Issue #90 - Digital Cover

Published on July 12th, 2015 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


Dark America: Give Hip-Hop some damn credit!

By Jerry Doby

Somehow, Hip-Hop culture has achieved the misnomer of a violent element within the entertainment industry. Granted there are horror stories from within the Hip-Hop world but then what demographic is free of any turmoil or negativity? I can’t name one … not even churches and religion are exempt from the drama.

Hip-Hop gatherings and events set off red flags for government agencies and in some cities, such events cannot even exist … if the hood doesn’t shut it down, the cops see what they can do about it. Events with negativity make the evening news with no problem … THIS TIME THOUGH we are going to shout out an incident free Hip-Hop based event in the heart of one of America’s reputedly most dangerous areas … Detroit’s historic Joy Road.

To say there is no way to end gang violence in Detroit is like saying there is no more corn in Indiana. On May 9th Detroit’s most well known promoter Monte Cristoe, The Hype Magazine and 3-time Grammy Winner Mil Tickit proved a dialogue to move in that direction is possible.

A peaceful gathering amongst the red and the blue, who would of thought unity would ever happen, especially since Detroit’s crime rate stands at 81 per one thousand residents. Amazing enough it happened in the heart of it all, “Joy Road” at club Jaquars.

“Joy Road” was chronicled in a 2004 feature film by the same name Directed by Harry A. Davis. The film stars major thespians Roger Guenveur Smith, N’Bushe Wright and Obba Babatundé. In the film, “A defense attorney in Detroit, desperate to leave his career behind, is begged by his sister to represent her boyfriend, the alleged leader of the city’s most notorious gang, MVP.” ( This section of the city has so much impact on the landscape of the region that numerous productions and docudramas devote much of their attention or at least mention the area.

There is no lack of coverage for the infamous Joy Road and its violent undercurrents that explode onto the national stage like hurricanes hitting land. If you are into the history of gang culture in Detroit, Joy Road is your starting spot… here’s the link

CEO/Publisher of 2015 SMC Awards “Magazine Publication of the Year” title holder, The Hype Magazine, Jameelah “Just Jay” Wilkerson tells how the promoter showed SURPRISE at her willingness to enter the area in support of a major local event.

Wilkerson says, “The promoter actually told me out of his own mouth that, he was surprised we came, most male entertainers wont even take the risk of doing a show on Joy Road. I was explaining to him,I got jumped into a gang at the age of 11. I am product of the lifestyle coming up around the world. But, that does not mean I had to hurt and kill people, rob and steal to exist. When I was involved, it was more about unity and protecting your hood from outsiders coming in, trying to destroy the little bit we had. It was about a sense of family. They have taken gang affiliation to a whole new level. If some of the new guys would take time out to do their research, they would see what the whole movement was created for originally.”

Wilkerson continues, “There is a rough side to any organization, trust that, its not only gangs that have politics involved. To me, and I know this may stir a frenzy, but its not different than these people oversees fighting about religion. If they even did the research of how these different religions started, they would probably sit back and just live their lives. All of this separation is really about people’s personal views in society and one man decides to stand a lone and begin a movement. You look up and other people believe it too and there is a new gang or religion or cult started based off of personal beliefs. At this point in life, with all of the technology and research, you would think that we would have more individual thinkers than groups of followers.”

Event Promoter Monte Cristoe adds, “I was born and raised in Detroit and was running with gangs and ended up incarcerated for 12 yrs. While building my career as a Hip-Hop Artist, I decided to start promoting of my own shows and putting artists on the stage. I concentrated mainly on intercity up and coming artist. Most artists are from the street and Hip-Hop is the voice of the streets. I bring all the street artist together, it don’t matter what gang they rep or what hood they from, to perform peacefully.

Three-time Grammy Award winning producer Mil Tickit rounds it out saying,

I can’t explain what happened that night in Detroit. When Igo to Detroit I feel at home. I feel their are brothers just like me, wherever I go. In Detroit that night, something just came over me, I am a born leader, my daddy and momma raised me like that. All day that day in Detroit, I was surrounded by brothers that talked change all day and brotherhood like me. The theme was we are one big family, nobody cares if you are GD / Vicelord / Latin King / BD / SD / Blood or Crip or whateva. We don’t care about colors, don’t care how you wear your hat. We are all strong Black brothers with one cause, we gotta help our youth. We have to empower each other and support each other. We are Black men, King Larry Hoover and King Chief Malik or Minister Rico never wanted us gang banging. They are very disappointed with us and all the killing going on. They are disappointed with black on black crime, our youth killing each other is at an all time high. *sh is totally out of control. We gotta do something, we F***d up as a people. We gotta change this *ish. F**k this gang banging *ish. Rep your set, but we are one big team.”

Our OGs didn’t start all these organizations for us to be gang banging. It was to empower Black men and woman as one. My daddy was the 1st lieutenant for the great apostle (the honorable Elijah Muhammad) and I’m an ex gang chief. I’ve seen and done it all. I’ve been shot, I did a six year bit and I’ve seen and hearda lot in my young life. I come from the royal 1st family. I was raised by bosses and more bosses, thinkers shakers and movers. My young life has been priceless. I am the streets, so when I talk you hear hurt, passion, cries of fallen brothers and sisters. You hear my daddy, you hear Elijah, you hear Larry, you hear Cheif Malik, you hear Martin, you hear my blood Minister Rico, you hear the great chairman Fred Hampton, you hear the Honorable Louis Farrakhan, you hear lets work as one and support each other and win.

Toward the end of the night, Mil Tickit showed his natural leadership and charisma when at the sound of his voice calling, members from all different walks came together as a group for conversation and photo opportunities. Reps from all sides shared the red carpet together for visuals documenting a successful gathering of individuals with diverse histories within Detroit gang culture…step one has been taken…

They say it can’t be done … they say the Hip-Hop and rap communities cannot be trusted to come together in peace … Detroit stood up this night and proved “them” wrong and did Hip-Hop proud. Salute the minds and individuals who gave Hip-Hop a shining example of what we can do when we don’t fall for the okie doke.

We are not all animals despite how those of us in Hip-Hop are portrayed and shout out to Rodney King … we CAN all get along!

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About the Author

Publisher and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Follow me on Twitter @HypeJustJay

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