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The videotaping of the death of 16-year old Derrion Albert has sparked nationwide outrage about not only the problems in Chicago, but of the youth as a whole.  never known for biting his tongue on social issues, Nas penned an “Open Letter To Young Warriors Of Chicago” urging them to redirect their energy into a more positive directions.

I personally agree with Nas on this issue, particularly because I live in Chicago and I have worked directly with the youth he is addressing in his letter. When I say I worked with the “youth”, I mean the exact kids that not only were the victims,  but the perpetrators as well.  I’ve seen kids that were like Biggie said in his song “Sky’s The Limit” -  “real life beginner killers” with no future and no one gives a damn about them. It’s not like the old days where the smart kids get teased or bullied because they are different or weaker.  Now its like throwing mice into a snake pit – they get swallowed whole.

To anyone that thinks justice will be served by the other kids going to jail for life, think about the surroundings that breed the the nature of a kid that takes a wooden plank to a stranger’s head for no reason at all.  9 times out of 10, their home life isn’t worth a damn and everyone else has already given up on them.  One of the mothers of the assailants was quoted as saying “that what he does, he’s a gangbanger”.  They even burned down the memorial of him that was on the site of the beating.  Everyone is looking around saying “what kind of people act this this?”  The answer is your neighbors, co-workers, and families.  The next time you get a chance to impart some wisdom to some young goons, take full advantage of it.  I’ve known at least 4 kids that have been murdered and dozens of others that have been shot or incarcerated for at least 7 years and better.  Every time I speak to a teenager, I treat it like it maybe be the last.  It’s not just the “bad” kids dying, but ALL the kids.  Sorry for the rant, but its my first one and I think this issue merits my response.  Check out what Nasir had to say below:

R.I.P. Derrion Albert

Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong wars!   Killing each other is definitely played out. Being hurt from the lost of a love one was never cool.

Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong war! I know that feeling, that frustration with life and needing to take it out on someone, any one. But….

We chose the dumbest things to go the hardest for.  I remember seeing deaths over 8 ball jackets, Fila sneakers, and name plate chains. Deaths over “he say, she say”!!!!! “I’m from this block or I’m from that block”, or “my moms n pops is f*cked up now the whole world gotta pay”!!!

I remember feeling like I was the hardest “n*gga” breathing.  And I couldn’t wait to prove it. But let’s think. What are we really proving?? And proving what to who?? Everybody knows Chicago breeds the strongest of the strong but I just feel, me, being ya brother from another state feels your pain as if I grew up with you in ya very own household.

You have the ability and mindpower to change they way we are looked at.  Look who’s watching us young warriors, look who’s throwing us in jail constantly, look at the ignorance in the world. Look at the racist dogs who love to see us down. Loving to bury us in the ground or in jail where we continue this worthless war on one another.

Young warriors…. We are WASTING more and more time. We gotta get on our jobs and take over the world. Cuz this movie left the theaters years ago, Juice, Menace, Boys n the Hood , Blood n Blood Out, Belly!

When we see each other why do we see hatred? Why were we born in a storm, born soldiers, WARRIORS….and instead of building each other up we are at war with each other.. May the soul of this young person find peace with the almighty. I’m with you young warriors. You’re me and I’m you. But trust me! you are fighting the wrong war.

This sh*t sucks !!

-Nas



  • http://www.ihiphop.com/biggerwig Big Wig

    This is a great post Rashaan. I feel you on all of this. It’s a serious tragedy that makes you rethink notions of justice. People always say “the youth is going wild” and panic about it, but someone has to be there to set the example for the youth. I’m curious how Obama is going to respond to this, because he got his start in politics and organizing by dealing with exactly the kind of despair that brings about this type of behavior, in the same neighborhoods in Chicago.

  • http://www.ihiphop.com/RED-Inc R.E.D. Inc.

    Funny you mentioned that about Obama because one of the groups involved in that brawl are from the projects he used to work in as a community organizer (Algteld Gardens).

  • http://www.ihiphop.com/biggerwig Big Wig

    Wow. That’s crazy. I didn’t realize that some of those kids were from Altgeld. I just finished reading “Dreams From My Father” and it really seemed like Altgeld played a serious part in politicizing Obama. So this is the real question, right? What does an event like this do to/for the country right now? Does it create despair, and scare people off the ghettos, or does it mobilize national efforts to better fund schools, public housing, after school programs (all of which are being cut)?

  • http://www.ihiphop.com/ncg1 ncg

    i agree, i believe we have a responsibility to each other, i dont want to preach but God said we should love one another love thy neighbor, we have to have enough love and concern for one another to respectfully correct one another, take a lil time pull em aside and tell em this aint whats up, ask em how they doin and really want to know, you never know what you might say to somebody to brighten they whole day, peace fam