Last night, someone allegedly shot at Rick Ross in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Thankfully, he avoided injury, but past victims of gun violence in hip-hop haven't all been so lucky.
Gun violence has been a major subject of discussion in the United States for many years, but this year it seemed to reach critical mass. From school shootings to accidental gun deaths to the particularly violent subculture that formed in the wake of the drug war, gun violence is more common in the United States than virtually any other industrially developed nation.
All too often, hip-hop has been maligned as an aggravating factor in these kinds of crimes, but many times it is giving a window into American culture's broader problematic history with guns.
Hip-hop has become a popular art form despite its origins in marginalized communities; it is these spaces that are particularly vulnerable to gun violence. For many Americans, it might seem like hip-hop is in some way "responsible" for that violence, and while glorification of violence isn't something that should be taken lightly, it is important to recognize that the art is also a prism that reflects some very grim realities.
Many performers have difficulty leaving the streets, some actively court their support, and some are accidental bystanders. Here's a rundown of MCs who got caught in the crossfires of this paradoxical mentality, and, like Ross, escaped with their lives.