The motivation behind bullying and school shootings is the focus of a new single from a Texas-based group mentored by Geto Boys member Willie D.
The trio, known as Huntzville, is taking the issue head on with its debut song "Backpack Fulla Guns" as members D-Boi, Lil' Fly, and C-Lean approach things from the mind of a student, preparing to commit a high school shooting.
"Not so long ago, the repercussions of bullying meant you got sent to the principal's office or home. Today, bullies are being sent to the cemetery, often accompanied by other students and teachers, Willie D told AllHipHop.com in a statement. Where are the parents? I'll tell you where they are. Many of them are standing at the door, waiting for their child to walk through the door, so they can smack them across the head, just because they feel like it. Many of these parents stand in complete denial, causing their son or daughter to become bullies, themselves. Most children learn abusive behavior from the violence and abuse they experience at home. In an effort to seek what they errantly perceive as a feeling of power, or being "superior," such children bully, tease, put down, harass, or otherwise torment one or more victims."
The release of "Backpack Fulla Guns" comes years after Seattle-based rock collective Pearl Jam brought the issue to the mainstream with its hit song Jeremy.
Unlike Huntzville, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder sung the 1992 track from the point of view of someone who observed the shooter before and during his shooting.
Since its release, Backpack Fulla Guns has garnered controversy.
However, group member D-Boi urges listeners to reserve judgment until they give the song an honest hearing.
"The single has a lot of meaning behind it. It's not just a bunch of killing people. It's not just mindless violence, he said. We wanted to put a mirror up through this song, to show society that they're not doing enough about this. These shootings are going on all over America, and they are a worldwide problem. Our job with the song is to remind people we need to take care of it, or it is going to keep happening."
Backpack Fulla Guns is the first single from Huntzvilles forthcoming album Disrupting The Ordinary, which is slated to hit stores in early 2009.
The three-man unit was discovered by Willie D, who signed Huntzville to his Relentless Music record label after receiving one of their demos from a music business seminar.
No stranger to controversy, Willie D knows firsthand the consequences of putting out eyebrow-raising material.
Nevertheless, the rap veteran stands behind Huntzville as he cites a deeper root to the problem of bullying.
Group member Lil Fly referenced Lori Drew, a 49-year-old mother from Missouri, made headlines after she used a phony MySpace persona to bully a thirteen-year-old girl into committing suicide.
The incident landed Drew in legal trouble in what became the first criminal trial ever held involving cyber-bullying.
For Willie D, Drews case further reinforces the need to examine the effect parents have on kids in regards to bullying.
"Many of the parents are bullies, themselves, so they see nothing wrong with it, Willie D said. Some maladjusted parents even co-opt with their child to abuse, torment or put down other children. Many parents vicariously pass on this behavior.