Will Smith slams 'influential' rappers
09:30 29 June 2005
Will Smith is urging rap stars to tone down their violent lyrics - because they don't realise their influence on black people around the world.
The Hollywood star claims gangster rappers even have an impact on poor African children.
He says he saw the name of late star Tupac Shakur written on the wall of a village shack on a recent trip to Mozambique.
He is quoted by Associated Press as saying: "I was asking the kids, 'What is it about Tupac?' They were saying, 'We want to dress like you dress, wear all the things you wear, talk how you talk.'"
Will now wants rap stars to inspire youngsters to work hard for success.
He explained: "The kids that are making these songs, don't understand the level of effect that black Americans have around the world.
"It's really important to have balance of the imagery. Yes, there are people who fire guns in the street, but there are also doctors who go to work in those areas to feed their children."
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