Hip-hop is one of the most popular genres of music that is now dominating the world. This genre originated as a cultural movement in the neighborhood of Bronx, New York. DJ, Rap, Breakdance, and graffiti were the four elements that rose along with this movement. What started as a small subculture in the heart of New York has now spread like wildfire, not only dominating music but also the fashion, art, and entertainment industries.
This music genre originated in the 1970s due to the economic condition in New York. Because of the decline of manufacturing industries, the white middle-class population migrated to the suburbs. This migration disrupted the demographics of other communities. This sudden decline in business caused a shortage of economic opportunities. And thus, the Urban Youth turned to the street, and it was an opportunity for them to express themself.
Hip-hop music has strong African American roots with the method of oral storytelling traditions. It was created by working-class African Americans by incorporating jazz, blues, and soul. Decades after the origination of Hip Hop, now the culture itself has various subgenres with different styles and approaches.
Famous Rappers Who Were Shot Dead
In this 21st century, gun violence and gang violence are synonymous with the Rap genre; it is the reason why many rappers are dying young. The first high-profile shooting death of a major Hip-Hop artist was Dj Scott La Rock; he was one of the founding members of the south Bronx hip-hop crew Boogie Down production, along with KRS-One and D-Nice. He was shot in the head and neck in front of a Bronx apartment. Scott was just 25 years old when he died. He was one of the first youths to get murdered within the rap and Hip Hop music community, but he certainly was not the last.
Scott La Rock was shot dead on Aug 27, 1987. It has been 35 years since his passing. At present, if we take the number of Rappers shot dead, we get a shocking number of 91. Of all these murders, only a few have been solved; the rest was left unsolved. At this point, Violence and death in the rap community have become common, but it cannot be taken so lightly and ignored. Many young and talented musicians have lost their lives to this violence.
The most recent death reported was that of Takeoff. He is the youngest member of the Atlanta group Migos. he was shot and killed in Houston on Nov 1, 2022. He was just 28 when he was shot in the head.
Tupac Shakur is one of the famous rappers who made it to the list of Rappers who were shot dead. Tupac Amaru Sakur was 25 when he was shot in Las Vegas; he died six days later, on Sept 13, 1996. Tupac’s murder was unsolved, a trend that is common in all of these Rap murders. He was stuck four times; twice in the chest, once in the arm, and once in the thigh.
Six months after Tupac’s death, another big name in the Hip Hop industry was shot dead, and it was The Notorious B.I.G. He was shot in Los Angeles while leaving a party at midnight. He was shot four times with a fatal injury that tore his heart and lungs. This case also remains unsolved.
XXXTentaction is another big name who got shot dead on Jun 18, 2018. This enigmatic rapper was at his peak when he lost his life to gun violence. The murderer shot him and stole his Louis Vuitton bag from his car before escaping. Two days later, the murderers were arrested. He was just 20 when he died, but he still had a lot of potentials to show to the world; before he could do that, he left the world.
The number of Rappers who died doesn’t stop here; the violence associated with the industry is an issue of concern for people and has become a topic of discussion even in the highbrow culture.
Why Do Rappers Get Shot?
The Rap genre is one of the most famous ways to the expression of art in present-day popular culture. It is a way of exposing the oppression faced by the youth, and it is the word of liberation and freedom; it is the strong voice that demands rights. It is also associated with gangs and violence. Many of the Rap themes include using drugs and violence. The rappers who make this, if not all of them, have a close relationship with the street gangs. Rap essentially was a street art form that originated from the streets of New York, and street credibility is an important aspect that uplifts these musicians even now.
Rap music has hardcore lyrics that deal with death, drugs, and violence. Oftentimes rappers have to put on this “Tough” persona to get established, and this makes them the target of violence. Street gangs often target these people, prodding them to show their toughness and forcing them to be those people that they claim they are in the lyrics. These young musicians get in the way of rival gangs and thus end up getting their lives taken.
There is also the fame and money that make these people a common target for violence. These young artists are thrown into the world of fame and money, and the rate of success is so fast that many of them do not have proper time to realize these changes in their life. There is no proper pastoral care for these young musicians making them vulnerable to attack. Fetisisation of drugs and violence in the lyrics essentially manifest themself in their lives is what is happening. Many rappers are advocating against drug abuse and violence. This attitude could bring a positive change to this situation.