

As KRS says in another song,

“Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal,
MC’s spit rhymes to uplift they people”

The rappers and musicians, of course, are not solely to blame. The solution is a complete shift within our culture – away from violence and toward peace, unity, and brotherhood.

Nevertheless, it seems that we may need to usher in a new Stop The Violence Movement. I’d put Nas, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, Joe Budden, Common, Ludacris, OutKast, and Immortal Technique in the studio together and have them record an anti-violence song if I could.

At any rate, awareness is always good. Maybe with enough of that and some corresponding action, we won’t be heading for self destruction after all.

Is there a post-Derrion Renaissance occurring in hip hop? Do we need a new Stop The Violence Movement? Which artists would you choose to make a positive record for this generation? Let us know in the comments section!

Main Image: WHWweb

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  • Clark Kent says:

    We do need a “Stop The Violence” movement, but the theme within the culture is going towards money, ho’s and clothes [think Drake and Wayne]. Gun talk is played out unless you’re 50 Cent.

  • Thanks for the comment. One question, though, if you don’t mind. What artists would you bring together to make a “Stop the Violence” record and why?

  • young Jizswipe says:

    man like my boy biggie says “either sling rocks or got a wicked jump shot, theres no honor in the after scholl job at mickiedies, honor in a dollar kid”

    GO HAM GO HAM GO HAM GO HAM, jiz on the swags and go ever so hard every day son, pop a bottle a patrone and pop a pussey too, get mad money and mad guns and rule the swaggalicous world son!!!

  • Uhhh…. Thanks for the comment!

  • lil-kiki says:

    its like this evryday in my city, im from da chi, and its rough, rule#1. dont get caught slippin, no matter where you at in da Chi. Rule#2. Shoot first.Rule#3. Dont talk to police. We need the national guard in the city for it to change at all, mothefuckas are just gonna get badder and smarter unless the army up in this city. Dont come to Chicago. Kill youerself instead and save yourself the experience.

  • @lil-kiki:
    I’m really sorry to hear that. Just thinking about it reminds me of a Joe Budden track, “Three Sides To a Story.”
    Towards the end of the song he says,
    “When we gon’ learn to treat our people sacred?
    In some type of way, kid
    We’re all related.”

    I believe that things can get better and that it starts with people who are willing to take a stand in their own communities. At some point, we’ve got to love ourselves enough to love one another.
    Keep your head up and stay alive, by all means.

  • the thao says:

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    article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

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