This article is from the tumblr page of Gianni Lee of Babylon Cartel giannilee.tumblr.com
Things are happening so fast. Since my little DJ set at The Roots Picnic I have amassed a great following of young men who all share my same passions with music. I started noticing this trend during the show my company Babylon Cartel had with School Boy Q and Saayid Asaad a couple months ago.
These kids are pretty young, as young as 14. When I noticed that they knew who I was and that they actually downloaded my mixtapes I had to start looking at myself even more. I had to actually think about the things that I say on twitter or the image I portray on camera or even in person. Its kind of scary to know that you have eyes on you, and its even more scary to know that these eyes watching you may even emulate the things that you do or say. Responsibility comes very fast and even though I know that I will continue to be myself on and off social networks , I am well aware of my social responsibility with the youth.
I want to take this time to reach out to people, anybody that has or can conceive creative ways of giving back to the youth. There are a lot of young men my age and younger doing this already and I definitely applaud them. I realize my role and I am always willing to team up and partner with anybody when it comes to the youth, in any city especially the city of Philadelphia who needs it the most.
I want to ask people my age and older to really listen to the youth and understand them. I don’t think too many people understand the youngins better than me. In a time where our Mayor Michael Nutter stripped after-school programs from the thousands of kids in this area we faced a massive backlash in the form of flash mobs and over social revolts.
You call these kids “bad as hell” I will call them mis-directed geniuses. We tend to throw their “calls for attention” under the rug and barley give them the attention and cultivation that they deserve. These same flash-mob kids are making music that the older generation can’t even fathom. These same kids are logging on to youtube and are learning graphic design, photography , screen printing , modeling, and many other forms of artistic expression.
I had a great conversation with Joey Massarueh and he he told me that we should embrace their music. Young kids in Philadelphia dance to a certain type of club music called PHILLY CLUB. We pushed it to the side and called it flashmob music or YOUNG BOUL music, instead of embracing it and giving them the platform to continue to cultivate this talent. In this city alone their are hundreds of dance groups and hundreds of producers and DJs under the age of 18 that need that guidance.
Some men such as Tyree Dumas of The Dolla Boyz realize these social plights and is doing what they can to encourage the youth to continue on their “Do it Yourself” aspirations.
I am going to follow his lead and continue to come up with ways to bring my brand to the youth and allow these mentorship relationships to flourish and build. If any body has any ideas feel free to contact me and we can hold these big meetings with other influencers in our city as well as NY DC , ATL , NJ etc!
Thanks for reading!