Jay says grime music needs more positive role models and wants the Government to stop using hip-hop as a scapegoat. A grime rapper has started youth workshops to stop young people entering knife crime and give them hope for their futures. KATE DENNET spoke to Jay aka Craze 24 about his mentoring scheme and how his music helps young people avoid falling into the same troubles that he did.
A grime artist is mentoring teenagers to steer them away from knife crime and gang grooming.
New Cross rapper Craze 24, also known as Jay Miller, has started mentoring workshops for 13-21 year olds in a bid to stop knife crime.
This came after the release of his single Everybody’s Got 2 Learn, where an older brother talks to his younger brother – or Jay talking to his past-self – about street life.
The ‘#EverybodysGot2Learn’ workshop will see Jay travelling to schools, youth groups and outreach programmes to talk to young people about knife crime.
He said: “We need a lot more positive role models that can get through to the younger generation and give them hope and motivation.
I would never say that we cannot have negative music because if you are going through a hard time you want to talk about that, but on the flip-side, if we do not have the balance, the music becomes weaponised against the younger generations.
“Hip-hop music was originally message music but over the years it has become more negative. We need to bring back the balance.”
Crystal Palace Football Club already mentor young people and Jay has been in contact with them to see if he can join their campaign.
He has also been running Always Progress workshops with his brother, Big Ven, for a year.
These workshops give young people the chance to use their co-owned studio space for free – as long as they attend mentoring workshops.
Studios can cost £30 an hour – an unfeasible sum for many young people, meaning young musicians often cannot fund their careers and turn to the streets.
His powerful chorus lyrics support everything his new campaign is trying to educate children about.
It portrays the harsh realities of violent crime that he experienced growing up on the Woodpecker “state:
“You don’t have to waste life, going prison getting caught up in gun crime.
In the blink of an eye, your gone ghost whole family crying.”
The hard-hitting song was released with GX Records in August and and strips away the glorification of weapons often heard in music.
The nostalgic song was inspired by the 1980s song Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime by The Korgis.
Young people who want to get involved with Craze 24’s campaign or find out more about his free studio space can contact him on Instagram under the username iamcraze24.
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