PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia city government has enlisted some youth-oriented personalities to help convey its antiviolence message in the wake of the latest flash mob incident (see related stories), including a young man who survived some of the very behavior the city is trying to discourage.

The artist known as “DJ Damage” spins discs on a youth-oriented Philadelphia FM radio station, a job he won while still a teenager.

Now 21, he says he survived a brush with selling drugs, so he feels well-equipped to teach teenagers how to turn their lives around.

As he told KYW’s Steve Tawa, “Whatever I can do that motivates the kids to support me, I want to help support them to do something positive.”

DJ Damage, whose real name is Abdul-Quddas Muhammad, will bring his message to 15 public schools this fall.

harris jordan  side tawa Philadelphia Officials See Hip Hop Artists Dampening, Not Fueling, Mob Violence

(Philadelphia Youth Commission director Jordan Harris. Credit: Steve Tawa)

Philadelphia Youth Commission executive director Jordan Harris (right) says DJ Damage is invaluable in reaching the audience the city needs to get to.

“Most of them aren’t going to go (official web site) phila-dot-gov to hear what the mayor is saying, but we need those young folks at the table,” Harris tells KYW Newsradio.

Harris says DJ Damage approached the city’s youth commission, offering to help spread the message of responsible behavior.

And DJ Damage’s message will be consistent with the city’s goals, Harris says.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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