By Lindsey Temple
News Star Reporter
City officials along with the help of some Elmore City-Pernell art students have turned one of Elmore City’s most viewed buildings into a canvas, promoting the town’s upcoming Footloose Festival, but not all residents are thrilled about the look of the building.
“There has been some question as to what we are actually promoting,” said EC City Clerk Lisa Rollings, referencing a particular painting of the Christian rap duo, Mike Bone.
“I have been asked to take down the logo. Some people around our town think that we are promoting violence and view this as some kind of gang graffiti, worrying that it will incite gang activity among the town’s young people,” Rollings explained.
Based out of Oklahoma City, the duo, Mike Bone, has had a profound effect on many young people stressing the dangers of gang life.
The artist known as “Lil Mike” understands all too well the dangers of such a life.
At the age of 10 he joined an Oklahoma City branch of the Los Angeles gang North Side Puri Bloods.
It wasn’t until one day in 1990 that the young man witnessed a gang shooting that haunted him and made him question his own life choices.
When trying to flee the gang, Lil Mike was met with beatings and opposition from those he once called friends, opposition that he still bears the scars from.
The incident drove him from the streets and into a Baptist church. Over the next few years he heard the testimony of the Gospel Gangster and a Christian rap group.
“We just want people know that these guys are positive influences, wonderful role models and they are ate up with Jesus,” explained Rollings. “I’m afraid this isn’t too far from the battle that we fought 32 years ago when people thought dancing caused teen pregnancies.”
Their songs have found radio play on Radio stations, including KOKF 91 FM and Power 103.5FM and other stations in Tampa, Florida and in Michigan. Others have appeared solely on albums with titles such as “Str-8 Outta OKC” and “From Da Flesh 2 Da Bone.”
Their most popular, a crunk CD titled “Dirty South Native Style,” features a song about a popular northeast Oklahoma City chicken stand.
The artists can be seen at the upcoming Elmore City Footloose Festival street dance at 7:15 p.m.