Warith Muhammad is trying to combat violence in Peoria and he says the best place to start is with music. He says he hopes his music will provide a clear message to youth.
“Don’t start with the gangs, don’t start with killing, don’t start with drug abuse, because once they start with that, pretty much your life is over,” said Muhammad.
Today he was out at Harrison homes talking to people about the importance of positive music.
Muhammad says a lot of factors are at play when it comes to violence but he says one of those factors that can be easily addressed is the lyrics found in popular music.
“Today’s form of hip hop music is led by gangster rap or songs that promote the use of opioids, like perkaset.”
18-year-old Tryone agrees and says those messages leave an impact on people.
“It’s turning us out, it’s making us bad out here, it’s making everybody think, listening to those lyrics, turn them up, but it’s not really like that,” said Tyrone.
Tyrone is a father and says his family has motivated him to shift focus away from what may be glorified in top chart hits.
“I got a mindset now where I focus on my family more than the streets and the stuff like that, that’s what I focus on,” he added.
War says the best way to present that same cool, successful image but change what is actually being said.
“The message through our music is spread love and peace, you cannot go wrong if you spread love and peace, we got to stop protecting a destructive lifestyle through music and making it look cool,” said War.
He says changing the narrative of that music will help weaken the influence of violent gang culture.