I was 13 when I heard the news of Tupac's death. He was so young, a rising movie star, and an acclaimed rapper. It was devastating to Hip-hop and even more of a detriment when Notorious B.I.G. died months after. The East Coast v. West Coast beef was entertaining but tragic when the threats surpassed the music. Both men had families and bright futures, and their impact had indelibly left a footprint in Hip-hop. Yet, it boils down to their life being the cost of a disagreement, rumors, and money accumulated for the labels.
After their deaths, Hip Hop grew more gruesome, as the lyrics glorified dope dealing, murder, and drug addiction. Hip-hop transitioned from uplifting the community and breakdancing to flashing fame and luxury. Over time, young rappers rap about obtaining a certain level of wealth or how they will die trying. Sadly, this lifestyle has permanently permeated from the booth and ended the lives of many rappers over the last few years. The devastation we felt in the 90s from losing rappers has since desensitized us from the constant murder announcements of young rappers.
Master P said it best: "Hip Hop is Dying Young." It has gotten to the point that our legendary rappers are outliving rising talent. So many children are losing their fathers, mothers are losing their sons, and children are losing their heroes. When was the bar set to glorify murder and drug addiction? Where do we go from here?
The recent death of Take Off has opened the eyes of how many of our young men are dying young. How did a conversation result in gun violence? How can we as a community protest police brutality against our black men and, with the same breath, kill our black men? Between our community and law enforcement, Black men will become an endangered species.
Written by Renita Betts, Owner of the Be Your Own Kind Platform
Posted by: Laydie Fluent