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When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong, Hip-Hop Edition

Up and coming rapper Cory Gunz was arrested in New York yesterday with a loaded gun in his backpack (a crime with carries a mandatory sentence of three and a half years). This is the same law that lead to the arrest and incarceration of Lil Wayne, Ja Rule, and Prodigy of Mobb Deep. Interestingly enough, Mr. Gunz recently starred in “Son of a Gun”, a reality series on MTV that chronicled his rise in the music industry. This latest incident could qualify for a episode of Dave Chappelle’s “When Keeping it Real goes Wrong“.

It makes you wonder why a rising Hip-Hop star with no criminal record would be walking around with a loaded gun in NYC? Didn’t he just watch his boss and the CEO of Young Money have to waste 8 months of his career just for touching a gun? His father Peter Gunz said the arrest was the result of an “illegal search”. Really? The NYPD did something illegal? Good luck getting that to stick. Don’t they know about the NYPD’s infamous Hip-Hop police that conduct surveillance on rappers? The real question is, was in necessary? Did he feel a threat so real that he felt he had to protect his life at all times, or was he just living the rap fantasy and felt he had to keep it real?

As a community activists, we have to develop a real and comprehensive program for conflict resolution. Too often the environment in our neighborhoods make us believe we have to be strapped at all times just to survive. Because of our adversarial relationships with police departments we don’t believe we can go to them and get real help and support. This leads to a thriving market for illegal guns in our communities because we often see them as our only real means of protection.

On the other hand, the multi-million dollar marketing of “Gangsta” rap music to our children by corporations like Viacom and Clear Channel, makes our youth think that selling drugs and committing crimes is “cool”. Carrying a gun then becomes a status symbol like wearing expensive jewelry or driving a nice car. The idea is not to scare somebody, but that having a gun makes you somebody. So much so they we’ll risk our on freedom just to “Keep it Real”.

This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program. The fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.