'Put the knife down': Ex-offender on city stabbings
- Credit: Contributed
Growing up in a deprived area contributed to a city rapper's descent into the world of gangs and knife crime.
But having served his time in a secure centre and got himself on the straight and narrow, up-and-coming artist Shane Harvey has a clear message for Norwich teenagers.
"They need to discard any friends causing trouble and bad influences," said the rapper, who goes by the moniker Creepzz these days.
"Put the knife down and focus on a life journey of getting a job and making your family proud."
The artist - who has just released a new single 'Still Wishing' - has been saddened by recent stabbings in Norwich which included the death of 18-year-old Joe Dix in Vale Green on January 28.
Mr Harvey, 25, saw parallels with his own teenage years growing up in Kent before he moved to Norfolk aged 14.
He said: "It's a sense of being cool and wanting to be that person who can be the invincible big dog in a gang.
"My family knew I was affiliating with the wrong crowd when I was about 13.
"They tried to move me away from that by moving to Norfolk but that gang life stuck with me over here."
While in prison at 16, the rapper was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and borderline autism.
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He admitted to carrying out street robberies in his teenage years but began to change his ways after receiving mental health support at Hellesdon Hospital.
Music became his overriding passion.
Mr Harvey, who is currently living in Lowestoft with his partner, added: "When I was younger I felt protected by older people in gangs but I now look back and think it was a silly game.
"I carried knives not just for self-defence but I used to think it was cool to threaten people.
"I was never involved with county lines but it is definitely growing."
He added: "To see the recent death was a really sad and my thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends.
"It is shocking as Norwich used to be a quiet city but there are now stabbings and drug dealing going on."
His new single can be found on YouTube by searching creepzzVEVO.
A rap on knife crime
Norwich-born musician Dan Watson, known as Wattz, has written his own rap in response to recent stabbings.
Here are the lyrics for his rap Save a Life:
There's a murder on the news again someone has used a knife,
And because of that a young man has had to lose his life,
This gets me mad its put me in the mood to write,
Once you take a life that's just something that you can't put right,
So think before you act before you cause a lot of grief,
We've lost too many lives get these knives off these streets,
We've lost some good people I hope they all rest in peace,
Knife crimes got to stop it's mostly over petty beef,
Every other day I'm hearing someone's been stabbed,
What's this place coming to everybody's gone mad,
We're losing young lives out here its real sad,
Over nothing important just people thinking that they're bad,
Save a life.. stop knife crime,
I had to say it how it is people we don't die twice,
It's not a game out here we ain't got nine lives,
I had to put this message out the only way was my rhymes.