A group of Chicago rappers are banding together to make a difference in the lives of the city’s youth and lending a hand to help put an end to the violence that often plagues the city.
The collective known as “Voice of the Streetz” was spearheaded by music industry veteran Rawle Stewart. Stewart, long-time manager Chicago rap stalwart Twista, put the movement together in the wake of the murder of his friend, and manger of Lil Durk, Chino Dolla, this past March.
“Just this past year, I’ve had three people that I’ve known, that’s close to me, pass away due to violence,” Stewart said. “You know someone once told me music is God’s way of talking to his people and I just think we need to figure a way to use the music and the people behind it to point us in the right direction.”
Though various artists are at the heart of the movement, the plan isn’t simply to perform concerts across the city but instead to hold town-hall style meetings to talk with area residents about the issues that affect them everyday.
It didn’t take much convincing for Twista to want to be a part of the program. The Grammy-nominated rapper said he’s always down for any chance to provide a “positive sparkle” to someone.
“Anytime a person has a positive sparkle, a spark in his head to do something to stop something that’s bad happening, especially kids getting killed in the streets and people shooting and things like that, I mean, anything to stop something like that is a good time,” said the “Hope” rapper.
The campaign got off to a successful start last week with it’s inaugural meeting in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. The group plans to visit various neighborhoods throughout the city to spread their message.
Other artists working with the VOTS campaign include Stunt Taylor and Dancer D Low.