The new organization Hip Hop Daily which chronicles prominent conflicts during the Chicago Drill Scene released a documentary titled “051 Young Money vs 600: The Deadly War in Chiraq.” It tells of the deadly gang war between 051 Young Money and the 600 factions of the Black Disciples.
Hip Hop Daily reports: “ Most fans of Chicago dril rap know about the deadly beef between the 600 Black Disciples and Tookahville. But that is only one of many beefs in the city that has earned it the name Chiraq. The war between 051 Young Money gang and 600 Black Disciples is another beef that took place in the city. La Capone was well known in the city and one of the most popular rappers in 600. He created a huge buzz and many thought he would be the next rapper in Chicago to blow up. But before he could make it big like Durk and Chief Keef, he would be killed outside a recording studio. After a recording session, as he walked to his car, a vehicle pulled up and started shooting. The death of La Capone hurt everyone in Chicago, especially the Black Disciples. Not long after, 051 Lil Mick would be arrested as the shooter and be sentenced to 60 years for the murder.”
What Hip-Hop Daily did not report is what happened after 051 Lil Mick would be sentenced to 60 years in prison for murder. In an exclusive interview with Black Dawah Network, Lil Mick states: “In jail, there were a bunch of Muslims I was around. One particular Muslim gave the Qu’ran and was steady trying to show me the ways of Islam.” Lil Mick was also given The Autobiography of Malcolm X about which he said “I was intrigued about it. I didn’t know Malcolm X was in the streets like he was. It threw me off for a bit. But when he went to prison, he learned so much about Islam and it changed his whole perspective on life. He became a Muslim in prison and became a walking thesaurus in prison. He went home and helped his people and used his voice and platform, and I took heed to that.“
Malcolm and the Muslim brothers in lockup would inspire Lil Mick. He states “Recently in 2019 on April, 3rd, on my birthday. I took my Shahadah.” Discussing the impact Islam has had on him directly, he states “Islam made me look at life differently. Islam gave me something better to live for. I found the truth within it, and I found myself within it. When I found Islam, I became whole. They gave me 60 years in prison I was taken aback by it but Islam gave me a lot of strength.“
Discussing his future plans in life Lil Mick states: “I’m enrolled in an Islamic studies course to become a scholar in al Islam through the Tayba Foundation while the facility I’m in offers no rehabilitation programs or school so I’m working towards being a better person”
Though positive for the future, Lil Mick still reflects on his past stating that he had grown up homeless with his mother constantly going from different homeless shelters to different homeless shelters. He states “It was hard growing up. We had no role models to look up to and nothing even to look forward to. So we turned to the streets.”
As a young kid, Lil Mick stated he became part of 051 Young Money in order to acquire money. So many bend to criminality because of poverty that has been created by the redlining and racial discrimination that comes with residential segregation. Lil Mick’s journey echoes a quote from Malcolm X “Unemployment and poverty have forced many of our people into a life of crime.”
Who and where should people in America’s inner cities with no positive role models look for guidance. Imam Abdul-Mateen, who leads the Muslims in Menard Correctional Facility where Lil Mick is incarcerated, answers:
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was sent to mankind after a long line of prophets, and these prophets are sent by God to be an example. So the rap artists shouldnt be your example, the one whom Allah sent should be your example. But the Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet and sent to humannkind and he wanted you to be in best position with your creator. Once you are in the best position with your Creator, you will see your condition change. Why? Because Allah says he does not change the condition of a people until they change that which is in themselves. When you are exposed to the guidance of Islam, you would begin to see that many of the things that you used to do were destructive, and you will hate it, and you will realize the harmful impacts it had on you and has on your people. So our Prophet pbuh taught us to be ambassadors for change starting within ourselves.
Though considered a street legend for 051 Young Money, Lil Mick when asked whether being part of a gang or Ummah, he stated:
Being a part of the ummah is better than being a part of a gang because it’s a greater type of brotherhood. It gives you more to live for. It makes you stand for something greater.