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Lawton gospel hip-hop group making noise against violence

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LAWTON Okla_ A gospel hip-hop group is using their powerful music to spread a message of positivity amidst a growing culture of violence in Lawton.

"Double Edge Sword Gospel" has been spreading positive messages through hip-hop music for the past eight years. The group said they're using their voices to encourage at-risk youth to use their painful life experiences creatively, instead of turning to the streets.

The group said today's youth can relate to their music and they hope, one day, follow their lead. They said now more than ever, their powerful prose mixed with popular hip-hop beats is needed in the community. Especially for today's youth, who may not relate to traditional gospel music

"When you go traditional," Double Edge Sword Producer and Writer "Ferb" said, "you deter the younger generation from listening to gospel music. So, we try to give them an avenue where they can hear gospel in terms that they'll relate to at their level. Try to get them to vent positively in their music, instead of negative or out there in the streets."

The group consists of writers, producers, poets, dancers and singers, who all say they've all been through some rocky times. They said they want to use their stories and talents as positive examples

"For people who've been in their place and who've overcome it like some of us have," singer Cyrstal Witherspoon said. "I think it's good for them to see that and know that they can overcome their situation. If they want to get out, there is a way"

"What honestly do they have that benefits them in doing the wrong," singer and poet Amanda Sosa said, "compared to doing the right thing. Not only is it a battle of consciousness, but a legacy they are going to leave behind once they leave. We leave a mark, whether it's a good one or bad one."

Pastor Lennie Orrell said he partnered with the group to help spread hope in a way everyone understands: through music

"Even though there is a message in there and you hear the pain and the hurt sometimes in her music, it still has a positive outlook. I'm trying to incorporate that in what we trying to do and we're trying to reach all walks of life"

The group performs at schools, churches and events all over southwest Oklahoma. Their mission is to show young people that they can take power over their lives in a positive way.

The group said they plan on attending tomorrow night's town hall meeting about gang violence at city hall.

They hope to get a pulse on what the community is feeling and try to do their part to help. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

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