Bill Cosby Gets Down With Hip-Hop

Actor/Comedian Bill

Cosby and various Hip-Hop artists have joined with Ras Baraka, Deputy Mayor of

Newark, New Jersey, to launch Hip-Hop for the P.E.O.P.L.E., a national community

service program aimed at underprivileged urban youth.

The mission of

Hip-Hop for the P.E.O.P.L.E. (Providing Education Opportunity, Prosperity and

Life Eternally) is to enlighten inner city youth on the reality of gangs by

tapping into the power of Hip-Hop.

“The concept

of [the] project is to use Hip-Hop as a vehicle to educate on anti-violence

in all forms," Cosby told in a statement.

According to Baraka,

Hip-Hop for the P.E.O.P.L.E is meant to build on the peace treaty that The City

of Newark negotiated between the Bloods and Crips in May 2001.

The program’s

objective is to prevent violence caused by recent surges in gang activity in

the East Coast.

“The City

of Newark appreciates Dr. Cosby’s support in our on-going efforts to combat

gang violence and to take back our communities,” said Baraka. “Through

Hip-Hop, there is no denying that we will get our message across to the youth.”

Hip-Hop for the

P.E.O.P.L.E utilizes the forums of music and film to reach out to and educate


In addition to

a documentary depicting the poverty and oppression that exists in the Hip-Hop

generation, the program plans to release a compilation CD in early 2005.

New Jersey-bred

Hip-Hop artists Queen Latifah, Wyclef Jean, Rah Digga, Redman and Treach of

Naughty by Nature are set to contribute to the documentary and CD.

Hip-Hop for the

P.E.O.P.L.E recently released a mixtape featuring local New Jersey artists—Skully,

Money Green, Jace, Alcatraz, Love and Kandi Kane among others.

Black 45 and Biz

Markie DJ/Producer Cool V serve as production coordinators for the project.