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Chattanooga rap artists using music to send a message

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Several Chattanooga rap artists are using their music to send a message. They were filming a music video in downtown Chattanooga Saturday. The song remembers all those lost to violence in Chattanooga last year.

"It's getting out of hand and it's starting to be senseless, you know what I mean?"

Jamaal Hicks, better known as 'Maal the Pimp,' has teamed up with 'Smokke Dog' and other local rap artists, determined to get people's attention.

"A lot of the people that I know, it's their kids that I know now. It used to be people that I grew up with. Now it's their kids," says Hicks.

Hicks is talking about the violence in Chattanooga. He and his friends wrote a song called 'Wanna Make a Change.' It remembers all those violently killed in the city last year.

"There was a lot of bloodshed that was really unanswered," says Smokke Dog.

His step-daughter, 19-year-old Jasmine Akins, is one of the victims. She was shot and killed last September outside a club on Market Street. No arrests have been made in the case.

"And somebody has to stand up and do something about it. You know what I'm saying?" he asks.

"People are losing their lives for senseless reasons," says Amy Smartt.

Smartt's daughter is on the list as well.

"You know, I hurt really bad. I lost my daughter last May. It was the day after Mother's Day. Mother's Day will never be the same for me," says Smartt.

Her daughter, 20-year-old Kieara Patton, was shot and killed in a domestic-related shooting, leaving behind two children. Her boyfriend, Taylor Satterfield, now sits in jail.

"She was in school. She was almost completed with her nursing degree," she says.

She encourages other young people to leave a life of violence behind and to reach for the stars.

"Get out there and see the world. Go to school. Get your education and make your parents proud," says Smartt.

"If we can reach one or two people and get them to pay attention then maybe get them to reach another, then we've done our job. And all we can do is pray about it from there," says Hicks.

There were 27 homicides in Chattanooga last year, a 42 percent increase over 2013.


 
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