As most of my friends will know, I'm a huge fan of Tupac Shakur - and though most people may frown on his cursing and derogatory names for women, I believe there's some wisdom in his lyrics.
One of my all-time favourite songs of his is "Only God can Judge me", a song that rings so true to life and makes me think of the man behind the cursing.
When I listen to Tupac's lyrics I hear the voices of so many misunderstood youths coming through as he sings of life in the ghetto.
From the onset, let me say that I do not condone swearing, but when your son or daughter listens to rap or hip-hop do you hear anything beyond the bad language or do you tell them to turn it off, not realising the message they may be trying to send to you?
Often when I get angry, I plug in my headphones and turn up my rap - the lyrics mean something to me. I hear beyond the curse and listen to the message.
I sometimes think that many of our wayward youth are not just hopeless cases who don't want a better life. They are troubled people trying to have their voices heard, and young adults trying to get some attention.
I don't condone the wrongs that youths do, I don't condone drug abuse and I don't condone violence.
I do, however, try to understand what it must be like not to have people understand what you're going through.
This quote from a song from the legendary Tupac is something to think about when we fail to see the perfections in the imperfections of young people.
"We wouldn't ask why a rose that grew from the concrete has damaged petals, in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun, well, we are the roses, this is the concrete and these are my damaged petals, don't ask me why, thank God, and ask me how." And to end off, a quote from Tupac's "Ghetto Gospel". Think of it as a young person's prayer for his or her voice to be heard.
"Don't them let me get teary, the world looks dreary but when you wipe your eyes, see it clearly there's no need for you to fear me, if you take your time to hear me, maybe you can learn to cheer me it ain't about black or white, cause we're human I hope we see the light before its ruined, my Ghetto Gospel."