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Weekend Playlist: Peace In Our Streets

By Sophie Day in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 16, 2014 5:30PM

Photo by Al Hikes

You don’t have to look very far these days to find news of violence around the world. This week, the news has been coming from much closer to home.

Last Saturday, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb. His death, and the subsequent handling by the police department, has lead to outrage and, in some cases, violent demonstrations.

Last Sunday evening, a drive-by shooting in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans killed a 16-year-old girl and a 33-year-old man and left five others injured. Two toddlers, 4 and 2 years old, are in critical condition. Jasmine Anderson, the 16-year-old girl, was a member of a church youth group where my good friend worked for two years.

Chicago is no stranger to violence either. Eleven people have been killed since the start of August on the streets of Chicagoland.

This weekend, our playlist will highlight music that speaks to the effects of gun violence, and the many forms that it comes in. Whether it be gang-related, police-related, a school shooting, or militarized violence, the effects are the same and it has got to stop.

Songs to note:

The playlist opens with a song from Wyclef Jean that he wrote after a visit to Chicago last year.

Several of the songs come from Chicago natives including Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Common who draw on their experiences of violence in Chicago in their lyrics. Common's new album is haunted by the theme of Chicago violence.

Chance the Rapper also features prominently at the opening of the playlist. The local boy has been very vocal about his disdain for the culture of violence that seems like business as usual in the Windy City. In fact, back in May, Chance started a #SaveChicago campaign, encouraging people to take to the streets with signs and demand an end to violence. People listened and Chicago streets were free of violence for 42 hours.