Hip hop unites communities afflicted by violence

Kendra Graves | 4/25/2012, 7:04 a.m.
Bay Holla performs her track “You Hurt Me (Paula’s Song).” (Joanna Marinova photo) ...
Family and friends of Paula Jacobs hold up her picture during Bay Holla’s performance of “You Hurt Me (Paula’s Song).” Joanna Marinova

Muhammad also urged the audience to get involved in the many efforts being made to bring an end to violence, and pointed to the project’s producer as a prime example of someone making a difference the best way they know how.

“It was a brother behind the wall that brought this together,” he explained. “If a brother who’s serving time behind the wall can organize and bring people together to create such an event of the magnitude of this, what is our responsibility, us who are out here, who have more access, more resources?”

Darrell “DJ 3rd Eye” Jones, the brainchild behind “What Is Beautiful Never Dies” compilation, knows first hand the toll that violence takes on youth and their families: he’s lost both a teenage son and a brother to violence.

A music producer and writer, Jones also knows that music, art and media can help people transcend grief and transform their lives and their communities. He insists that music is the best tool to teach the hip hop generation how to stop the vicious cycle of violence.

“The idea is that they have to hear what you went through,” he told a room full of mothers, musicians and project producers over speakerphone in a scene from the soon-to-be-released “What Is Beautiful Never Dies” documentary.

“They have to hear it in a song so they can’t avoid it.”