Last week, Black Entertainment Television kicked off its first-ever BET Experience, a weekend-long event in Los Angeles complete with concerts, parties and movie premieres.
Amidst the fun, the network held a panel discussion about gun violence with rappers Snoop Dogg, aka Snopp Lion, and T.I., both of whom have served jail time for gun-related charges.
“We’re trying to rid the world of violence one day at a time,” Snoop said, after insisting that his days of crime are behind him. “Not knowing the results and the consequences of gun violence, we’re always quick to pick [the gun] up, but when we do what we do with it, then we get remorseful and sad. We don’t think. The train of thought is never put into effect until after the fact.”
The West Coast music icon went on to say that gun violence is not just a hood problem.
“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,” he said. “This is an everyday situation.”
T.I. added, “I think we all need to hold one another accountable.”
The Atlanta-based rapper recalled holding his “best friend in the world as he took his last breath” after being shot in 2009.
“As cool as we have made [guns] sound, anybody can do that,” he said. “If I had it a different way, man, becoming a master of solutions, to observe a set of circumstances and say, ‘Ok, let me figure out a way without endangering myself, the community, or the other people involved in this set of circumstances. How can I find a logical, reasonable, peaceful resolution?'”
In an interview with the Grio, Snoop said he believes it’s hip-hop’s responsibility to shed light on the topic.
“We’re the only ones that speak the language of those with guns in their hand,” he explained. “They don’t listen to y’all, they only listen to us. So hip-hop is a main factor in ending this because we’re the ones who started this.”
The roundtable event shared the same name as Snoop Lion’s new song, “No Guns Allowed.”
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