GSU professor says Takeoff's passing isn't a rap issue, but a human one

Takeoff (1)

After the traumatic deaths of rappers PnB Rock, Lotta Cash Desto, and most recently, Takeoff, there’s increased concern about the rise in violence in the entertainment industry.

WSB-TV reported on Wednesday (Nov. 2), Dr. Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey, a hip hop culture professor at Georgia State University, said she was saddened over the news of the Migos member’s death. “I was devastated,” Bonnette-Bailey said. “This shooting is indicative of the violence we have in society today.”

She said it’s a stereotype to assume all rap artists are linked to violence, and it has a lot to do with our climate. “There are a number of mental health issues. The devaluing of life, and I think this is something that we’re seeing with increased crime rates in our society today,” she explained.

The professor admitted people link rap lyrics to crime rather than focus on the problem’s root. “We have to still remember that rap is an art form,” Bonnette-Bailey said. “When we hear about rappers, we assume that they are people that are immune to this type of violence because they should have more protection. They are not as guarded or as protected as anyone else in society.”

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner echoed these sentiments, noting that rappers usually get a bad rap. “I want to pause again because sometimes the hip hop community gets a bad name,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday (Nov. 1). “There are a lot of great people in our hip hop community, and I respect them.”

Chief Finner said he could not stop it alone despite the violence hip hop artists face. “I’m calling up on everybody. Our hip hop artists in Houston and around the nation. I want to meet with some of our artists to see how we can taper things down.”

There has been no arrest in connection to the tragic death of Migos member Takeoff at the time of this report.