Music industry veteran says social media is responsible for recent rapper murders

Houston police say the shooting death of hip-hop star Takeoff is another senseless murder currently plaguing the music industry.

The rapper was attending a bowling alley party when he was fatally shot early Tuesday morning.

P. Frank Williams grew up in East Bay, Oakland, and he says that after decades of working in the music industry, artists today have a target on their backs, and it’s directly related to the rise of social media.

“Everyone has said what a great young man he is. How peaceful he is. What a great artist. And I call on everyone, hip-hop artists in Houston and all over the country. We have to control ourselves,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.

Rapper Takeoff, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was one-third of rap supergroup Migos. The 28-year-old was shot dead around 2:30 a.m. after attending the party in Houston.

“I think there’s a crisis in the hip-hop community where there’s a lot of influence hunting, where a lot of these young people are on drugs, doing crazy stuff. Now a rapper has become an award , a target,” said P. Frank Williams, executive television producer and showrunner.

Williams is an Emmy and eight-time NAACP award winner. He’s worked with some of hip-hop’s biggest artists, produced TV shows and award shows, and served as a staff writer for the LA Times. Williams’ latest project, co-executive produced by rapper 50 Cent, is called “Hip-Hop Homicides.” The eight-part series investigates some of hip-hop’s most notorious murders.

“Takeoff wasn’t a gangster rapper. He was about partying and girls. So what we really wanted to do, a lot of times the media and even the police don’t give these guys, I think, the investigations that they deserve,” Williams said.

Local rapper Jacka was shot and killed in 2015 and November 1 also marks the day Oakland rapper Mac Dre was murdered in 2004. Williams says it’s mostly due to disputes or arguments over social networks.

“We never even heard of internet beef back then, where you were beefing up on the internet? That internet beef can now turn into death,” Williams said.

At least one rap star has been shot and killed every year since 2018, but six in total. Williams’ “Hip-Hop Homicide” series premieres Thursday, Nov. 3 on WE tv.

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