Twista Reaches Out to Students About Teen Violence
After the brutal death of Chicago high school student Derrion Albert in September, the hip-hop community was quick to rebuke senseless street violence. There was a lot of talk about doing better, but there haven’t been too many rappers that have walked the walk. West side Chicago native Twista is hoping to change all that by reaching out to the youth directly.
In a segment on local CBS News, Twista held a frank discussion with Carl Lowrey and Eugene Bailey — two of the students involved in the beating.
“I came up the same way you did,” explained Twista. “Public aid, drug problems in the family, dealing with people selling drugs. It changed me in a way where I know what I don’t want to go back to.”
Lowery was never formally charged, but has been expelled from school. He claims that the treatment towards him has been unfair. For Bailey, times have been even tougher. He was initially charged with murder, but has since been released from jail with a clean slate and hopes to rebuild his image.
“It wasn’t really no sleep,” Bailey said. “Two or three hours of sleep and wake right back up. I was thinking, ‘No, this couldn’t have happened … ‘ We lost a good friend. He was like one of my brothers.”
Twista’s outreach and conversation is just the beginning. In addition to his recent ‘Save our Students’ mixtape, he plans on collaborating with Kanye West to raise funds that will create alternative youth programs with the ultimate goal of keeping kids off the streets. In addition, Twista intends to tour the country and visit youth centers to spread his stop-the-violence message.