Monday, July 20, 2015
I wish that I could say I’m inspired to write this blog because of some great event that happened in hip hop. I wish it was about something as simple as a dope verse by a young MC that set the blogs and hip hop community on fire. Wish it was as simple as an egotistical producer going on a rant at a radio personality. Why can’t I just write a blog about the simple stuff, like sub-par MC’s talking reckless on stage and street rappers checking them about it. Man those were so easy.
But no, I can’t do that today. Today I have to talk about another senseless murder of another young rap artist by gunfire. Today I have to address the ongoing plight of how rap music, the streets and guns are always a deadly combination. Today I have to echo what so many people have said that I have tried over and over to defend. Today I can’t ignore the obvious: Rap Kills.
If you know me, or even just kind of know me via social networks or previous blogs, you know this hurts to say. For years verbally on my broadcast and more recently in my blogs, I have defended the art and the artists against the constant criticism that links rap to violence. I was the voice of reason, the one that kept yelling artists can’t be held responsible for the actions of some lunatic with a gun. But I have had an epiphany: I was only halfway right about that argument.
Oh yes, I still say Tupac can’t make you open fire on a sheriff just by telling you he hates them in a song. Rap doesn’t make you kill, that is still my stance. But what I realize now is that simply being a rapper can get you killed very easily. The rap game is a lot more dangerous than people care to admit frankly. We have always tried to equate the lyrics in rap as the culprit of the violence that surrounds the genre. But all this time it was right in my face, it’s not the lyrics it’s the rapper. The artist is a target, always has been and always will be.
Follow me on this. Every hip hop artist that has been shot or murdered has ONE thing in common: THEY WERE ALL HIP HOP ARTIST! How stupid of me and countless other not to put the obvious together. It wasn’t what they were saying, it’s who they were. Jealousy, money, resentment, robbery, or retribution it was all because some rapper did something, had something or said something. But the common denominator is right in your face. It’s simply dangerous to be a rap artist. Gun play is an occupational hazard of being a rapper plain and simple.
The lyrics can be criticized but the truth is it doesn’t really matter what you rap about, you can still get it. Was Jam Master Jay a gangster rapper? How about Scott La Rock, or Big L? There are more but you get my point if you aren’t too slow. Being a rapper is more dangerous than being a fireman and a cop combined. Look at any other genre or any occupation that makes you “famous”. Not even a pro athlete or Hollywood actor, hell even politicians, none of them die violently more than rappers.
The recent death of Grand Hustle artist Doe B is simply just the latest examples of the hazard. Being a rapper should be listed as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Doesn’t matter if you are a superstar or just coming up in the game, the gun play doesn’t discriminate. If we counted the amount of shootings where no one was hit, or death threats made on rappers lives I’m almost certain that, unless its wartime, being a rapper is more dangerous than being a soldier in the army.
Yes of course I know that there is a far deeper issue at play. One other thing most of these victims have in common is skin color. I could go on and on about the fact that almost all of these shootings and murders were carried out by other black males. Being a rapper probably increases the chance you will be a victim of black on black crime by like a thousand times over. But if I go down that path this blog will be at least 10 more paragraphs. That is another time and another blog. The point is being a rapper, it may seem glamorous on TV, but make no mistake about it, the shit is a dangerous gig. Even more so if you are in indie rapper, because more than likely you can’t afford the security that someone you see on TV has. You just out here homie and YOU ARE A TARGET.
In closing I want to say be careful. Be aware of your surrounding at clubs no matter if there is security in place or not. Every club doesn’t have your safety as its top priority. In fact most of them really don’t give a damn. MONEY is what they care about, the venue and security. So if someone wants to slide them a bill or two to skip the frisk, fuck your safety is pretty much the decision of the moment. Even if it’s your own backyard, you are still a target as we saw with Doe B, because jealousy and past beefs are more likely to cause issues when you’re a home town star.
You don’t have to be in the club by the way, because recording studios, yeah those places are just as dangerous. Quite a few of the victims you know about have been killed in or right outside of recording studios. How many times have to been in the studio and everybody is strapped? What the hell for I have NO CLUE, I guess it helps them flow that gangsta shit they about to get in the booth and spit. But with a room full of guns, something as simple as an argument over candy can turn deadly.
Watch your front and your back. This shit is real out here. Rap Kills, and it does not care about your dreams, your kids, your fans or your grind.
-BLIZM (Program Director, K-100 Radio)