Ice Cube Video Honors Slain Teen

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Oct 4, 2008 4:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – The unlikely stars of Ice Cube's new video are the grieving relatives of a 17-year-old high school football star shot to death outside his home. The song "Why Me?" speaks out against senseless violence and gun crime devastating communities. "It just was a tragic, tragic story of why," Cube says. "Young people are dying for no reason all over the world that don't know why. It's ugly, everywhere."

Jamiel Jr. Shaw had been on track for a scholarship when he was killed near his LA home, possibly because he refused to join a gang. The suspect is an illegal immigrant, which has raised the case's profile. The rap video begins with the tightly framed, sorrow-filled faces of Shaw's parents and aunt. "To drive this home, it was only right to use real family and not use a bunch of actors," Cube says.

US rap artist Ice Cube performs on stage in concert as part of his 'Straight outta Compton' tour at The Forum on September 3, 3007 in Melbourne, Australia.
US rap artist Ice Cube performs on stage in concert as part of his 'Straight outta Compton' tour at The Forum on September 3, 3007 in Melbourne, Australia.   (Getty Images)
American rapper Ice Cube performs at the Enmore Theatre on August 27, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.
American rapper Ice Cube performs at the Enmore Theatre on August 27, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.   (Getty Images)
Ice Cube, seen here in a file photo from August, pays tribute to an innocent victim in his new rap video.
Ice Cube, seen here in a file photo from August, pays tribute to an innocent victim in his new rap video.   (Chris Pizzello)
Actor Ice Cube attends the world premiere of Screen Gems 'First Sunday' at the Cinerama Dome on January 10, 2008 in Hollywood, California.
Actor Ice Cube attends the world premiere of Screen Gems 'First Sunday' at the Cinerama Dome on January 10, 2008 in Hollywood, California.   (Getty Images)
Rapper/actor Ice Cube appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios January 8, 2008 in New York City.
Rapper/actor Ice Cube appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios January 8, 2008 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
Rapper/actor Ice Cube appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios January 8, 2008 in New York City.
Rapper/actor Ice Cube appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios January 8, 2008 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
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Every time I start watching it, I start crying. At the same time, I feel good that we are getting the word out. - Jamiel Shaw Sr., father of the victim

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