Ras Baraka, Deputy Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, has teamed with various Hip-Hop
artists and producers to create Hip-Hop For The P.E.O.P.L.E. (Providing Education
Opportunity, Prosperity and Life Eternally), a new national community service
The program will
use the power of Hip-Hop to promote violence prevention, gang awareness and
education. The organization says it will aide in bridging the generation gap
between youth and elders in various communities.
“The Hip-Hop For The P.E.O.P.L.E. initiative was created
in attempt to save lives due to the recent increase of gang violence in the
East Coast,” Baraka said. “On May 21, 2004, The City of Newark brokered
a Peace Treaty among the 5 or 6 sets of the Crips and Bloods and this concept
is an extension of that effort.”
A Hip-Hop CD compilation and full length film documentary is
being produced to support what will ultimately become a world-wide campaign
for the program.
The documentary will feature interviews with gangs who talk
about their situations, political statements, spoken word and positive Hip-Hop
received an overwhelming response from local recording artists and producers
and we are currently in the process of recording songs,” Baraka said.
“We are also in contact with well-known Hip-Hop luminaries from New Jersey
such as Queen Latifah, Wyclef Jean, Rah Digga, Redman, and Treach of Naughty
By Nature to participate in the CD and/or the documentary.”
On May 21st, a ceasefire between the city’s Bloods and
Crips was reached. Baraka recently dismissed an article published in New Jersey's
The Star-Ledger newspaper that said the New Jersey Bloods along with West Coast
Bloods were planning an uprising in state jails and the streets.
Baraka said the article was a part of the FBI's Counterintelligence
Program (Cointelpro), designed to ultimately break the ceasefire between the
two rival gangs.
“This same thing happened in Los Angeles," Baraka
said at a press conference that helped ease mounting tensions. "When the
brothers did their peace treaty, the same kind of thing came out: ‘Gangs
organized themselves to kill the police.’ That is utter nonsense. Now,
they have created an atmosphere here, where police officers are fearful for
For The P.E.O.P.L.E. CD compilation is scheduled for an early 2005 release.