Bud Kennedy

From guns-and-drugs rapper to Fort Worth middle school speaker

Regional rap star Kyrin Peters, known as Go Yayo, isn’t exactly a middle-school motivational speaker.

But the performer of guns-and-drugs videos such as Boom God somehow wound up in front of a Morningside Middle School rally.

Officials say he won’t be doing that again.

Peters, 19, of Fort Worth, was greeted with shrill cheers and squeals May 6 when he shouldered his way to the microphone at a playground rally for the STAAR test.

“Stay in school,” he said in an impromptu appearance at the KBFB/97.9 FM “The Beat” promotional event.

“All you little girls, stay away from these boys,” he said, grinning.

He even added his own disclaimer: “Guns and drugs are an image I’ve got to portray because I’m a rapper. But I’m just a regular dude from the south side. Stay in school. Don’t do drugs. Listen to your mama.”

The idea of a gangsta-video rapper showing up suddenly and walking unquestioned onto a middle school campus full of children — much less speaking as part of a program — upset some adults including former juvenile offender-turned-anti-violence activist Charleston White, 39, of Fort Worth.

White is the founder of a youth outreach charity named Hyped About Hype (“Helping Young People Excel”). He speaks to at-risk youth in other school districts but isn’t allowed to do volunteer work in Fort Worth because of his juvenile record, he said.

I question why the school is letting him in.

Charleston White of Hyped About Hype (“Helping Young People Excel”)

“To see [Yayo’s] fight videos — and he’s at a school — it was a slap in the face,” White said.

He referred the young rapper as “Mr. Go Yayo,” but credited him with “something of a good job” in the short talk.

Peters has 30,000 followers on social media, a local music producer and hopes for a national contract.

Go Yayo has 30,000 social media followers.

“I’m happy for him and for his success,” White said, “but I question why the school is letting him in.”

White has other concerns about the Fort Worth school district. He challenges the higher rate of suspensions and discipline in predominantly African-American schools, and also has been one of the speakers objecting to new directives on accommodating transgendered students.

A district spokesman said Morningside officials thought Go Yayo was KBFB’s guest. The principal was away from campus during the rally, which was on school grounds but not inside.

WFAA/Channel 8 quoted the station manager saying Go Yayo was not with KBFB. The rapper’s manager told WFAA that Go Yayo voluntarily joined the event “to give back to the community that he grew up in.”

By Thursday, Peters was joking on Facebook that Fort Worth “#CantBanYayo.” He repeated the disclaimer that his videos are only for entertainment.

This was a rally to help students pass tests. But the grownups failed.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @BudKennedy. His column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.