There has been a call for rappers to address the ongoing gun violence that plagues not only our streets but Rap culture. There has been a rise in attacks on artists, and most recently, Hip Hop suffered a loss when PnB Rock was gunned down while at a restaurant in Los Angeles. The Philadelphia rapper was with his girlfriend when an assailant came into the eatery, robbed him, and shot him dead.
A week after the murder of PnB Rock in Los Angeles, one of the city’s most prominent native sons addressed his hometown with an urgent message. Roddy Ricch, who was born and bred in Compton, the same notorious LA suburb that gave the world NWA, Kendrick Lamar, and the Williams sisters, posted a rare missive on social media regarding the murder, sharing his thoughts via Instagram Story on Tuesday (Sept 20).
“LA! Usually I try to mind my business and let the world rotate but we gotta do better,” he wrote. “It’s too much senseless violence. Too much opportunity and motivation to take things other people work hard for. It’s too much life to live to take someone else’s away. I love my city but we can’t keep going out like this. Before you know it, it’ll be nobody left to take from or kill. Let’s stay on point stay aware and find better ways to pursue our dreams because this shit turning into ALL NIGHTMARES.”
Roddy’s message is the latest in an ongoing discussion among rap fans that have posited LA as a hotspot of violence against rappers. In the past three years, multiple prominent rappers have been killed in LA, including Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke, and Drakeo The Ruler. Of course, nearly every city has seen increased incidents of violence including Young Dolph, Archie Eversole, Trouble, JayDa Youngan, and more. These incidents have been attributed to any number of reasons, from botched strong-arm robberies to gang rivalries.
Unfortunately, what appears to be an epidemic among rappers is again merely a microcosm of larger social ills especially wealth inequality, lack of mental health treatment for Black and Latino communities, and deeply ingrained, toxic notions of masculinity. Equally, unfortunately, LA can appear to be a center point of this violence, because so much of the music industry is based there, meaning that there are more rappers there at any given time to be preyed upon by hungry stick-up kids — as was recently pointed out by PnB Rock himself before his death.
The only permanent solution is to change the environment for the better, addressing the inequalities that leave so many angry and desperate enough to take such extreme measures. Until then, Uncle Ice-T might have the best advice: Tuck in those chains and stay off social media.