By Jillian Benfield
A local police chief has declared war on rap music.
Chief Alfonzo Williams, of the Waynesboro Police Department, and a Waynesboro teacher hold classes once a month teaching kids about the hidden messages in rap…and how those messages are impacting the violent culture we see among the youth today.
On camera and in the flesh…
“Street n******, no I no it's street s*** man.”
Tez Walker says he is notorious in east Augusta. He grew up in public housing in the bottoms. His songs are about the things he sees here, violence and drugs. “My music is for entertainment and expression,” he said.
It's that expression that Chief Williams is attacking.
“It's kind of a controversial topic to take on especially as a black police chief, is it not?” we asked Chief Williams. “It's not controversial to me. If anyone thinks we need to continue sticking our heads in the sand and not make any correlation between the music and what's happening, they're just ignorant,” he answered.
Chief Williams works with a local teacher and has classes once a month educating children and their parents about what they say are the dangers of rap music, “We realize these kids here who are affected by this music and by these hidden messages and we want to help get the word out.”
Chief Williams believes rap music is in part responsible for the violent culture among the youth today.
Quamid Green is also a local rapper, but he commends what Chief Williams is doing. His rap is of a different breed, he’s a Christian rapper. Quamid's message wasn't always so heavenly. He says he was tied up in drugs and gangs before he became a Christian and that rap played a part in his lifestyle. “A lot of the things I'm ashamed of now, were an integral aspect of the music I listened to,” he said.
Quamid is also a Christian educator at Kingdom Learning Center, where he now raps from his new perspective. He wishes other rappers would write beyond what's happening outside their doors.
“Sometimes a writer is just saying what he is seeing, but I think we should see better. I think we should have a vision for our future that goes beyond what's going on a day to day basis,” he said.
“Speaking from life experiences, I listened to the same music, I'm from the same place, did it make me react? No. You know why? Because I had parents,” said Tez.
Tez said it should be the parent's responsibility, to educate kids…just because they hear something in a song, does not mean they should copy that lifestyle.
But, Williams said that's not enough, “It's not just a guy who's just trying to make money. It's a guy who's going out and trying to corrupt kids.”
Tez says his music is not geared towards children. His songs are meant for entertainment, not to impact a culture.
But, look at where he is standing in his video…in front of the River Glen Apartments…where there have been 3 murders in less than a year’s time…and he's surrounded by kids.
“If this music is taken out of context, it's going to ruin them essentially,” argued Williams.
“I believe words are seeds, and if you get those seeds planted into the heart of teens or adults, whoever is listening to it, that eventually it's going to bring forth a harvest,” said Quamid.
Green and Williams said the seeds rappers like Tez are sowing will lead these kids to a life of crime.
“Rap, yes it's part of the reason. But taking rap out of the world, it's not going to stop,” said Tez.
Tez Walker says he is holding an education-fest for children in Augusta. That's going to be in the spring. Chief Williams' classes about the danger of rap are held on the first Saturday of every month.