Swizz to perform at peace rally; says he doesn't support violence
Jul 25, 2007
CAMDEN, N.J. - The city's police department has called for Swizz Beatz to renounce anti-snitching sentiments or it will drop sponsorship of a "Peace on the Streets" rally.
In his current single, "It's Me Snitches," Swizz raps: "Freeze, you know who it is/ It's me, snitches" and "I ain't gonna shoot ya/ I could just choke ya."
It's lines like those that appear to advocate violence and silencing snitches - or police informants - that concern police in a city that is among the nation's most dangerous.
The police department says a culture that opposes cooperating with authorities makes crimes more difficult to solve and the city harder to clean up.
"The use of the word `snitches' in the song was just an edit for radio," Swizz says in a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press. "If I supported violence or the `Stop Snitching' campaign, I wouldn't have agreed to be a part of the event ..."
Other city officials say they have been assured that Swizz is no longer rapping about hard-core violence and will have a positive message in the two songs he's scheduled to perform at the rally Thursday.
"He's actually sharing a lot of positiveness," says the Rev. Tony Evans, a spokesman for Mayor Gwendolyn Faison. "A lot of artists, even though they have material that might not be appropriate for all ages, they do want to position themselves as having a positive impact on communities."
The New York-based producer, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, is to be paid by Philadelphia radio station Power 99 to appear at the rally, sponsored by local government and school board.
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