Danny isn't an author, and the rap isn't a book - he is a young man I met today at the National Crimebeat Awards in London. He is a member of the Respond Academy team from St Leonard's on Sea, East Sussex, who won third place - and we are hugely proud of them all. Chris had put this brilliant initiative forward for the awards - and we are delighted they were not only finalists but prizewinners!
Danny was going to perform a rap as part of the group's presentation - but for one reason or another, he was not able to. He was kind enough to give me a copy of the words, which tell how important music has been in helping him turn his life around when 'home' is not the place of safety we like to think it is.
The minute people realised I was a big kid who could throw a mean slug
people would stop turning round and labelling me as a thug.
After that day I would go home and never receive a kiss or hug
and never receive a single ounce of love
‘til I turned round and said that’s it.
Enough is enough.
Because I turned round and walked away,
that’s the reason I can talk the way I talk today.
See, I was taught to be a criminal and commit crimes every day,
until one day I woke up and realised crime isn’t the way.
Back then I was a confused little kid, so I focused on my music.
Music is like therapy helping me and that’s why I use it,
so now I been given this opportunity I’m not going to abuse it.
Music is my life, and that’s why I choose it.
Brilliant. Thanks to Danny and the whole team.
Read on for more about Respond Academy, which helps young people who for one reason or another aren't fitting into the education system...
You can read more about the National Crimebeat Awards here: http://www.national-crimebeat.org.uk