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"We're all pointing fingers"

Wretch 32 calls for rethink on knife crime

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The rap star has talked about the need for prevention rather than punishment when it comes to London knife crime - and that means understanding.

In an interview with Channel 4, Wretch 32 has called for a rethink in the way boys on estates similar to the one he grew up on in Tottenham, should be steered away from gang culture.

Ahead of his new book, Rapthology, the ‘rapper’s rapper’ talked about the serious intent and hard work that goes into his lyrics, life growing up in a houseful of women on a tough estate which gave him an insight and appreciation of women’s side of things, and how his life was changed when he was almost the target of a drive-by shooting at the age of 9.

“At that point, as a 9 year old innocent kid, it changes your frame of mind. I could be a victim of something I’m nothing to do with, so is it better to be part of it, or not? Finding a balance between what’s right or wrong? Do you want to be an aggressor or a victim? And that’s where you lose innocent kids, with kids who felt they had no other choice.

“Trying to make sense of the chaos. [My choice was} Do you want to be part of chaos, or can you narrate the chaos?”

Talking about the death of Harry Uzoka in 2018, who he knew, Wretch called for new approaches to the gang culture issue, one which is about prevention and support rather than demonising these kids.

“We’re all pointing fingers so much, but that’s not the point. The point is we all play our part, so let’s play that part…There is not one solution. It takes a village to raise a child – I think we have to be conscious of what part we’re playing in that village. The more understanding we are, the better the outcome.”

He also said it was important for him to remain part of the community in Tottenham rather than follow the usual narrative of escape:

“If you become successful you disappear. Get as far away as possible. [Instead you should] become successful and do things in the community. Makes sure you are present and that kids see the success story as well as the negative narrative.”

Watch the full interview here:

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