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Common: Chicago needs to better understand the youth

Associated Press | 9/23/2013, 11:15 a.m.
CHICAGO -- Chicago rapper Common says his hometown needs to better understand the young people contributing to its violence problem ...
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 18: Common attends the press conference for the Friends Of Magic Launch at Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy on September 18, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- Chicago rapper Common says his hometown needs to better understand the young people contributing to its violence problem and be more consistent in efforts to help them.

Common's comments Friday at a city-sponsored music conference came hours after 13 people were wounded in an attack at a park on the city's southwest Side. Among the wounded was a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the face.

The Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist told The Associated Press that gang violence may have increased, but so has poverty and other challenges. Common has spoken before about the violence in his hometown. He has established a foundation that helps expose disadvantaged young people to the creative arts.

He says he and other rap artists have to do more to help stem the violence.