(AllHipHop News) Baltimore, Maryland has been at the center of global news for the past week as local citizens continue to protest over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody. The media attention has also shined a spotlight on the city’s urban plight and income inequality.
Several celebrities have weighed in on the situation via tweets, op-eds, vlogs, and interviews. Billboard spoke to several artists from the Baltimore area to get their thoughts on what is taking place in their hometown.
R&B singer Mario was among the musicians interviewed about what is being called the “Baltimore Uprising.” The “Let Me Love You” crooner told the site police officers should not be killing citizens, but he also relayed that citizens need to stop killing each other.
Read what Mario had to say below:
I grew up a little bit of everywhere in Baltimore — East and West Baltimore — and for a time lived not far from where a lot of the riots happened. Seeing what went on there is mind-blowing, it’s really painful for me to watch from a distance because I’ve been really busy with meetings in NYC. I think anytime you have people living a certain lifestyle, the officers’ job is to handle things as smoothly as possible without hurting or killing or harming. On the other side of things though, I see people killing their own people. It shouldn’t take a cop to kill one of your people to unite and come together. There’s a lot of prejudice in Baltimore. Growing up I experienced a lot of it, but what I think Baltimore gave me was a sense of work ethic. It’s a very small city and not a lot of people from the music industry come there often, so for us it’s very competitive. There are a lot of people who come from Baltimore who have done positive things, there’s so much talent, but there aren’t enough outlets.