|Nathaniel Abraham's First Months of Freedom.
||[Oct. 17th, 2007|05:30 pm]
For those outside the realm of Michigan, you may not be familiar with Nathaniel Abraham.
He was a young man who shot and killed Ronnie Lee Greene, Jr. at the age of 11. He was tried and convicted as an adult for second-degree murder, which made him one of the youngest people ever involved in such a case.
The man was released from detention this year. The state pays for Abraham's transition into society, which includes payments for housing and education.
He attends Wayne State University. He is a public speaker, telling children about the wrong decisions and the consequences.
He's also a potential musician, working out of a recording studio in Pontiac.
WDIV-TV did a news segment that juxtaposed Nathaniel's positive influences with the question of the lyrics in his demo rap album. One can find it at their website, clickondetroit.com.
I watched the juxtaposition of the positive amid the violent lyrics culled directly from snippets of the demo album. I didn't care for the style, which was exposé. It didn't answer my primary question, which was one based on the nature of Abraham's lyrics. WDIV treated the question with an answer based on his answer of a depiction of real life on his streets. Abraham added an analogy to making a violent movie in Hollywood.
I wanted to know if Abraham made the world-wise decision of creating a fictional character to place this depiction.
It's one thing to rap about violence and murder. It's another thing to be a murderer and rap about murder.
From a Detroit News article:
Abraham, an aspiring rapper, thanked the judge for having faith in him despite nay-sayers who said he would never succeed in life.
"I owe a debt to everybody involved in this case," Abraham told Moore in court. "I'd like to thank you for taking that chance and believing in me. You saw something in me before a lot of people did.
"I'm going to make the best of it."
Nichole Edwards, Ronnie Greene's sister, said whatever progress Abraham has made won't bring her brother back.
"All we have is a cemetery plot to go to," she said.
She does not feel Abraham is remorseful or has truly been rehabilitated.
"One of my biggest fears is that he will get out and cause someone else grief," she said.
If this guy makes a dime from music, my guess is that the Green family will want at least half of it.
If I was Abraham, I'd not only devise a set of fictional characters to display the life as he understood it, but I'd also have leeway to paint my characters to their tragic ends. I'd also do some "This is Nathaniel Abraham" tracks that directly address his remorse, lessons learned, and other positive notes. Despite the infinite cash to be possibly made in the rap game, and despite my ability to be unique among rappers to be able to fully succeed in such an industry, I would find no trouble marketing a wide range of tracks on the same album beyond the violent nature of the street rhymes.
Though he may have never known Green up to that day when he died, Abraham has to understand that he will be connected to the Green family for the rest of his life. Most people would not appreciate a glorification of violence coming from a person who found himself in his position. I'm sure the Green family would probably not enjoy an album from Nathaniel that based itself completely upon such material.
Nathaniel will be an ongoing national chapter in the possibility of rehabilitation. If he succeeds, then he will be the possible blueprint for the future of similar troubled youths. Failure would not reflect kindly on his peers.