Newark NJ Deputy Mayor Ras Baraka Creates 'Hip-Hop For The P.E.O.P.L.E.'

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


“We have

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

their lives.”

The Hip-Hop

For The P.E.O.P.L.E. CD compilation is scheduled for an early 2005 release.