By Tracy Clemons
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Gun violence has become all too common in some parts of the St. Louis region.
So far in 2013, there have been 25 murders in the city. That's up from 21 at this same time last year.
A local hip hop artist is using his music to try to put a dent in the numbers that have consistently made St. Louis one of the most dangerous cities in America.
His name is C-Sharp, and his message is simple: "Put the pistol down."
"I feel like the beat is going to get the youth. They'll be able to vibe with that and obviously the message they'll feel that," said C-Sharp. "But when it comes down to the words, to let the adults know what the kids is going through and what they're seeing on a day to day basis in a way they can understand."
C-Sharp shot the music video for his song "Put Down the Pistol" at a cemetery and at a memorial for a young woman who was gunned down in North St. Louis.
"'Hurting our mothers because her baby is dead or in jail. Look in the mirror brother we're killing ourselves. You've heard that, so just things people are accustomed to, things people already kind of know what's going on out here and just put it in a way that they probably just didn't hear it the first time," he said.
His inspiration came from the "Put Down the Pistol" campaign that James Clark heads up at Better Family Life.
"It's a public awareness campaign because in some of our neighborhoods, gun violence has been reduced to the level of a car accident," said Clark.
The campaign is geared towards giving young people resources and support and promoting conflict resolution.
"We have a fundamental philosophy and that is to catch a wolf, you've got to send a wolf. C-Sharp is from the urban core, he understands the mentality, he understands what makes our young people tick. So he is uniquely qualified to help deliver the message through music with the energy and passion that the target audience will respond to," said Clark.
"Music speaks to a lot of people," said C-Sharp. "Sometimes the beat speaks to them. Sometimes the words speak to them. Sometimes the melody speaks to them. And whatever piece the people decide to draw from that particular record to hold on to, let's leave them with something positive."
James Clark says more artists like C-Sharp are needed to fight back against gun violence. He also says people should hold hip hop artists more accountable for the lyrics he believes promote gun violence.