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    Takeoff: Gun Violence, Hip-Hop Culture And Its Disservice

    Gun culture in America is a disparaging ill taking the lives of both the young the old,  without remorse, guilt, and the aim of stopping anytime soon if the necessary precautions of transforming laws are not effected soon. Rapper Takeoff is the latest rapper affected by the tragedy.

    On the morning of Nov. 1, in a Houston bowling alley, rapper Takeoff, a 28-year-old member of the Migos trio, was tragically killed. Takeoff was noted for being kind and compassionate throughout his brief career, never engaging in needless mindless violence. But alas, gun violence does not care if you were the most loving or peaceful person around, performing good deeds, and loving your neighbors more than yourself. It also does not care if you are a child going to school for the first time, shopping for dinner, trying to catch a flight, or trying to visit your parents for the first time in a long time. It simply arrives with its bloody hands.

    Since 2018, at least one rapper has died from gun violence each year, including XXXTentacion, Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke, Young Dolph, PnB Rock, and Takeoff. Whenever this tragic event occurs, there is a Twitter discussion on whether rap, with its culture of violence, is to blame. Yes, is the answer. After listening to gangsta rap, you might not feel inspired to rob a bank, but that doesn’t imply rap doesn’t necessarily have something to do with gun violence.

    Rap Music and Rap music, which is a subset of hip-hop encompasses all facets of our existence, including graffiti, street entrepreneurship, and the way we interact and dress. Before N.W.A entered the scene and changed the direction of rap into nothing more than a violently misogynistic genre that glorifies murder, robbery, drugs, domestic violence, and gang activity, this genre began with marginalized groups, especially black people, singing about social exclusion, poverty, and racism. 

    While we may argue that this is untrue, there are children who listen to these songs who believe rappers are practicing what they preach on their songs, and they actually go out and do it. Several studies have shown that music has a history of influencing people’s behaviors and attitudes. Rap music has had a big impact on how people, especially young people, are influenced to keep up this cycle of senseless violence.

    In the US, firearms are used to kill over 53 people per day, and 79% of murders are committed using firearms. Enough is enough. Thoughts and prayers are not be enough to stop the epidemic of gun violence. The hip hop community needs to have a discussion about the message they want to send in the future in order to break this depleting cycle. Rap celebrities and artistes need to launch an initiative to promote peace, healing, and a stop to needless violence in the community. 

     We need to see more children, adults, black people, and rappers with grey hair, growing older and wiser.

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