OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Rapper, entrepreneur, community organizer and hip hop legend Mistah FAB is doing what he can to change Oakland’s tone on crime.
âI’m not afraid to shed tears over where I’m from and how I feel for my people, my city and my culture. It’s real, âhe said.
He spoke of a violent year in his hometown of Oakland. This week, police are investigating the city’s 131st homicide – the highest number of murders in the past decade.
âSomething that troubles me – and it’s very confusing for me to understand, is the fact that – when law enforcement kills us, we are in a major uproar, as we should be, because they are ready to protect us, âhe said. . “But why do we remain silent when members of our community kill members of our community, where is the outcry?” “
Mistah FAB full interview with Betty Yu
FAB makes noise in its own way.
He recently held a meeting with Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong and Lt. Aaron Smith to discuss solutions. The meeting was scheduled to last 20 minutes – it turned into a two-hour discussion.
In an Instagram post he wrote:
When asked what Oakland’s story was, he replied, âunderstand how you liveâ.
âWhen you say how you live, that’s what you do – if you’re homeless you’ll get it from a trash can or you’ll get it by asking someone or begging. If you are on the street and you are going through desperate times, eating or starving, you will rob or rob someone.
The 39-year-old rapper believes in creating opportunities for young people. He himself benefited from community basketball programs as a child, run by the current police chief.
âI think the biggest misconception is that the people who hurt these streets are bad people, they aren’t. They are just trying to survive, âsaid FAB
Betty: How did you not become one of those people?
Mistah FAB: âI had a praying grandmother and a loving mother. My mother made the transition and took charge of her life, she dedicated her life so that I didn’t have to make these choices and decisions.
But growing up in Section 8 housing, he says it wasn’t an easy childhood.
âWe do it for healings. Like I tell people I was that kid. I was that kid we left at home, man, because his parents were on drugs, “he added.
FAB has a long history of organizing toy drives and gifts in Oakland to help at-risk and less fortunate youth. He also runs the Dope Era clothing store in downtown Broadway. He is now working on his dream: to open the Dope Era Academy for young people. He says the areas of study will focus on business skills and hands-on courses like self-defense, coding, and crypto mining.
âI really care, like you know what I mean,â he said with tears streaming down his face. âWe’ve been running community events for almost two decades, without funding, all out of our pockets. “
He says it will take compassionate people who want to invest in the youth of the community to bring about lasting change.
âMy children have to grow up in a community like this. My daughter is a teenager, my son. They are going to have to grow up in this situation and if someone doesn’t make a change it will only get worse. If we don’t create institutions that will create the next lawyers, judges, doctors and scientists, then the streets will connect the next killers, the next rapists, the next burglars, âFAB said.
Betty: âWhat do you want from the community? ”
Mistah FAB: âPeople just need to start caring again, man. “
Its first community event in conjunction with the Oakland Police Department will take place at the Fox Theater on December 30. He will face off in a Battle of Verzuz with Oakland rapper Philthy Rich.
The FAB said the OPD had agreed to provide security at no cost and that the site fee would be covered by the city. Proceeds will go to nonprofits and sports and STEM programs for the children of Oakland.