Larenz Tate

The blues in your left thigh trying to become the funk in your right

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I spend a lot of time in Chicago. It has changed a lot. I have young family members who are in the communities, and I like to make sure they’re on point and getting involved within the community. Sometimes when I come back, they feel as though I’m preaching. They say “You’re in California, you aren’t experiencing the same things.” And I took heed to that. Instead of talking and preaching, I started listening to find out why things are the way they are. Once we start listening more to one another, we can figure out what some of those solutions are.

All these deaths are senseless. I’m doing something in Los Angeles with California Community Foundation, and we’re looking to expand to Chicago. It’s called B.L.O.O.M: Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men. These young men have been a part of the probation system. Once they come out from juvenile hall and are 15, 16, it’s hard for them to get re-re-acclimated. What we’re trying to do is refocus these men and get them to the right path.

EBONY: How do you feel about Chief Keef, who promotes a culture of violence?

LT: I go further than people such as Chief Keef, I go to the people that are getting behind the message of Chief Keef. He’s a young individual expressing himself the way young individuals do. The corporations that are getting behind that movement, I have a bigger issue with them. No one is trying to peel back that layer to see if there’s more to him than that. Let’s see if they cut him a check for doing something slightly different than the issues that he talks about so it doesn’t look like he’s celebrating the violence. I wonder if a corporation will get behind that.

Kimberly N. Wilson is a NYC-based entertainment writer and digital strategist. She’s a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and completed her JD at the Howard University School of Law. Follow her on Twitter @kimberlynatasha.