Swizz Beatz spoke to a group of at-risk kids from the My School Has Rhythm Not Violence program at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, NY this past Friday (10/24).
The kids are considered Canarsie’s 40 worst behaved students, per School Safety officers. The super producer took the stage around 12:30 P.M. and delivered a clearly unscripted speech, mostly addressing the detriment of gang violence and the importance of education.
“How many people here is in a gang?,” Swizz asked the group of chuckling teenagers. “If you in a gang rep ya set. But at the end of the day, your mind is how you go to war. So if you fill your mind with education, that’s your biggest weapon. That’s your gang leader.”
After Swizz’s speech, the kids split up into eight groups and performed positive raps they prepared all week. While the DJ spun T.I.’s “Swing Ya Rag,” Swizzy danced and posed for pictures with a bevy of awe-struck kids. After signing a slew of autographs, Swizz pulled aside a 15-year-old on probation for a gun charge.
“When I came in here everybody was like, ‘he’s the problem, he’s the problem’,” Swizz said once the auditorium cleared. “I’m gonna bug him out, because I got his number and I’m gonna check to make sure he’s in the crib at 8:00 to check with his P.O.”
In related news, Swizzie will be receiving the Breakthrough Spirit Award at the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation fund raising gala tomorrow (10/28). Tiki Barber, last year’s recipient, will present the award to Swizz at the black tie dinner held in the Plaza Hotel.
“This stuff takes up a lot of time,” he told XXLMag.com. “But I’m really connected to this. Some people start all things outside the country, like Africa, but we have these problems in our own backyard. The kids in these schools. Man, shorty probably had a burner on him. It’s just like that.” -Mike Cohen