Dodging the Bullet

Dodging the Bullet

Gun Violence in the Rap Industry

Let’s Plug-in! 

Rap is a very important genre of music in African American culture, and it’s been around since the mid 1970’s which was also when, Kool Herc, the first ever DJ, was introduced and founded the art of rap.  Since then, it has only become more popular amongst many different ethnicities and cultures around the world.  

The sad thing is that racial stereotypes play a big role in how the rap genre is perceived. 


How does the public feel about Rap? 

When asked ‘What are 3 words that come to mind when you think of rap music?’ local Patriot students answered with ‘loud’, ‘fast’, ‘anger’ or ‘death’, ‘over-sexualization, and ‘drugs.’ 

According to, The content and validity of music-genre stereotypes among college students, 

many people had associated fans of Rap with alcohol/marijuana use, and high athleticism, which was a common ‘black’ stereotype, while other opinions were more so focused on the rappers individually. They felt as if the rappers held ‘higher value on personal respect and recognition’ and had ‘little regard for values of peace, security, civility, and intellect.’  As for the genre of Rap itself, it constantly is deemed to promote ‘aggressive’ behavior and/or invoke ‘unlawful’ or ‘dangerous’ actions in adolescence. It isn’t fair to only bad-mouth or blame one genre of music for the actions of others. Any genre of music can cause this. 

Racism, prejudice, and stereotypes play a relatively big role in how people who support or are a part of the rap community are perceived and treated. We can break the constant cycle of how we look at or perceive Rap, or any other genres at that. 

Patriot student Melody Portillo (24’) agreed that most harm is caused by insolence from people who have different views. 

I feel like the violence endured by this community is caused by disrespect from a racism standpoint,” Portillo said. 

Deirdra Brown (24’), a Black student concurred, “The color of our skin causes a lot of issues and stripped opportunities and freedoms in communities.”  

“African American men have been targeted since forever,” Brown continues. “Due to emotional damage they’re angry and self-conscious which causes them to do things out of character. They [Caucasians] do not grant opportunities to these men. If they do get the opportunity, it comes at a cost. Through a prejudiced white man’s eye, they see black men as a threat.” 

Violence has been an ongoing problem worldwide that has only seemed to worsen, but in black and/or POC communities, guns seem to be the main offender. 

According to some research on Gun related deaths, the Pew Research Center said nearly 79% of U.S. murders in 2020 – 19,384 out of 24,576 – involved a firearm. According to Officer Khalid, “When it comes to gun violence, it could be anything. It mostly is robberies or some kind of a body crime against a person or a business, right? And then a gun is or weapon is used.  So yes, gun violence currently is very prevalent in society.”  


Well Known Deaths of Artists due to Gun Violence in the Rap Community Include:  

Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls (1997) … just 6 months after Tupac had been shot to death. 

Young Dolph (2021) was killed outside a Memphis bakery while on his way to hand out a truckload of turkeys in his old neighborhood. 

Rapper Nipsey Hussle was gunned down outside his clothing shop [The Marathon Clothing Store] that was planned by a man upset over a discussion about snitching. 

A more recent a victim of gun violence is Takeoff. 

Early this month, November 1st, 2022, Takeoff who made-up one-third of the rap group Migos was shot and killed in Houston, Texas.  

According to the New York Times, shooting occurred after a private party had ended at 810 Billiards & Bowling. An argument arose between Quavo, Takeoff’s uncle, and an attendee. Shots were fired from at least two weapons, bystanders said. 

One of the most memorable rappers who fell victim to gun violence is XXXTentacion. 

In 2018, rapper XXXTentacion was fatally shot outside of a motorcycle store in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Two guys ambushed the rapper in broad daylight before fleeing in a dark SUV. This is another example of gun violence in the rap community. 

“Rappers are the voice of their fans,” said Brown (24’). “They say what listeners really want to say and when X died people felt as if they lost their voice.”  

Before the rapper’s death, X hosted a charity paintball tournament to focus on spreading gun violence awareness. With this tournament, he hoped to ideally reach communities in a safe, fun, and interactive manner. Competitors were divided by X’s hometown teams; Broward County and Dade County both in South Florida.  


So how do we fix this problem?  

“I think in order to make it so that people won’t commit these types of crimes is to really have stringent legislative laws behind it. Angers can flare and guess what? They’re not going to be rational at that point. And anyone can own guns. It’s a recipe for disaster, but we can’t control that though, because anybody can own a gun or possess a gun and they can use it, so it’s more of a societal problem that we’re dealing with,” Officer Khalid states.  

It’s unfair that these young men had an untimely and/or brutal death, but It’s our job as a whole to protect any and all communities the best we can. Especially the rap community. 

Batteries dead. 


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