Over the weekend, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton presented rapper, CEO of Take A Stand Records, hip-hop mogul and entrepreneur Master P (Percy Miller) with the key to the City of Memphis during the first “Let the Kids Grow Day” held at the Mud Island Amphitheater in Downtown Memphis.
The event was brought to Memphis by Master P and P. Miller Clothing, Wal-Mart, and the Heal The Hood Foundation, amongst others.
Although Master P and his son Romeo arrived late after many kids left due to the hot heat, they did make good on their appearance and greeted and treated the kids.
“No other rapper or entertainer is as committed to the community as Master P and I am proud of him,” said Mayor Herenton. “Master P changed his life and took the negativity out of his music but stayed true to the hood.”
“My mission is to give inner-city kids a jump on education and the best possible start,” said Miller. “I want those kids and my own kids to be better than me. I’ve been luckier than most to have a second chance at life. We train our kids to be good athletes, why can’t we train our kids to be good students? Being a leader is important so I stress to kids that joining gangs just makes you a follower. Believe in yourself and say ‘no’ to gangs & drugs and ‘yes’ to education. It’s time for us parents to break the negative cycle and give kids a jump-start on life through education.”
“Hopefully this will get young people to understand that education is important and also to help them be in a peaceful society. Memphis is ranked number one in crime. We need to stop,” said Shirley Thompson, Heal the Hood spokeswoman.
Others that attended the event included actor Morgan Freeman who brought his granddaughter with him and the new Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash.
The La Petite Academy in Hickory Hill brought along 35 kids ranging in age from 6 to 12 which are enrolled in their Summer Treasures program.
“‘Let The Kids Grow’ is a perfect example of what a community can achieve when they put their minds to it,” said Miller. “I have to thank Percy T, Jim Finkl, LaDell Beamon, Romeo, Gee Gee the Giraffe, and all the volunteers who made this possible. Education is so important we need to make sure our kids can catch up now so they won’t have to catch up later.”
Later, after the event, Master P and Romeo got up close and personal with their fans and signed autographs at Wal-Mart where their affordable clothing line, P. Miller, is now available.