Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019
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Mdeez’s death must lead to a Nipsey Hussle moment

Dear Editor,

Hours after the tragic demise of Bahamian rapper Mdeez Knight, I told a Tribune columnist on Facebook that he should use his massive platform to lobby the Free National Movement government and other stakeholders to resume capital punishment in order to put the fear of God in the hearts of hardened criminals. We have lost far too many young Bahamians to senseless violence over the past decade and a half. Unfortunately, Mdeez has become just another statistic in Nassau’s violent crime surge. While our politicians live in safe, expensive residential neighborhoods on the eastern and western ends of New Providence, Nassuvians in the inner-city communities are being routinely robbed, murdered, raped and maimed by criminals, many of whom are chronic offenders.

I am not familiar with Knight’s work, but I do recall him being a part of the line-up of the third annual Junkanoo Carnival Music Masters event at Taino Beach in Freeport in 2017. By all accounts, Mdeez was good at his craft. The Bahamian music fraternity has lost one of its more innovative talents.

This tragedy should cause the various gangs and criminally-minded people throughout New Providence to give serious thought to what they are doing to this country. The Mdeez murder must lead to a Nipsey Hussle moment in Nassau. When American rapper, community activist and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle was gunned down outside his The Marathon Clothing store in the Crenshaw area of South Los Angeles this past March, leaders of the two massive African-American gangs, the Crips and Original Blood Family, engaged in peace talks with the view of ending gang violence in their communities – a first since the Rodney King uprising in the early 1990s.

Formerly a member of the Rollin 60’s Neighborhood Crips, the late Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Joseph Ashghedom, was a vociferous advocate against gang violence, as evidenced by his Bullet Ain’t Got No Name mixtape series. His trip to Eritrea in 2004 revolutionized his life and caused him to reflect deeply on his vision for the community of Crenshaw, which was submerged in gang violence.

Unlike the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry between 1994-1997 that claimed the lives of renown rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., Hussle was simply an unfortunate victim of a violent surge which swept through Los Angeles on the week prior to his passing. According to CNN World, in a span of a week, 26 persons were shot and 10 were murdered. Hopefully, the parley between the Bloods and the Crips will lead to a precipitous decline in violent crimes. The gangs in Nassau should emulate their American counterparts.

With the passing of Mdeez, the Bahamian music fraternity should host a massive peace rally in Nassau with the view of getting the various gangs to come together to discuss ending the bloodshed and violence. An armistice agreement is very much possible. How many more young Bahamians must die before the criminal elements realize that they are ruining this country? In closing, I would like to extend condolences to the family of Mdeez. Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

– Kevin Evans

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