”Your life should mean more to you than what you’re showing.”
Earlier this month, hip-hop mogul The Game joined forces with Snoop Dogg to host a peace rally in Los Angeles that would unite gang members of all races. Following the first rally, the rappers hosted an additional meeting on Sunday to further the conversation about ways to stop violence following numerous shootings and ongoing police brutality.
Hundreds of people gathered at a Church of Scientology center in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood of South L.A. to learn more about how they can take an active role in lessoning killings in the area. The Game, formally known as Jayceon Terrell Taylor, promoted the event via Instagram in a post captioned:
“I want to extend the invitation to all CRIPS, BLOODS, ESE's & all other gang members, major figures & GANG LEADERS from every hood in our city as well as the surrounding cities to our meeting…to have the much needed conversation amongst ourselves about our influence on the youth in our respective neighborhoods & how we can serve as better role models to them & the brothers we stand beside daily. …Because the sad truth that no one wants to face is, before we can get OUR LIVES TO MATTER to anyone else... We have to show that OUR LIVES MATTER to US !!!! WE have been responsible for more of the KILLING of ourselves than anyone else by a long shot & the percentages in which BLACK on BLACK, BLACK on BROWN, BROWN on BLACK, BROWN on BROWN murders are so fucking high verses any other killing of us that it is disgusting & this needs to be addressed & laid to rest !!!!! Don't think we can't change it & better ourselves, lead by example & make our city a safer place for our children.... Because together, WE CAN !!!!”
The Compton native addressed the crowd with a powerful message on Sunday, saying, “Your life should mean more to you. Your life should mean more to you than what you’re showing.”
Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad helped organize the event and incited action among the hundreds of attendees with the impactful rally cry, “Come on, black community. It’s time for us to stand up and unite.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, Muhammad was blown away by the number of people in the audience who rose to their feet after he asked those who have lost someone to gang violence to stand, responding with a chillingly simple, “Wow.”
A number of current and former gang members also took to the podium to deliver messages of hope and stress the importance of sparking a wave of peace at this high-impact moment. Though his name was also touted on the advertisement for the event, “Time To Unite: United Hoods + Gangs Nation,” Snoop Dogg was not present.
“Operation H.U.N.T.” joined together The Game, Snoop Dogg, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck earlier this month to discuss how they can improve relationships between minorities and the police.
Following the meeting, Beck said in a press conference:
“This cannot continue. We cannot continue to break into camps. We cannot continue to go to our corners and come out fighting. We are all furious about what has happened to this conversation – that there is no dialogue, that is it becoming a screaming contest from opposite sides of the room. It can’t be that. The way to solve problems is to sit down, to look them in the eye and work it out.”