Breaking News

Hip-hop mogul offers young gunslingers free tickets to Beyoncé concert if they turn in their weapons

by Staff Reporter
26 February 2013 | 3543 Views

A millionaire hip-hop mogul has a bold plan to rid New York City streets of firearms: He wants to offer young gunslingers who turn in their weapons mentorships ... and Beyoncé concert tickets.




Michael (Blue) Williams, the head of Family Tree Entertainment, has pitched the city's first private-sector gun buyback program to NYPD brass and is waiting for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's okay.

"We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we'd like to support it," Kelly told the Daily News, adding that the proposal needs more study.

If given the green light, Williams ' who has managed the wildly successful careers of OutKast and Cee-Lo Green and has the ear of hip-hop and rap royalty ' said he'll solicit help from none other than Beyoncé.

"The Beyoncé show is coming to Brooklyn; the Jay-Z show is coming to Yankee Stadium. Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support," Williams, 43, said Monday.

"I think we should all work together to help get guns off the streets," Williams said.

Beyoncé is slated to perform at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in August, while Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake are set to play Yankee Stadium in July. Williams hopes to also talk Jay-Z into the guns for tickets deal ' once police sign off on it.

 Williams hopes to launch the program ' dubbed "Guns for Greatness" ' on March 23 at a Brooklyn church.

Kelly said the police would have to be involved.

"You need police officers present. You'd need the expertise," Kelly said.

Williams has raised $75,000 for the program is working to boost that figure to $100,000.

"This program aims to provide young people with an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing," Williams' letter to Kelly reads.

Hot 97 radio, the International House of Pancakes and several record labels, including Polo Grounds Music and Primary Wave Music, have also signed on.

 Williams said he was prompted to do something about gun violence after his business partner, Chris Lighty, co-founder of Violator records, shot himself to death in August. He said his own recent arrest for bringing a gun he had registered in Georgia but not in New York through LaGuardia Airport was also an "eye-opening experience."

"It was just sort of like a pushing point," Williams said. "It eventually convinced me that one person can make a difference if they believe in something."

He sent a written proposal to Kelly on Friday after meeting with top police brass.

The letter was co-signed by Richard Buery, president and CEO of the Children's Aid Society; L. Londell McMillan, publisher of The Source magazine; and former federal prosecutor Kenneth Thompson.

 "I was very excited to lend any assistance I could because I think what he (Williams) has developed is unprecedented," said Thompson, 46, a candidate for Brooklyn district attorney. "Blue has set up a way to reach these young men."

Thompson, who went into private practice after helping to prosecute cops involved in the infamous Abner Louima torture case, envisioned the program serving as a model across the nation.

"He doesn't have to do this," he said of Williams, who has made a fortune in a hip-hop management career spanning 20 years. "He's doing this because it's the right thing to do."

 The program will aim at enticing young black and Latino men ages 16 to 36 to give up their weapons for a chance at an alternative to gun violence.

In the letter to Kelly, Williams noted that "95% of shooting victims and shooting suspects in New York City are either black or Latino."

"A disturbingly high number of these victims are young people," the letter reads. "As Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and others have noted strongly, the issue of gun violence is an urgent crisis that requires immediate attention."

Williams said the initiative would be similar to the current NYPD gun-buyback program offering up to $250 cash for weapons surrendered anonymously with no questions asked.

 But anyone who seizes the opportunity to sign up for a mentorship with major movers and shakers from an array of industries ' including the recording business and finance ' will receive a bonus, he said.

"You can make a decision to take that money and walk back out, or you can make the choice to get a mentor," said Williams, raised in the south Bronx by a single mother who was a school principal.

 "In my perfect world, I'd love to have a gift package for signing up for the mentorship program that is worth way more than $250," he said. "I think that when you're dealing with younger people, you have to offer a little more to incentivize them," he said.

The NYPD's gun-buyback efforts began in 2008 with the collection of 2,632 firearms, but public participation has drastically dwindled since. Last year, only 941 guns were surrendered.

And Williams suggested the demographic turning over guns to the NYPD includes very few of the young hip-hop fans he deals with on a daily basis.

"That's the audience they need to reach out for, the ones who are carrying the guns and committing the crimes. That's my sweet spot, so to speak," Williams said.

While it remains unclear if Beyoncé will lend her support to Williams' program, the superstar and her husband, Jay-Z, were criticized by the singer and social activist Harry Belafonte in August for not doing enough to combat social ills.

"I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility," Belafonte told the Hollywood Reporter.

"That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you're talking. I really think he is black," Belafonte said.

Beyoncé representatives shot back with a statement citing "the unselfish work Beyoncé has done and continues to do."

The list included co-founding The Survivor Foundation, a multipurpose community outreach facility in downtown Houston, and donating $100,000 in 2008 to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund to aid Texas victims of Hurricane Ike.

Beyoncé also performed in MTV's Hope for Haiti Now! Benefit.

The singer also contributed to the annual World Humanitarian Day initiative by releasing a video of her 2011 ballad "I Was Here," which was filmed at the United Nation's General Assembly, her representatives added.

