On Wednesday night, WHYY-TV will spotlight conversations about gun violence.
“Neighbors in the Crossfire” is hosted by WHYY’s Community Contributors and Engagement Editor Chris Norris. He’ll direct a panel discussion about the region’s recent uptick in gun violence — what’s causing it and how can we stop it.
The theme music chosen for this three-part conversation was produced by Braheem Featherstone, who gave voice to children — his nieces and nephews. He gathered them in the basement of his West Philly home and recorded them on his smartphone. We learn about him and the song through this musical postcard.
I’m Braheem Featherstone, and I’m from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m an artist/producer. Well, I created the song to bring insight to the gun violence that’s going on in Philadelphia. It’s a lot of kids … now getting shot and killed. “Everybody stop shooting. We losing faith. Everybody stop shooting. We’re trying to play.” I was just thinking about all the tragedy incidents that happened. My nieces and nephews, they wanted to make a song, it was like two and two clicked. I actually lost my brother 10 years ago. I was 13 when it happened. It’s a sensitive area.
“Just got my hair and nails done today. We’re just kids and we want to say: Everybody stop shooting.”
Every time they go outside to the store, they go outside to even play, I fear for them. I’ve got to be out there watching them make sure there’s nothing wrong happening. If I would’ve sung this song, it wouldn’t have been as impactful … [as] if the kid is saying it from the kid’s point of view.
“In 2020 alone, the shooting rate has been up 24%. There’s been over 800+ shootings in Philadelphia alone. We can’t even play outside safe. It’s a nice day. We just want to play.”
The kids are young and they’re seeing this growing up. Nobody’s supposed to see this and go through this. I want a better story, better life, better environment. I just want better for them.
Braheem Featherstone produced the theme music for WHYY-TV’s “Neighbors in the Crossfire,” which airs Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on WHYY-TV.
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