Something tells us this wasn’t what Michael Bloomberg had in mind when he started the “Demand a Plan” campaign–but it has potential. Hip-hop mogul Michael “Blue” Williams, whose clients include Cee-Lo and Outkast and who doesn’t claim to be the world’s best manager despite choosing the Twitter handle @TheBestManager, has proposed a campaign called “Guns for Greatness” designed to reduce the number of firearms on New York streets by offering “mentorships” and free Beyoncé/Jay-Z concert tickets to anyone who turns his weapons in to the police department.
Sure, it sounds a little ridiculous at first, but according to a letter Williams sent to the NYPD earlier this week, he’s already three quarters of the way toward his goal of raising $100,000 to fund the initiative.
Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the NYPD have yet to sign off on the proposal, but top cop Ray Kelly did tell the New York Daily News that “We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it.”
Williams says that he was inspired to act by a friend and business partner’s 2012 suicide; the idea is that the money would be used to buy tickets to the stars’ upcoming summer shows at Yankee Stadium and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Young men who participate would also receive “guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing.”
Sounds a little vague, but how could anyone not get behind the general idea? Williams’s co-signers include the publisher of Source magazine, the CEO of the Children’s Aid Society and a prominent former federal prosecutor who happens to be running for a district attorney position in Brooklyn. (New York started a city-run gun buyback program in 2008, but its results have been less than inspiring so far.)
Will the campaign work? Hard to say–but it will earn the man a good bit of attention. And he seems to like that…