Drake Speaks Up About Gun Violence In His Hometown

Drake has spoken up about young black men in his beloved hometown who settle disputes with guns.

“A lot of the situations in the city, passed down by elders, people don’t even know the logistics of the beef or why or what really happened,” the rap superstar said in the compelling video, Remember Me, Toronto by Mustafa The Poet.

“It’s just, ‘I’m conditioned to hate this area, or this group of people.’”

Last year, Toronto had a record 406 shootings incidents and 97 homicides.

On the streets of some of Toronto’s communities, it’s all about earning respect. But, Drake noted, “what makes me respect a man, and their idea of respect, sometimes is so far off.”

The rapper said: “It’s a daunting path to try and be the biggest and baddest from your… ‘hood. It’s not to say be some punk, it’s not to say you can’t rep the people that you know and love and grew up around but it’s just way more impactful if you put forth all that energy into a grind that people remember you and say … ‘I remember that guy came around, gave us all a chance, was able to help the ‘hood, fed us at times, taught us things at time.’

“Those are the people that get the glory stories.”

Drake shared a message for victims of gun violence that he knew personally. “I like to remember the friends I lost as great teachers,” he said. “And I apologize if I ever used their teachings in vain, you know.”

Several hip-hop artists were interviewed for the video project, which was scored by Drake collaborator Noah “40” Shebib. According to description of the video, the goal was to provide these artists with "the opportunity to rewrite their memories and the memories of those they lost" and to "spark larger conversations."

Drake pushed the idea of leading a more positive life. “I encourage everybody to lift the weight off of themselves,” he said, “because until you lift that weight you don’t realize how much it bent you.”

Watch Remember Me, Toronto below: