Rappers are victims of an epidemic of gun violence – just like all of America

Add the name of Takeoff, a member of the popular rap trio Migos, to the ever-growing list of rappers, recent and past, tragically and violently killed.

The initial reaction to the Nov. 1, 2022, shooting death of Takeoff, born Kirsnick Ball, was to blame rap music and hip hop culture. People who engaged in this kind of scapegoating argue that the violence and despairing hopelessness in the music are the cause of so many rappers dying.

Even within hip hop culture, the continued violent tragedies have led some artists, like Jim Jones and Fat Joe, to go so far as to claim that rap is the most dangerous profession and rappers are an endangered species.