At Agency Funded by Mayor Quan
More Crime By Two Youth UpRising Rappers
Two rappers associated with Youth UpRising (YU), the violence prevention agency funded with millions of Oakland and Alameda County dollars every year, made headlines in early February for promoting sexual assault and for possession of a stolen Rolls Royce Bentley.
In an interview recorded for XXL magazine, Too Short advised young men feeling the urges of puberty to commit sexual assault. The interview was broadcast on the XXL website early this month. "When you get to late middle school, early high school you start feeling a certain way about the girls," said Too Short.
The gutter rapper's next words are graphic, so be warned and read them if you wish by clicking here.
The 45-year-old rapper upset even people who are normally tolerant of anti-woman, pro-violence thug culture. Too Short rushed to issue an apology, which included a revealing statement: "Although I have made my career on dirty raps, I have worked over the years to somewhat balance the content of my music with giving back to the community."
|Too Short and YU chief Olis Simmons|
Too Short refers to his appointment as a "career counselor" at Youth UpRising, where teenagers fawn over his bling. Then they go into the music video studios at YU and try to copy him.
In 2010 Too Short was charged with assaulting a security guard at a rap show in Idaho. ("Anti-Violence Groups Hire Mentors With Criminal Records," New York Times, Feb. 19, 2012)
Criminals Welcome at "Violence Prevention" Agency
Youth UpRising executive director Olis Simmons is blunt about employing criminals without qualification to work with at-risk youth. "I go after them. Hell, somebody's got to hire them. If you can turn them around, you turn the neighborhood around." (New York Times, Feb. 19, 2012)
Philip Beasley, who raps under the name Philthy Rich, has performed at YU and had access to its production studios. A couple of his releases are Tha Skumbagz and Hood Rich.
|Philthy Rich and another rapper in YU studio|
How does Philthy Rich get his gold, apart from trying to become a hit rapper? The profile on his website states, "After being released from serving a sentence of one year in county jail for cocaine drug sales, Philthy knew he had to focus on music." (PhilthyRichFOD)
Actually, Mr. Beasley does not focus exclusively on music. When he performed at a San Francisco club on Feb. 11, 2012, police arrested him for possession of a Rolls Royce Bentley stolen from Las Vegas. Police also arrested his promoter and producer, Samuel Burns III, for driving under the influence and outstanding warrants in two counties. After posting $30,000 bail, Philthy Rich tapped out tweets denying his guilt. For example, "I aint steal s--t and if I did I wouldn't of been riding in it like a dumb a-- all my cases are drugs and guns not grand theft auto." (SF Weekly, Feb. 15, 2012)
After that outburst, Philthy Rich made plans to speak at an elementary school in support of nonviolence! (New York Times, Feb. 19, 2012)
Youth UpRising staff have made headlines for sexual assault, theft, and disturbing the peace on a regular basis. The agency has no data to show that coddling thug culture has made Oakland streets any safer.
Quan Gives City Funds to Youth UpRising, Gets Campaign Help in Return
The City of Oakland pours a river of funding into Youth UpRising. In 2004 then-councilmember Jean Quan passed the Measure Y taxes. Youth UpRising soon received a series of sweet deals, including a guaranteed five-year, $1.5 million grant with absolutely no contractual requirements for results. On the other hand, the City flouted the provision of Measure Y that Quan insisted would staff the police force at 802 officers. Oakland has 651 police today, half a department in comparison with most major cities.
When Quan ran for Oakland mayor in 2010, Youth UpRising hosted a campaign event for her. This is only the most public part of a longstanding arrangement. Quan gives City money to YU; in turn, YU has its youth members walk the streets and put up signs for Quan's campaigns, including her endless series of parcel taxes.
Poster for Quan campaign event at Youth UpRising
Quan's campaign promotes event at Youth UpRising
Recently Mayor Quan, desperate to exhibit a response to violence on Oakland streets, announced her focus on two percent of the city, 100 semi-secret blocks. She spoke of sending in violence prevention resources. Those 100 blocks might not see Too Short and Philthy Rich, but outreach workers will invite teenagers to visit Youth UpRising. Instead of being shown why the important thing is to learn basic skills and aim for a solid vocation, the youth can try their hand at mixing a CD in the agency's production studios.
Meanwhile, Oakland residents install alarms, reinforce doors, and watch carefully when they arrive home. Robbers and burglars are determined to get money for showoff bling no matter how they do it and no matter what harm to innocent people – taking their cue from Youth UpRising's rapper heros.
An Oakland mayor with common sense and willing to forego a political alliance with the "violence prevention" industry would cut off Youth UpRising funding; support the few social programs that demonstrate results; spend more on enforcement; denounce the thug culture of chasing success through violence; and join the chief of police when he and the city attorney seek tools like gang injunctions and a curfew.
In other words, a mayor who recognizes that public safety must be the number one priority in Oakland would be the opposite of Mayor Jean Quan.
– Feb. 20, 2012