BUFFALO, N.Y. — "The future of this town, the future of this city, the future of this world is right here on stage.”
That future is the youth. During a special Easter Mass at Kleinhan's Music hall, dozens of kids pledged to make their future bright by avoiding violence.
"We're about to go into the summer season where we know we have a lot more homicides in our city, and to be proactive about addressing the homicide and violence in our city," Buffalo Common Council President, Darius Pridgen, said.
At one point during the mass, True Bethel Baptist Church, gave an honorary moment for what they said were the 65 homicides in Buffalo since 2018. The main message was directed towards the kids in the audience. To get that point across a special guest teenagers was brought in.
"We should actually sit back and think, 'why are we thuggin?'" rapper, Waka Flocka Flame, said.
Waka Flocka has had his own legal issues his entire life. A few years ago he was arrested at an airport for gun possession. However, now he wants to make sure kids don't make the same mistakes as he did.
"But what you doing gang banging is wrong. Cause coming togething unifying is a key. To all of y'all be on one accord is key. But for what y'all doing is not the key. It's wrong," the rapper said.
At one point Waka Flocka asked teenagers who had checkered pasts of their own to voluntarily come up to the stage so he could speak to them more personally.
"i'm telling you, right now the best hing in life is to be happy," he said.
It's a message he hopes resonates for years to come.