Beyoncé

Source: www.nydailynews.com

Comments

Latest News

Prophet features in ‘Blood Money’ - POPULAR Dangamvura-based proph...

by Liberty Dube | 29 April 2016 | 906 Views

Evil HIV+ man on the run…deliberately infected Mutare women - A Muta...

by Cletus Mushanawani | 29 April 2016 | 952 Views

Soldier sucked in night club murder

by Samuel Kadungure | 29 April 2016 | 999 Views

Soldiers bash cops at club

by Collette Mukome | 29 April 2016 | 1221 Views

Female drunkard stabs buddy with broken bottle

by Tendai Gukutikwa | 29 April 2016 | 687 Views

Late father exposes daughter’s rape

by Abel Zhakata | 29 April 2016 | 1539 Views

Man beds minor, fined $200

by Collette Mukome | 29 April 2016 | 769 Views

Retrenched man offers $10 maintenance

by Blessing Rwizi | 29 April 2016 | 435 Views

Spiritual wives wreck marriage

by Tendai Gukutikwa | 29 April 2016 | 1037 Views

Touts clash in Mutare - VIOLENCE erupted at Mutare’s Sakubva high-de...

by Abel Zhakata | 29 April 2016 | 483 Views

Road traffic accidents cause neuro surgical backlog

by Mirirai Nsingo | 29 April 2016 | 924 Views

'Gono stole my $100 000, he is a thief,' says Kereke - Bikita West leg...

by Fungai Lupande | 29 April 2016 | 1195 Views

Zanu-PF threatens bloody 2018 polls - TOP Zanu-PF officials and tradit...

by Staff reporter | 29 April 2016 | 1607 Views

Zanu-PF bigwigs exposed in Kondozi scandal - Chris Mushohwe Informatio...

by Staff reporter | 29 April 2016 | 1231 Views

Army resistance shocks Mugabe - President Robert Mugabe is reportedly ...

by Staff reporter | 29 April 2016 | 3871 Views

Ex-Minister dumps Zanu-PF for Mujuru - As internal strife continues to...

by Staff reporter | 29 April 2016 | 2233 Views

Workers reject govt May Day proposal - Workers have rejected governmen...

by Staff reporter | 29 April 2016 | 1165 Views

Cash crisis: Schools must bear with parents - The cash shortages curre...

by Rufaro Mufundirwa in Harare | 29 April 2016 | 821 Views

Let's instruct our children not to recite the national schools pledge ...

by Tendai Ruben Mbofana | 29 April 2016 | 727 Views

Nkulumane MP in maintenace row - Nkulumane MP Killian Sibanda yesterda...

by Tanaka Mrewa | 29 April 2016 | 524 Views

MultiChoice swoops on bogus DStv agents - BOGUS DStv agents facilitati...

by Showbiz Reporter | 29 April 2016 | 874 Views

Togolese President to officially open ZITF - THE Zimbabwe Internationa...

by Prosper Ndlovu | 29 April 2016 | 334 Views

Bosso, Bulawayo City battle for bragging rights - BRAGGING rights will...

by Raymond Jaravaza | 29 April 2016 | 598 Views

Cash shortages persist in Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe has been experiencing ca...

by Staff Reporter | 29 April 2016 | 963 Views

UNICEF to fund sustainable energy projects - Stakeholders in the energ...

by Staff Reporter | 29 April 2016 | 345 Views

David Connolly ordered to vacate Centenary Farm - A HIGH Court judge y...

by Mashudu Netsianda | 29 April 2016 | 1270 Views

18,000 families ordered out of farms - THE government has issued 18,00...

by Patrick Chitumba | 29 April 2016 | 1242 Views

Dembare gets Gwekwerere clearance - DYNAMOS secretary-general Webster ...

by Eddie Chikamhi | 29 April 2016 | 789 Views

Zvirekwi taunts Dembare, 'time to silence big, noisy neighbours' - CAP...

by Grace Chingoma | 29 April 2016 | 606 Views

Mwanjali returns to face Dembare - CAPS United skipper Method Mwanjali...

by Grace Chingoma | 29 April 2016 | 546 Views

Entertainment

Busi Mhlanga flies Zimbabwe flag high in foreign lands

by Mafu Sithabile | 29 April 2016 | 2276 Views

Bev, Zoey unite - Pole dancers Zoey Noleen Sifelani and Beverly Siband...

by Staff reporter | 28 April 2016 | 1367 Views

Peter Moyo dumps fans, opts to sing at Magaya's church

by Staff Reporter | 28 April 2016 | 2347 Views

I belong to Africa, says Dorothy Masuka - DESPITE being a darling of m...

by Bruce Ndlovu | 28 April 2016 | 1467 Views

Hip-hop artistes salute Mugabe's son - Budding hip-hop artistes Panash...

by Staff reporter | 28 April 2016 | 1557 Views

Popular comedian Madlela releases 'comic' music album

by Divine Dube | 27 April 2016 | 2060 Views

Tau bounces back to Generations - Generations: The Legacy lead actor R...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2016 | 3203 Views
iBlog

Tb Joshua Worst Enemy Angelique Tonge Exposed

About two years ago, we came out emphatically about those behind the t.b joshua watch. many were those who thought we were framing innocent people up or on a witch hunt. some events have vindicated us and the cat is out of the bag. it is said that no... Read More
pointblank 01 May 2015 ago

What To Look For In Video Converter Software

looking for the best video converter software? you have to compare different video converters before making a purchase.the ability to watch video on different types of devices is a wonderful thing. not so wonderful are the compatibility issues that ... Read More
Sergey 19 June 2015 ago