Upon hearing the devastating news of Takeoff’s passing on November 1st, I was inspired to listen to some of his best verses not only as an individual artist, but also his contribution to the rap trio Migos. Takeoff was only 28 years old before his life was cut short, though his legacy is one that will not soon be forgotten. Unfortunately, so many more talented and young musicians have been lost to tragedies such as accidental overdose or gun violence. On last week’s ‘Playlist Show’, I was inspired to create a mix honoring the people who have become victims to the cruel undersides of the music industry. Some of these musicians include;
Pop Smoke - Pop Smoke was only 20 years old when he was fatally shot during a rental home invasion in Los Angeles. His music, categorized as Brooklyn drill rap, has deeply impacted the hip-hop community. His label continues to release albums such as Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon, posthumously. Some of his most popular songs include Foreigner, The Woo with 50 Cent and Roddy Rich, and Show Out with Kid Cudi.
Juice WRLD - This Chicago born rapper changed the game in the Midwest with his merging of emo vocals with hip hop verses. He was lost to a seizure induced by drug use at the age of 21, and the news of his passing shocked the country. His label continues to release albums such as Legends Never Die posthumously and he has additionally won American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards since his passing in 2018.
PnB Rock - PnB Rock was a rapper and singer who first gained a following after the release of his song ‘Selfish’. He was killed during an armed robbery while he was eating at a Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles after his location was revealed through social media. He was a father and advocate for the artists in his industry. He was only 30 years old.
Nipsey Hussle - The death of rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle deeply impacted his hometown of Los Angeles, California. Outside of music, he was recognized for his commitment to his community through his philanthropies such as Marathon Clothing store. In addition, he denounced gun violence through his lyricism, work, and influence. He was recently awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Mac Miller Throughout the entirety of his twelve project run, Malcolm Miller left a large legacy on music and rap before his life tragically ended at the age of 26. His legacy continues to affect younger generations deeply. He continues to make change through the Mac Miller Fund, which works to support young artists in Pittsburgh.
Additional artists lost to these tragic circumstances include The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Amy Winehouse, Young Dolph, XXXTentacion, and King Von, among others. It’s important to commemorate these people and raise awareness for the problems that they and their families have suffered from. Due to the nature of their careers, most famous musicians deal with mental health issues, while others additionally deal with violence. When we focus our attention on these problems, we can educate others and advocate for a greater change in our society. If you would like to spend some time remembering these artists, feel free to check out the TAKEN TOO SOON playlist on WIDR FM’s Spotify. If you yourself are struggling with substance abuse or would like to educate yourself on the reality of gun violence, consider utilizing the resources below.
SAMHSA Hotline: A support line for any American experiencing emotional distress