Hip-hop is still reeling from the tragic loss of 20-year-old Pop Smoke. While talking to TooFab last week, Murder Inc. Records co-founder Irv Gotti claimed that only rap artists are being murdered at a high rate.
"It's sad, it really is sad. It happens in hip-hop a lot. And it's just—I wish our people was different. I wish our people would think for one second," Gotti said while wearing a Tupac shirt. He went on to add, "It only happens in hip-hop. And I don't wish that on nobody, but, you know what I'm saying. It's not like you're ever gonna see Justin Bieber got smoked, or whatever. It's only hip-hop."
There are a lot of questions surrounding Pop Smoke's death. Initially, TMZ reported that his murder was a targeted hit. The Los Angeles Police Department revealed that it is having trouble pinpointing a motive because there is a host of conflicting evidence. Authorities are looking into the theory that Smoke was targeted because he posted the address to his Los Angeles residence on social media in an attempt to show off a personalized gift bag he received.
The flashy nature of hip-hop in addition to socio-economic division can make rappers the target of crime. Some people would advise rappers to shy away from buying jewelry and other expensive items for their safety. This is a mindset that Irv Gotti combats. "And people be like 'Well, with hip-hop you always flossing, you always doing this.' But, like what the fuck you want n***as to do?" Gotti said.
Gotti said his brother and fellow Murder Inc. co-founder Chris Gotti knew Pop Smoke's better than he did. "I just love hip-hop, so I hate shit like that, you know what I'm saying? And I was just like getting into him and his music and his vibe and the sky's the limit and they just took his life, for what?"