This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 7, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Personal Story" segment tonight, we've been telling you for years that the violent and anti-social lyrics contained in many gangster rap recordings are hurting American children.
Joining us now from Los Angeles is a man who knows a lot about this topic, Apollo Payne, who's a former member of the Bloods gang, who now works with young people, trying to get out of that gang world. All right, how do you see this gangster rap stuff, Mr. Payne?
APOLLO PAYNE, FMR. LOS ANGELES GANG MEMBER: Well, it's a bad influence on our kids. It really divides the community.
I mean, you have to keep in mind about the First Amendment. I mean, you know, it's OK to have freedom of speech. But when you're saying something that encourages thousands of people to go out and kill people and have a negative input, that's wrong. I realize that it's business, but still and all, you have this music that's encouraging people to be gangsters. And I am a real gangster. I mean, you know, I've been to prison. I've been shot.
I live in the community now. And as my work will show you that I show you stuff that's real stuff in the community. And with this gangster rap, it just have all our young people going nowhere fast.
O'REILLY: All right now, I want to get real specific though. We've had a lot of rappers in here. And they say what they do does not influence children, that the parents should control the children, that all they do is reflect ghetto life. How do you answer that?
PAYNE: That's true. But in any life, you can't say anything to kids. I believe once the kids become of age to hear this type of language, then it's possible. But when you're creating some music to make your own self rich and you're hurting your community, you're really just doing a not worthy cause at all.
O'REILLY: No, but people can watch some of this stuff and not sell drugs or get a glock, or all of that. All right? So, not everybody who watches and listens to gangster rap become a gangster. But you're saying that a lot of children do or what?
PAYNE: Yes, a lot of kids do, Bill. I mean, you know, gangster rap is what it is. And when it started really happening in '92, with Suge Knight, my cousin Andre Harris, he was a part of that. And I saw it right then and there when they gave one of their first video shoots over off Adams. And it was about maybe 40 or 50 crew people.
And a bunch of gang members went inside to kill Snoop Dog. And myself and Pearl, we stopped them. And that tells me right there that the kind of message that they were putting out in the '90's, it really brings violence to them. And that's why they're running around with a force of security, armored vehicles.
And you see so much violence going on. And these kids has no role models. I mean, this gangster rap, you know, you have 20 millionaires. And you have whole communities around the country that's living in poverty, but these rappers are coming out, just exploiting what is going in the community, but they're not putting anything back.
O'REILLY: Do the children have a predilection to use and sell narcotics and alcohol and disrespect women because of watching this stuff? Because those are themes that run through gangster rap.
PAYNE: Yes, it does. You're right about that, Bill. It influences them to sell drugs and to be a gangster, or studio gangster. And it just sends them on a wrong path.
O'REILLY: What about the people that say -- I've been called a racist by Ludacris and these other people. And because I'm trying to hold them accountable. And also, the white corporations behind them, you know. What do you think about that?
PAYNE: Well, freedom of speech again, Bill. But the thing of it is, if they have something personal against what you're doing, they should say it and don't use a whole play the race card to take away from your doing a good deed to the community.
O'REILLY: Well, do you really think I am though? Or am I not seeing this the way I should see it?
PAYNE: You're seeing it clear, Bill. And if you were a racist, I don't think I would be here. And I'm a real gang member. I just left four other real gang members. I did a lecture at UCLA. And their hearts are where my heart is. They're like we're tired of it. We realize that all these rappers, they have to make a living. They're making money, and we applaud them for that. But yet and all, you're doing it off the sweat of our kids' back.
O'REILLY: Yes, we appreciate what you're doing. And we thank you for coming on here and just giving it the street point of view. If we can help you, let us know.
PAYNE: Thank you.
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