Black stars such as Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West, Common, Twista and many others have avoided fulfilling the usual narrative of the black story through the medium of music. It is my belief that music is a powerful tool in keeping our children away from the usual challenges presented by the streets.
The news published on July 7, 2020, by the New York Times of multiple children dying from gun violence in Chicago is truly heart-breaking. While violence will always be a part of our existence at some level, it can be minimized by people having more productive things to do with their time such as making music.
Children can use music as an outlet. Many children, especially those who are from lower-income regions of Chicago are often exposed to negative elements. These elements are usually tainted with excessive sexuality, violence, alcoholism and even abuse. If children are given the opportunity to express themselves in song or in the playing of an instrument, they are more likely to avoid violent behaviors.
Music is like medicine. If it is taken the right way, it can bring about holistic healing to the broken. Many children turn to violence and other illicit practices because of the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual brokenness that they experience. A study published by US National Library of Medicine shared that music has been proven to be useful in helping individuals in coping with stress and trauma.
Many successful musicians share that they had to sneak and pursue their passion for music because their parents saw it as a path that was lacking in potential. The issue that we need to resolve is the negative perception that parents have toward music. If more parents in Chicago become aware of the true value of music as an outlet, a medicine and a viable career path, more children would be kept from violence and other unfavorable behavior.
As a musician myself, music has truly improved my life. I have been pursuing it for many years and have released many projects including my recent EP titled ‘Drifting’. I firmly believe that music is a tool that can significantly help Chicago’s youth.