On Wednesday, March 28th, New Orleans rapper Dee-1 visited the Safe Haven Community Center and the students of Home for Homework. The Center was packed with children and adults from the neighborhood who joined Home for Homework students for the event. Upon Dee-1′s arrival, the children rushed to meet him. “I didn’t expect such a warm welcome.” he said.
Dee-1 began by explaining that he ” has never thought it was okay” that his community faced so much violence and poverty.This is what distinguishes him from other rappers. He performed Jay, 50, & Weezy, which he said isn’t so much a critical song, as it is a “real” song.
He continued to explain that he wants to use his music to set an example for young people, emphasizing how writing can be a powerful tool.When he performed One Man Army, the whole audience joined him in the chorus, “I’m strapped with a pad/ my pen is my Gat/ a mask and a vest/ plus I’m dressed in all black./ With God by my side, so no man can harm me/ this is the story of a One Many Army.”
Dee-1 encouraged young writers in the audience to read as much as possible and not limit themselves to writing about just one topic or in one format. Finally, he discussed fighting. “You can always choose how to respond to others and every choice has consequences.” he said to the youth. Before leaving, he signed autographs for each person in the audience and handed out his CD.
As the students arrived the following day, “I’m strapped with a pad/ my pen is my Gat…this is the story of a One Man Army.” was chanted throughout the Center.