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Music to society's ears

IT can be argued that rap music has not received a favourable press over the years, but there is little doubt that it can be a powerful force for good.

It has been shown to be a useful educational tool in helping youngsters engage with poetry, and now it has been credited with inspiring a positive change in the lives of young offenders.

Port Glasgow hip-hop artist Marc Pawson - stage name MpFree - has been leading rap workshops at the young offenders institution at Polmont, with the aim of steering inmates away from a life of crime.

Many find the thought of being released a daunting prospect and fear they will not be able to escape the cycle of re-offending, but MpFree's project has been credited with helping to build the skills and confidence that will make them better-equipped to cope with the challenges they face on the outside.

The workshops have had an immediate as well as a longer-term benefit, with guards reporting a positive change in the attitude of some of the inmates once they were given something positive to focus on.

Hip-hop has, to coin a phrase, a lengthy rap sheet, but is good to learn that MpFree has a record to be proud of.

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Arts and Entertainment

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