Musicians make a large proportion of their money through live shows and appearances. One of the problems I have with hip hop is that on too many occasions these shows end up in violence, often with dead or wounded fans. Hip hop and violence have a symbiotic relationship which isn’t as apparent in other cultures of music, so when this spills from just being a dark expressive art form into actual bullets piercing the skulls of teenagers we need to ask ourselves if this a case of life imitating art or vice versa. Either way, the end result is tragedy and dispersed despair.
Meek Mill concert Connecticut 2016 – 2 dead 2 wounded, shooting
TI concert 2016 – 1 dead, 3 wounded
Game concert cancelled Oregon 2016 – no injuries, shots fired into crowd
Young Jeezy hosting at nightclub Virginia Beach 2016 – 1 dead, shooting
Gucci Mane concert St Louis 2016 – 1 dead 2 injured, shooting
I watched Steve Aokis (mainstream EDM producer) documentary on Netflix yesterday, and he was given the blessing from the Mayor of Los Angeles to shut down roads in downtown LA and have 8000 fans come and enjoy a free concert. This is the type of scale all musicians should be able to explore without the risk of violence. There is always uproar throughout the rap community when hip hop concert shootings happen because all hip hop artists suffer in the form of cancelled shows & increased security costs. I can understand the anger, because you’ll have artists like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole & Drake who are effected and in no way glorify violence through their music. On the flip side you have artists like Young Jeezy , Gucci Mane and TI who have gained wealth & notoriety through the glorification of violence and the degradation of women, whose concerts and daily lives are often shrouded with violent incidents. This ultra negative, low intellect style of rap taints the culture that willingly accepts and reaps profit from it. Regularly the cost is life.
I love hip hop music, and not just the poetry, storytelling and beats. There are plenty of songs I like that contain explicit talk of selling drugs, guns/shooting, violence, bitches, money and naming retail brands. The music content does not directly result in the violence but it does have a part to play, otherwise we would see the same consistency of violent incidents happening at Chance the rapper, Kanye west or Beyonce concerts. But we don’t see a consistent pattern of violence at non-gangster rap related musicians concerts. Ever. Anywhere. Yet in Rap World;
School Boy Q concert 2014 – Tour bus shot at, no injuries.
Wiz Khalifa concert 2014 – 1 dead, Young Jeezy arrested
Nas concert 2014 – 3 injured, shooting
Rich Homie Quan concert – 2 dead (4th shooting at Rich Homie’s concerts)
Chris Brown concert 2015 – 5 injured, shooting
To deny a problem exists is to be a part of the problem itself, which is what many people are doing. When it comes to the obvious relationship between hip hop culture and violence too many people bury their heads in the sand. I predict in 2017 that we will see more concert shootings, more rapper related deaths and a few rappers shot and killed. People don’t care to be honest, as long as the music is being bought, and in some sick twisted way the violence adds to the street credibility of rappers which can in turn help boost sales. That line has to be tread carefully though, as there’s no coming back from the dead. Even Tupac tried and failed.
It would be advantageous if more hip hop artists could play huge arenas and provide live music without anybody ever getting shot. Our brains don’t associate violent behaviour with pop music and I’m sure more would be done if it was the case. The headlines for rap concert shootings has become more naturally acceptable than other genre of music, and that indicates a serious issue.
Garth Brooks concert Vermont 2017 – 2 dead 3 wounded
Taylor Swift concert Texas 2017 – Shots fired into crowd no injuries
Michael Buble concert Los Angeles 2017 – 1 dead, shooting
Fleetwood Mac concert Denver 2017 – 1 dead , 2 wounded
Doesn’t sound right does it.
None of it does.