Too $hort and E-40 are sick of the senseless violence plaguing rap, the genre they both love so much. The pair of West Coast OGs have used their platform to speak out hoping for a change by penning a powerful op-ed in The Atlantic.
After naming the likes of fallen rappers such as XXXTENTACION, Nipsey Hussle, PnB Rock, Pop Smoke, King Von, Young Dolph and most recently the loss of Takeoff, they chillingly wonder “who’s next?”
$hort and 40 are calling for an intervention in Hip Hop and they believe social media is a root cause of a surge in violence in the culture.
“The inner city is like the MMA Octagon—it’s the cage, the trap,” they wrote. “A lot of violent shit goes down, but it’s still home for many hip-hop artists. And there’s still a lot of hope, hunger, and love in the streets. We just need to find better ways to support each other. This is our generation’s responsibility as much as it is for the young MCs.
“One reason the violence has gotten worse is social media. Rappers are trying too hard to flex online to the detriment of their safety. These dudes are getting money at a faster rate than we ever did. We’ve been to the strip club when a rapper was sitting with walls of money—like, walls: Each stack was three feet tall.
“How can you throw that much money in one night? We have no idea. Some of these artists spend thousands on an outfit and millions on jewelry, then jump in their Bugatti or whatever and show off so much money that they can barely hold it in their hand for an Instagram photo.”
E-40 and Too $hort aren’t pointing the finger at one specific party but believe that all aspects of the industry need to join forces and find a better solution than what’s going on right now.
“The industry needs change,” they asserted. “Artists need to move more carefully and strategically. Labels and music executives need to invest more in educational resources to protect the artists they work with. Managers must hire skilled security teams that can efficiently defuse tense situations. Rappers have to minimize their social-media activity and be more vigilant when they’re out of their house.”
Too $hort has first-hand experience with loss in Hip Hop. Too $hort saw 2Pac the night he was shot in Las Vegs, which he recalled during a 2021 episode of his YouTube series, $hort Stories.
“I saw 2Pac the night he got shot in Vegas,” he said. “It was probably about a couple of hours, maybe, before it happened. I went to the fight, it was one of those classic Mike Tyson fights. He knocked him out in like 90 seconds. I was staying at the Luxor, and we were going in the hotel, and 2Pac, Suge and small little entourage, they was leaving.
“We stopped and talked for a minute or so, and he said, ‘We about to switch up the fits and head to Club 662. It’s going to be open mic and everybody’s going to get on the mic.’ I said cool, ‘We’re going to be there.’ He never made it.”