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article imageReal Victims Star in Ice Cube Music Video

By Jason Li     Oct 4, 2008 in Entertainment
If the sincerity of grieving family members in Ice Cube's new music video, "Why Me?", looks particularly realistic, it's because it is. They lost their 17-year-old high school football star in a gun related crime.
"Why Me?" is a rap that denounces violent street crime and senseless killings. And in its music video, it features the pain of a real victim's family after he was shot fatally outside his home.
The 17-year-old victim's name is Jamiel Shaw Jr. As his family describes him in the MV's opening shot, he's a good kid who's "never been arrested, never been suspended from school." In fact, he was vying for a college sports scholarship when he was killed.
Ice Cube said that using Shaw's family was vital to the music video's message.
"To drive this home, it was only right to use [a] real family and not use a bunch of actors," he said. "It just was a tragic, tragic story of why young people are dying for no reason all over the world that don't know why. It's ugly, everywhere."
Prosecutors said illegal immigrant and suspected gangster Pedro Espinoza is responsible for the murder. According to them, Espinoza shot Shaw after questioning the latter's gang association. Shaw had never been in a gang.
Espinoza pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was released from prison a day before the murder on weapon's charges.
The Shaws, who are calling for Los Angeles police to crack down on illegals, view the MV as a platform for their cause.
The music video also shows other crime scenes, and a dying victim asking: "Why me homie, why me?"
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