OAKLAND (KCBS) – A rapper with a troubled past is singing a message of hope to young people in violent and impoverished neighborhoods. Her name is Fadeelah Muhyee of East Oakland’s Sobrante Park, but she is better known as Queen Deelah by her fans.
The reality in this neighborhood is high crime, poverty and violence, and executive director of the violence prevention organization Urban Peace Movement, Nicole Lee, calls Queen Deelah a cultural leader, who give cues of acceptable behavior through music.
“Our belief is that we have to do many things to stop the violence, but we can’t do it without the leadership of the young people who are from these communities,” said Lee. “Young people are already listening to these performers, these musicians, and it’s important that we work with the performers to carry a message of peace because we know that’s a direct line to the ear of a lot of these young people.”
KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:
“I create conscious music. I create music about what’s going on in our everyday lives,” said Muhyee. “People gravitate towards me because I was going through the same thing. In middle school I was kicked out of school and labeled as a gang leader, but what I got out of that was that wasn’t who I was.”
The 25-year-old Muhyee now splits her time between Austin, Texas and East Oakland. She is the daughter of parents who at one point struggled with crack addition, and has sung in church and San Quentin as well as performing at clubs, theatres, and several Oakland schools.
“Young people are going to have their breakdowns and breakthroughs, but I want to tell them to be willing to go through that and not take a shortcut,” said Muhyee.
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