With gun violence targeting kids in Atlanta, Young Dro rallies community: ‘It still takes a village’

After the recent series of shootings targeting children across metro Atlanta, people in one community came together Thursday night in hopes of putting an end to it.

Rapper Young Dro told children, parents, and community leaders at the Southwest Arts Center in Fulton that change is desperately needed.

"It’s way too much killing," Dro sang to a packed auditorium. "Way too much killing."

Cascade Skating Rink

Cascade Skating Rink (FOX 5)

Last Saturday, it was 13-year-old Deshaun Debrose.

A few days earlier, a 17-year-old boy in South Fulton nearly died after he was shot.

In November, the death of 12-year-old Zyion Charles rattled the city.

MiQuavious Blanchard (Photo: Family).

MiQuavious Blanchard (Photo: Family).

The latest federal data shows homicides by children acting alone spiked by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Homicides involving multiple children increased by 66 percent, according to the data.

"We got to do something about it," said Marcus Gray, who lost his son Kewan in a shooting in 2020. "We have to take back our families out here, you know instead of letting our kids run wild in the streets"

At Thursday’s event, the message was that it still takes a village to look after children and keep them safe.

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Rapper Young Dro headlined an event in South Fulton aiming to stop youth violence on Jan. 26, 2023. (FOX 5)

There were career and activity booths, along with a conversation, and a performance.

"I want everybody to start coming together, joining hands, and actually being involved in our kids’ life. It makes no sense for you to stay across the street from somebody that’s in your community and don’t speak to them for 10 years."

Amid criticism about rap lyrics depicting violence, Young Dro said that while artists could be part of the problem, they could also be part of the solution.

"To blame hip-hop I feel is an insult and also alarming because I feel like it starts in the home," he said. "Hip-hop is a negative influence, but also a positive influence. We’re not solely to blame."

Dro hopes to expand his mission to other cities in which children have been heavily impacted by gun violence, such as Chicago.