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Among the myriad of entertaining shows and light-hearted events at the BET Experience at L.A. Live this weekend, there was a roundtable discussion on a much more serious issue: gun violence. The Saturday panel of six speakers included Atlanta-born rapper T.I. and famed L.A. rapper, Snoop Lion, as well as Rep. Maxine Waters.
Both rappers have personal histories with gun violence, and both have served time for gun -related charges. But both have declared it strictly in their past and are now dedicated to helping keep gun violence under control.
When asked why he felt he felt he needed to contribute to the cause, Snoop Lion responded by mentioning that he was “fed up” with gun violence. “Once I’ve seen, you know, public venues and little elementary schools being shot. You know, with innocent kids, it started to affect me to where it’s, like, this is not just a hood situation, this is an everyday situation,” Snoop said. “And we need to address this.”
He felt that he could make more of an influence with his music than with anything else.
Snoop Lion recently changed his moniker from his extremely popular Snoop Dogg. His latest album, Reincarnated blends reggae with hip-hop as he tries to send a message to the world with the single, “No Guns Allowed.”
Fellow panelist T.I. had a very recent, devastating experience with guns. In 2009, after holding his “best friend in the world as he took his last breath,” the rapper was sentenced to prison on gun charges. He had time to mourn but also to realize how lucky he was that he wasn’t killed too. “I think we all need to hold one another accountable,” he said.
Receiving more than 70 percent of the vote, Rep. Maxine Waters was elected to her twelfth term of office in the House of Representatives in 2012. When she spoke, she talked about how Snoop Lion and T.I. need to be role models and spokesmen for this particular issue, claiming that the youth and public “won’t listen to us [older generations], but they’ll listen to you,[Snoop Lion and T.I.].”
Snoop added: “We’re trying to rid the world of violence one day at a time.”
Watch the panel:
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