Word up! Rappers launch album to tackle knife crime in Hampshire

MUSIC Rappers Matt Stevens, Martin Parvin, and Bex Bennett with (top) Mike Risdon of  Segensworth firm Turbomeca which has helped out the rap project.     Picture: Malcolm Wells (112158-8020)
MUSIC Rappers Matt Stevens, Martin Parvin, and Bex Bennett with (top) Mike Risdon of Segensworth firm Turbomeca which has helped out the rap project. Picture: Malcolm Wells (112158-8020)
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RAP music will be used to try to stop young people carrying knives.

A group of eight young rappers from across Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant are getting together to produce a thought-provoking album called Words Not Weapons.

It comes after Music Fusion, a charity based in Havant which allows young people to create their own music, received a £3,000 grant from The Blue Lamp Trust.

The trust is a charitable partnership between Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, and local businesses.

Rapper Matty Stevens, 17, from Havant, said he can’t wait to get in the recording studio and that he is writing the lyrics.

He admitted he had felt pressure to carry a knife.

He said: ‘I believe there is a deeper meaning to music.

‘When most people think about rappers, they think about guns, Ferraris and things like that.

‘There’s more to it than that.

‘It’s an outlet. This is an issue people need to be aware of.

‘It’s not as bad as some areas like Liverpool, Manchester and London, but it does happen down here.’

Jinx Prowse, 39, who runs Music Fusion at The Spring in East Street, said: ‘We always respond to a need.

‘This particular need had come up by the fact there were a lot of young people in Gosport, Portsmouth and Leigh Park who felt knife crime was an issue.

‘They felt they did not feel as safe as they wanted to be in their neighbourhood.

‘There were a lot of younger people, aged 11 or 12, thinking that carrying a knife was cool.

‘Young people came to us with this message and wanted to do something about it.’

The album is expected to be released by the autumn and three live concerts are being organised for Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant.

Mr Prowse added: ‘Music can be the catalyst to get people talking.

‘The idea is you can use music to express what you are feeling more eloquently than thumping someone or using a knife.’