Hip Hop wasn’t always full of lyrics about gun violence, it was about having a good time and partying, but in the late 80’s things changed and lyrics did too. When the crack era hit the neighborhoods, gang culture got heavy, drug addiction went on a rise, Teenagers became drug dealers, gun violence, murder rate up, and hip hop became the voice of this lifestyle.
One of the first Hip Hop legends that was killed by gun violence was Scott La Rock of Boogie Down Productions on August 27, 1987 in New York City. On this day, D-Nice member of BDP was assaulted by men upset that he had been talking to one of their ex-girlfriends. D-Nice asked La Rock to help defuse the situation. La Rock, Scotty “Manager Moe” Morris, DJ McBooo, D-Nice and BDP bodyguard Darrell drove to Highbridge Homes Projects in the South Bronx. As they were leaving, bullets were fired through the side and top of the Jeep. La Rock was struck in the head and later died in the hospital.
Almost every year since 1987, we have lost a rapper to gun violence. Gun violence in music has even got worst, to the point where rappers are claiming to be bloods, crips in there songs with a large body count in there lyrics. One of the worst stories of gun violence in Hip Hop was the 2Pac/ The Notorious B.I.G Beef, which spark a East Coast vs West Coast war which ended with both men being killed. 2Pac shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, he died 6 days later and The Notorious B.I.G killed in the same way 6 months later.
In recent years Hip Hop has lost XXXTentacion in 2018, who was reaching much success and who this generation loved, he was killed during a robbery with many fans mourning his death. 2019 Nipsey Hussle was murdered in front of his store that he opened up in his community where he grew up, was shot and killed due to an argument. 2020 we have lost 4 rappers, Pop Smoke killed during a house robbery, 20 years old, King Von killed outside of a club when a argument turned into gun violence, Rapper Huey famous for his 2007 hit “Pop, Lock and Drop It” died from a double shooting at his home and Mo3 was chased down and gunned down in his home town of Dallas, Texas.
Hip Hop has lost legends and upcoming rappers that were just on the verge of making it. Legendary rapper Big L was next up, and he was shot nine times in his hometown of Harlem, Jam Master Jay killed in his studio due to a rumor of a drug deal gone wrong, Soulja Slim murdered in the front lawn of his mothers house. Mac Dre, Proof, Dolla, Doe B and Chinx Drugz all died by the gun violence.
Is it music that glorifies gun violence? Is it the environment we were brought up in that make us a product of our environment? Chicago has always been a lead in gang culture and gun violence, i can make a long list of young rappers in the drill music scene that have got killed just because of representing a different gang or hood or by the content in there music.
Either rappers dont know or dont care that they carry a heavy influence to the youth. Hip Hop is the most listened to music in the world and it’s impact is felt. Understand Hip Hop has always been a voice for the community, with stories being told and expressions of the struggles in hood but now the struggle has been a story of glorifying the wrongs and question is how do we correct this.