Kilburn rapper takes US hip-hop band Onyx on a tour of Brent

Paul Rafis, met with Oynx members Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr at Camden Lock before the gig (pic

Paul Rafis, met with Oynx members Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr at Camden Lock before the gig (pic credit: Polly Hancock) - Credit: Archant

A Kilburn rapper has taken a US hip-hop band around his area to discuss issues affecting the community.

Paul Rafis met Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz, the stars of Oynx, following their performance at the Jazz Café in Camden to provide insight into the problems impacting Brent – particularly among youths.

The 29-year-old, who promotes an underground hip-hop movement dubbed “WiseRap”, said he was disillusioned with lyrics that encouraged violence and anger.

Mr Rafis said: “They [youths] need to listen to the lyrics of the music they are listening to. That’s the problem with the youths, they just nod their heads.

“I grew up a disrespectful man. My mum had a breakdown over what I put her through, then I had to be there to build her back up. What people need to realise is that being a ‘badman’ is not the way.”

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Speaking before the performance, Mr Starr said their music was influenced by the hardships they endured growing up in Queens, New York.

Telling the Times that hip-hop music does not incite violence and hatred, he said: “Pharrell makes songs about being happy, we make songs about being mad.

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“I would tell young people to find themselves, go out there and find their own way in life. Become what you want to be but you have got to suffer the consequences of what happens, whether it’s good or bad.”

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