Common calls for Chicago peace summit with Chief Keef

Hip-hop star Common wants to organise a “peace summit” with rising rapper Chief Keef in an effort to cut down on the number of shootings and violent crimes in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois. The Corner hitmaker is convinced youngsters are using the tales told in rap songs by the likes of teen star Keef as the soundtrack to their own gang dealings and the gritty music is doing little to help the rise in gun violence.
He tells the Associated Press, “To decide to take someone’s life, I don’t think they let a rap song determine that”, but he admits young fans caught up in the streets are “influenced by that energy and take it the wrong way”.
Common is keen to sit Keef down to discuss the impact his rhymes about weapons and pulling guns on police are having on today’s youth, but he warns it’s just the first step in a long process to pull others out of gang life.
He believes disadvantaged kids need a true support system to draw them away from the dangers of the streets and he wants his peers to step up and give their backing to educational programs that can really make a difference.
He says, “There has to be a consistent follow through. Young people… some of them may not be in a place where they can say, ‘OK, I’m going to stop (violent behaviour)’. It may be a process. You have to deal with that.”
Keef is no stranger to the law himself – an arrest warrant was recently issued after the 18 year old failed to show in court for a child support hearing, while he is already on probation for a 2011 firearms conviction.