Rappers Eightball and MJG are taking action in response to a recent rash of violence plaguing Memphis City Schools, by initiating a series of school visits and conversations with the children directly affected, Eightball told AllHipHop.com.
Its really just a small step into what really need to be done, Eightball explained. Weve just been having a lot of school violence, a lot of violence period in Memphis. More than weve ever seen in a long time. And its just been spilling over into the schools.
The legendary group has recorded a public service announcement denouncing teen violence, set to begin airing in and around Memphis next week.
They are also planning a two-week tour of all of the cities schools, aiming to start a dialogue with the children about what is causing the violence and their reactions to it.
We just gonna try to do a little bit more just, Eightball said. Hopefully well be a voice that the young kids will listen to and we can get other people in our area to kinda get on board with us. Cause both me and MJ, we got kids in the Memphis City Schools system, and we just wanna be a part of the solution. The people in power in Memphis already look at Hip-Hop as being a part of the problem.
Since the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year, the city of Memphis has had three separate, increasingly serious incidents of gun violence, each taking place at a different school.
The first, at Manassas High School in October, was an accidental shooting, in which a student was shot in the arm during an honors English class, when a friends gun went off in his coat pocket.
The other two shootings, which took place a week apart last month, were more deliberate.
On February 4, a 15-year-old student at Hamilton High School shot a fellow student in the leg during their algebra class, allegedly over an argument about Hip-Hop lyrics.
A week later, on February 11, 19-year-old Mitchell High School senior Stacy Kiser was left critically wounded after being shot several times by 17-year-old Corneilous Cheers, a sophomore at the school in Southwest Memphis.
A third February incident involving school-aged children took place on the 29th, though not directly on school grounds.
A 16-year-old was taken into custody after shooting at a group of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders on their way to Vance Middle School in South Memphis.
Luckily, none of the children were injured.
The stop the violence thing, we tryna do it as soon and as quick as possible, Eightball continued. Everywhere we go, the parents and the teachers, they tell us that nobody else capture their attention like we do. They bring doctors, they bring lawyers, they bring firemen, policemen, you name it. Then they bring somebody like us [the children] be quiet when they supposed to; they listen; they ask more questions.