Oakland dad, rapper collaborate on video to raise awareness about street killings

OAKLAND (KTVU) -- An Oakland parent and a local rapper are working together to draw attention to gun violence in an attempt to put a face to the families of those who've lost loved ones.

Christopher Ellis' son, Davon, was shot and killed nearly a year-and-a-half ago. He is working with his cousin, Pooh-Man, the famous Oakland rapper from the 1990s to shed new light on the senseless killing that claimed the life of Davon.

This weekend the two are planning to record a video for his latest song called, "No More Tears.” It’s dedicated to the parents of those who've lost children to gun violence.

"It’s (gotten) to the point now (where) if you're a parent of a teenage boy or girl, you're waiting for a call," Ellis said.  

In February of last year, Ellis received the call that no parents want to receive, a call saying his 14-year-old son had been killed. The teen was with two friends while walking to a store. That's when an unknown assailant opened fire, fatally wounding the teen.

Ellis said at least three of his son's friends have also been killed. Two were his football teammates Josiah Pratt and Jamari Wilson, who drowned over Memorial Day weekend. A third, Reggina Jefferies, the 16-year-old who was fatally shot just hours after dancing at the funeral of Pratt and Wilson.

"With the death of the young lady, I got mad and I went downstairs and I wrote the song," says Pooh-Man. 

Ellis said he was writing a public service announcement about gun violence when Pooh-Man sent him the song.

"Then when he sent me the song it was just like 'That's exactly what I was thinking', he just did it in rap form," Ellis said. 

Said rapper Pooh-Man: "I've lost my nephew; I've lost my cousin, all within a two year span. So I'm feeling what they're feeling."

Now the two want people to know even though their loved ones are no longer here, they have a voice that should be honored and remembered.  The pair wants to give the community some sense of hope to end gun violence. 

But they say they can't do it alone.

"Parents, uncles, aunties, brothers (and) sisters, we got to do better," the rapper said. "We have to police our community."

Said Ellis: "I can move. I don’t have to be in Oakland (but) I'm here to fight for my city."

Part of the proceeds from the song will go towards a scholarship fund in honor of Davon.  Ellis said he's still waiting for the man accused of killing his son to stand trial. 

by KTVU reporter Paul Chambers.