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Unsettled by the protests against police violence and racism in Baltimore, Wale visited the city to speak to an audience of people he thought would be most receptive to his message: youths.

After he spoke before a group of young people at Digital Harbor High School, the D.C. rapper participated in a march to City Hall. Afterward, he told Complex that he couldn’t sit idle during the uprising, especially considering his hometown’s proximity.

“When it all boils down to it, these are our neighbors. These are our brothers and sisters,” he said. “I’m not really big into politics, but I’m big on energy and morale.”

After acknowledging how irrelevant D.C. and Baltimore’s hip-hop rivalry has become, Wale spoke about the importance of connecting with oft-ignored segments of the population. “The government needs to have a means of listening to the younger people,” he said. “Or just, the urban community as a whole needs to find a way to be consistent on their word.”

Wale also implored the media to be “more responsible” and focus on the protests of Freddie Gray’s killing, not just the violence.

Perhaps the most impressive development here is that the usually publicity-hungry Wale has avoided Twitter during his visit: his account has been dormant since April 26, the day before the riots broke out. The fact that he isn’t looking for fanfare is commendable.