KC Rapper Reaches Out to Gang Bangers through Music

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Gang violence is a major problem in Kansas City, Mo. According to a report by the Kansas City Police Department Gang Squad, more than 3,000 members belong to close to 450 gangs in Kansas City. The gang squad report indicates 95 percent of gang members in the city are male, most between 15-35 years old.

Michael Anderson wants to change that. He’s a young gospel rapper who goes by the name Young Fatha. When he was 10 years old his house was shot up while he and his four siblings were inside. Anderson wants kids to know there is a way out and he’s using his fight and the scenes in a violent music video as a plea to save lives.

“Answer me Lord, how could you let this happen? It seems like yesterday me and Buddy was rapping. See, he was just a man just trying to survive,” Anderson raps in his song “Truth Hurts.”

Anderson knows what it’s like to run the streets.

“We robbed people,” he said. “Gun totting. Doing the gun thing. Running around with guns thinking it’s cool. Smoking, drinking. Riding around Kansas City looking for trouble.”

Anderson said his bad behavior started as retaliation for that drive-by shooting at his house when he was 10 years old.

“The bullets was just flying,” he said. “Men running past with guns, you know?”

For close to 15 years he said he chose the lifestyle over being a man.

“I just got the mentality like, nobody cares,” he said. “This is how life is, so I might as well join. The longer we are a product of our environments, that can make it hard too.”

Until one day, he says, it hit him.

“It’s time to wake up out here and stop this,” he said.

Now Anderson uses his music as a way to reach the youth. In his new song “Truth Hurts,” he addresses the murder of a friend.

“See, you’re the only reason I reached out to him,” he raps. “People dying every day, nobody’s being brought to justice because, you know, I don’t want to be labeled a snitch.”

In a telling scene in the music video, Anderson has a chance to retaliate for his friends death. Instead, he says he saves the man who pulled the trigger. Now Anderson hopes his message saves others in the process.

“It takes a man to walk away from something like that,” he said. “You don’t always have to make the other people hurt when you hurt.”

Anderson will be performing his new song “Truth Hurts” for a group of teens next Friday at the “Sleepless in the City” event on Hickman Mills Drive.

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