The loss of Takeoff’s presence in hip hop is only just beginning to be felt, but Fat Joe is certain his passing is just as significant as that of other slain lyrical giants.
The Terror Squad frontman spoke about the Migos group member and the influx of rappers being gunned down when he appeared on Stephen A. Smith’s podcast, “Know Mercy.”
As Smith noted the death toll has reached 14 artists this year, Joe interjected to comment on how infrequent those types of headlines once were.
“We had rest in peace Biggie, rest in peace Jam Master Jay, Tupac, but they were, like, spaced out,” he said in the episode that premiered on Nov. 14.
Joey Crack continued, “It’s like these kids are getting killed every other week. Takeoff, who recently got killed — rest in peace — he’s like the Run-D.M.C. of his time. He’s not no regular rapper, he’s a big deal. I wish we wouldn’t hate our own, wouldn’t be jealous of our own. Rappers went from being heroes to now, you know, being targets.”
The 28-year-old rapper was fatally shot in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 1 as he attended a private party. When a dispute broke out, gunshots were fired, and Takeoff was tragically struck.
On Friday (Nov. 11), the youngest member of Migos was celebrated in a public memorial service in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, Quavo and Offset have both broken their silence and penned public tributes to the innovative wordsmith.
From Fat Joe’s perspective, part of the reason hip hop has seen an increase in gun violence is due to social media. The “Lean Back” emcee said social platforms have made it easy for people to feel inferior by seeing what other people appear to own.
“All that stirs up this animosity, and so what we gotta do is tell the youth that they’re important,” he remarked. “The Book of Jose: A Memoir” author added, “When I look at a young brother like Takeoff die, I look at 100 families who could have ate from the jobs he gave them. His family — who’s suffering forever, I pray for all these kids”.
You can listen to the full episode of “Know Mercy” below.