W. Kamau Bell is using his CNN docu-series United Shades America to explore political, social, and economic issues facing modern Americans.
Sunday’s episode included Bell meeting with fellow Chicagoans to talk about some the concerns happening in their city.
Grammy winner Malik Yusef helped gather some the city’s gang members-turned-rappers at the Chicago’s Kingston Mines Blues Club.
Hip Hop artists Vic Mensa and Lil Durk were also present for the discussion on street violence.
“N-ggas don’t realize why we are where we are, because when you’re in the middle it… it’s like I can read books about the statistics behind this sh-t. When somebody on my ass, I’m not thinking about any that and I have to do what I have to do,” said Mensa.
Durk later added, “I think social media and rap sh-t really f-cked it up. It started happening when the light started getting on Chicago, so that’s what made it like super-big.”
Music’s role in countering the violence in Chicago was brought up as well.
“I think music can be a part it, in everything we’ve been talking about, but I also think the solutions have to come down to investing in the communities because the schools have lost gym programs. They’ve lost music programs because there’s no money being put into the schools,” stated Mensa.
The collective also promoted the idea pushing Chicago’s youth to consider careers in the STEM field, law, and other non-entertainment pressions.
Do or Die, Fya Man, Lyric, Duke Dolaa$, Wild Wild Da General, and G Syl were also part the United Shades America conversation.