Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

Just days before the two-week anniversary of deadly shootings that brought despair to an OVO Fest afterparty, Drake broke his silence on the tragedy. The Toronto rapper shared a 238-word statement through his October’s Very Own website to address the senseless loss of life, not only expressing his condolences to the families of those who passed but challenging the youth of his city to appreciate and love.

Rap has always possessed a level of social responsibility that extends beyond what happens on wax and within studios. It’s too powerful a force to be defined by petty beefs and Twitter exchanges. You can read Drake’s statement in its entirety below.

The last few days I have been in a moral bind.

I am used to the fact that my life and the things I say to my fans are‎ closely watched. It’s tough in situations like this where there’s a tragedy and I consider the advice of my trusted advisors and counsel who worry that anything I might say could be misinterpreted.

However, today I am choosing to follow my heart.

I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.

Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another. We need each other to further our communities for generations to come.

I pray for better times and better understanding.


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