EXCLUSIVE: Chicago OG Noonie Ward Weighs In On Common, Kanye, Violence In Chicago; Calls On Rappers To Act
(AllHipHop News) Chicago rappers Kanye West and Common are grabbing headlines for their comments about the violence that plagues their hometown of Chicago.
Kanye West appeared on "The Jimmy Kimmel Show" and during the interview with Kimmel, West stated: "Don't antagonize me, cause you know what? It's not safe for you in the zoo. Never think that I'm not from Chicago for one second and think that you can walk up and disrespect me and my family, constantly," in relation to his physical encounter with a photographer at LAX in July.
Today, Common responded to the comments on TMZ.com, during a quick interview on the streets of New York City. Common agreed with Kanye, about the violence in their city.
"You see what's going on with the young people right now, there's a lot of death and violence going on in Chicago, but we're gonna make change," Common promised.
Chicago activist Harold "OG Noonie G." Ward is a former high-ranking member of The Gangster Disciples, the nation's largest gang.
Ward, who has worked with closely with Kanye and Common on various anti-violence events in Chicago, is featured in an in-depth article in Bloomberg Market, which is scheduled to hit shelves this month.
"It's the Mexican cartels and the powers that be in Chicago," Noonie G. told AllHipHop.com. "The drugs are coming from Mexico to Chicago. It's a $3.5 billion industry. It's the hardest on the South and West sides, where you see most of the violence coming from. People are fighting over that cartel drug money. The violence wasn't as bad until this started happening, and now you see it going to another level."
Noonie G., who was featured on an episode of "American Gangster" about Chicago's gangs, turned his life around after a prison stint in 1994 and has been active in Chicago politics ever since.
He even worked with President Barack Obama when the Commander-in-Chief was an activist in the Altgeld Gardens housing complex.
President Obama's former Chief-of-Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is the current Mayor of "Chiraq," while Garry F. McCarthy serves as the city's Police Chief.
"Our Police Chief is Hollywood. He ain't no real Police Chief," Noonie G. told AllHipHop.com of McCarthy, who starred in the Sundance reality series "Brick City," which centered around gangs and crime in Newark, New Jersey.
"They are getting paid off these kids. Crime pays," Noonie G. continued. "Each one of these kids are like pawns. Chicago is known to be the most ruthless city for everything. From the police to everything else. They could stop this level of killings if they wanted to. They get all this money from Washington DC, but they don't use the money for education programs, or gang prevention."
Noonie G. says he works tirelessly to help stem the violence in Chicago, but a major presence is noticeably absent – that of the rappers.
According to Noonie G., it's just not enough for the Chicago rappers to pay attention to the violent epidemic sweeping through the Windy City.
Noonie G. is seeking the support of the entire Hip-Hop industry, as he attempts to help calm the violence in the streets of Chicago, which also stems from the lack educational opportunities for teens in the city, after Mayor Emanuel ordered 47 elementary schools permanently closed.
"I need the rappers to come together, and not with the powers that be," Noonie G. told AllHipHop.com. "We need to sit down without any music industry politics, with the street guys and really try to figure out what we can do with these kids. Right now, rappers are coming to Chicago, doing their concerts and getting their money, but they keep on going. Don't none of them go to the hood. They're scared. But the thing is your black. You're not scared of the Ku Klux Klan, but you're scared of your own people? I am not asking anyone for any money. Their influence would be enough."
To contact activist Harold "OG Noonie G" Ward about helping in Chicago, feel free to email NoonieHK (at) aol.com.