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Takeoff: RIP - How to end this crisis? Part 1.

The biggest debate thus far is reignited over the root causes of the deadly crisis that continues to take the lives of high profile rappers as well as hundreds of unknown up and comers.

Everyone in the #Hip Hop world knows that Takeoff, one-third of a spectacular trio called Migos, is dead after a shooting in Houston. Thousands of fans and celebrities paying their respects to the "laid back" member of Migos who officials say was shot at a bowling alley. Quavo had posted a video earlier in the night, driving around Houston with Jas Prince, who was celebrating his birthday. Takeoff, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, was the youngest member of Migos. Quavo was his uncle, and Offset his cousin.


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Is it the Art form? Is it the culture? Is it the lifestyle?

When will it end?

Who and what is to blame for these deadly tragedies? Is it the record labels? Is it the artists themselves? Is it the culture of violence that is often delivered in rap lyrics? Is the music actually fodder for violence because of the frequent references to gun play and violence? Is it the record labels and radio stations that distribute and play the music?

There are decades of killings of rap artists but to be clear, a few examples may help drive home the point. 32-year-old rapper, Latauriisha O’Brien, was killed in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood Monday, just weeks after rapper PnB Rock was fatally shot during a robbery in the same city. These rappers are part of a string of artists who have died by gun violence, with at least one rapper being fatally shot every year since 2018.

The warnings are out there, clear as day. For example, earlier this year, legendary emcee-turned-actor Ice-T issued a warning to “young rappers” coming to Los Angeles for Super Bowl-related festivities. He noted that "LA has over fifty-thousand ACTIVE Gang Members. Make sure you play it SAFE. It’s the Wild Wild West."

With other high-profile rappers such as Drakeo the Ruler, who was fatally stabbed in 2021, and Grammy-nominated rapperNipsey Hussle also fatally shot in 2019 in Los Angeles, there has been some conversation on whether cities with a prevalent gang presence have become a dangerous place for those directly involved in the hip-hop community.

When it comes to root causes, influences and effects, the hard facts are in and the data has pilled up, but the solutions and remedies are elusive. The resolve to fight and end the deadly crisis of rap murders is weak and deluted. In less than a decade, the language of rap violence advanced from bouts on dance floors to shootouts in parking lots and neighborhoods. In that same time period, not much has been done to end it.

This crisis is bigger than rap music. Its a crisis that most cities deal with on a daily basis. The week that Nipsey Hussle was murdered in L.A. 26 people were shot and 10 were killed. “That’s 36 families left picking up the pieces,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said in a tweet.

Still, its important to note that Hussle was on his home turf and killed by someone he knew. The killer knew he was vulnerable after a brief, but threatening discussion. Hussle was out in the open (a parking lot) with no immediater security. Its common in these types of murders (consider Young Dolph and hundreds of others)

As we end Part 1of this special series, please know that we welcome any and all comments that focus on solutions. Everyone should be alarmed. Everyone should hope for an end to this monsterous crisis crippling the Hip Hop culture and taking lives. Sound off.


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Music: Steve Lacy is on fire & setting records

The first time I heard “Bad Habit” was when watching a TikTok video and it rab for only a few seconds. I just had to hear the rest of the song.

So impressed with Lacy’s catchy, sexy tune that I produced a blog about the guy a few months ago. Today, that song sits at the top of the Billboard 100 charts for the second week. Lacy produced the song and co-wrote it with Diana Gordon, John Kirby, Britanny Fousheé (as background vocals) and Matthew Castellanos.

The 24-year-old, Compton-raised singer-songwriter is riding his Billboard Hot 100 smash that had simultaneously topped five different hip-hop/R&B and alternative rock charts: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot R&B Songs, Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, Hot Rock Songs and Hot Alternative Songs charts It was the first time that a song had ruled all five charts in Billboard history, no less at the same time. Yes. Steve Lacy has arrived with a boom.

The guy is the real deal with comparisons to icons like Miguel because of his sincere voice or the great Prince because he plays guitar and sings. His LP “Gemini Rights,” have some are calling it a defining L.A. album.

Make no mistake about it. He’s young but he’s already a decorated artist. Lacy, already a two-time Grammy nominee, may be amply rewarded at next year’s ceremony as well, especially now that “Bad Habit” has toppled Harry Styles’ “As It Was” and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lacy knows all about the Grammy's as he's been in the hunt for a while. His first Grammy nomination happened at 18 for his part in the Internet’s third album, “Ego Death.” But “Bad Habit” is his true launching pad for whatever future stardom may bring. The song has 275 million plays on Spotify and yielded nearly 500,000 fan videos on TikTok, culminating in hundreds of millions of views. I took the time to dig into the volume of Lac’s work and it’s clear that he’s still discovering his peaks and valley’s but his feel for his own potential is there.

Accoding to Wiki, On the chart issued September 10, 2022, "Bad Habit" became the first song to top both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs charts by Billboard. That same week, the song rose to number two on the Hot 100 and top ten on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.

"Bad Habit" also topped the R&B Streaming Songs, Rock Streaming Songs, Alternative Streaming Songs, and R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs charts, as well as the all-genre Streaming Songs chart."Bad Habit" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated October 8, 2022. Its going to be lots of fun watching Watch and enjoy the ride as his rocket leaves the earth.

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