Takeoff death: Professor blames mental health issues for rising violence in hip-hop industry

'This shooting is indicative of the violence we have in society today,' Dr Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey said

Takeoff death: Professor blames mental health issues for rising violence in hip-hop industry
Takeoff of Migos was shot dead on November 1 (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
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HOUSTON, TEXAS: The tragic death of popular rapper and Gwinnett County native Takeoff has renewed concerns about a sudden rise in violence in the entertainment industry. A professor who specializes in hip-hop culture and politics at Georgia State University, Dr Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey shared how she felt after she woke up to the news on Tuesday morning, November 1. 

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“I was devastated,” Bonnette-Bailey said, according to WSBTV. Takeoff was known to fans as the reserved, quiet, youngest member of the Grammy-nominated trio, the “Migos.” “I want to pause again because sometimes the hip-hop community gets a bad name,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. “There are a lot of great people in our hip-hop community and I respect them.” Finner said that he noticed the upsurge in violent crime that hip-hop artists are facing and noted he can’t stop it alone.

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“I’m calling up on everybody,” Finner said. “Our hip-hop artists in Houston and around the nation. I want to meet with some of our artists to see how we can taper things down.” Police also urged the public to come forward with any information in the case.

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“This shooting is indicative of the violence we have in society today,” said Bonnette-Bailey. She considers it unfair to label all hip-hop artists as parties to violence, and argues it has a lot to do with the climate we live in. “There are a number of mental health issues,” Bonnette-Bailey said. “The disvaluing of life and I think this is something that we’re seeing with increased crime rates in our society today.”

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(L-R) Quavo and Takeoff of Migos perform onstage during Global Citizen Live on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Quavo and Takeoff of Migos perform onstage during Global Citizen Live on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Bonnette-Bailey says people often link rap lyrics to crime than focus on the root of the problem. “We have to still remember that rap is an art form,” Bonnette-Bailey said. “When we hear about rappers, we assume that they are people that are immune to this type of violence, because they should have more protection. They are not as guarded or as protected as anyone else in society.”

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MEAWW previously reported that Takeoff's tragic death at a dice game sent shock waves across the internet. An anonymous chat posted by Twitter handle @canelo____ revealed the chaos that led to the killing. 28-year-old Takeoff, whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball, was fatally shot at a bowling alley in Houston where he and Quavo were playing dice around 2.30 am. The chat shared by @canelo____ says that they got involved in a fight with people with the "wrong mob ties" and it ultimately led to people firing guns.

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According to the text message, someone from Migos' group accidentally shot Takeoff after they started "shooting wild". The chat reportedly claims that Quavo was getting worked up about losing the dice game while Takeoff remained calm; however, the rapper ended up being shot twice in the fight that broke out due to Quavo's belligerence.


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