Memphis musician aims to bring new face to "Rap"

Holy hip hop artist, Mr. Del, says rap is a religion that needs a pastor. "I feel like we have the power to speak life into these young people and to encourage them to go into a different direction from where we're going as far as crime and the violence in this city."

The Grammy nominated artist is launching a new movement to steer our teens towards good behavior. He wants to shift the image of hip hop music from violence, crime and provocative dancers to a vision of positivity.

Mr. Del took his message from the pulpit to the press Tuesday night with the help of Memphis rapper Lil Whyte. The two announced plans for a concert called Fusion to reach our youth through music.

The rappers heard about the concert commotion at Crystal Palace Sunday night that led to the arrest of two teens. "It's all about these parents. How they're teaching their kids really," said Lil Whyte. He says the push towards non-violence is part of a larger movement. "It's getting to the point where almost everybody feels the way that we do. So I'm not changing my music, I'm just going with the flow," he explained.

Mr. Del says Fusion is a sign that rap is at a crossroad. "This being the place where Dr. Martin Luther King got killed, I think that it's a milestone for me and Lil Whyte,in the name of hip-hop, to bring to many races together."

This shift in consciousness is gaining support from other Memphis rappers like Juciy J from Three-6 mafia. "Time to get up. Try to get a good job, some education and do something 'cause in a minute everything gonna be run by computers," he encouraged.

The Fusion Concert is part of a new non-profit organization called Youth Memphis. Both rappers and rock artists will perform Saturday night, February 4, at the Bert Ferguson Community Center in Cordova. All high schoolers are welcome.

Organizers hope Fusion will encourage other rappers around America to use the power of word for good.