Loss is nothing new to the Hip Hop culture but looking at hip hop stars lost, in the past 4 years, is heartbreaking. If you aren’t a hip hop connoisseur, it was introduced in the 80’s. The music was reflective of the streets. Chuck D commonly referred to hip hop as “Black America’s CNN“. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, “Versace rap” was the status symbol. High fashion labels and expensive cars, from the likes of Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Puff Daddy, became the sound. Add the numbers race of the 2010’s where everyone wanted to outsell the rest. Thanks to 50 Cent, selling the most was the wish of every artist. Hip hop stars lost in past 4 years is a sad collection. Even more sad that it’s not as shocking as it should be.
Today’s Artists Are Different
With the wave of newer artists rapping more about “what they’re doing” instead of “what they did”, the line between winning and wiping out has gotten very thin. Instead of rapping to get OUT of the game, many straddled both sides and gunplay is the result. In 2017, there were 7 deaths in various stages of hip hop. From Yung Mazi to Lil Peep. Tragedies not all attributed to guns. In 2018, by the time of the June murder of XXXtentacion, hip hop already matched the 7 of the previous year. Something about the brash nature of that XXX murder, in broad daylight, outside of a store that feels like the tipping point of where we are today. With this week’s death of Takeoff (of Migos), the murders of PNB Rock and Young Dolph, bodies continue to fall.