Monday, November 8, 2021

Why Have Hundreds Of Rappers Died In The Last 2-Years Despite Rap Music's Rich Legacy From Our African Griot Tradition?

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Despite The Rich Storytelling Heritage of Rappers Coming From Our African Griot Legacy Too Many Are Dying Young

By Dr. Charles L. Singleton, The Family Journal, USA & Overseas

Griots of West Africa told reportorial stories during multiple centuries dating back to the 13th century, and long before Spain’s slavery colonization of the Caribbean in the 15th century, and the Spanish and Portuguese (Brazilian 1550s) sugar plantations (18th, 19th, and 20th centuries). Also, these gifted orators and performers existed before America’s enslavement of African captives on The White Lion English privateer ship, August 20, 1619, Jamestown, Virginia and thereafter: 17th and 18th centuries of American colonization. --- Written Sources
The griots were traveling musicians, singers, poets, and oral family historians. Their inherently gifted knowledge and cultural influence (rhythmic beats, verbiages, dialects, etc.), throughout the Americas, helped us to create our language and music today from the list below:

Slave Ships “Drumless Backing” Utterances (painful grunts, agonizing groans, and mournful suicides), Haiti's Creole Songs Since 1492: Caribbean 15th Century Songs; the Jamaican "Patwa," an English-based Creole West African Language (1533-1807: Rocksteady & Reggae Music 1960s - 1980s, Bob Marley (1945-1981) and various artists ), and the United States 17th and 18th Centuries’ Hambone Song, "Pattin' Juba," Calypso Afro-Caribbean Music (mid 19 century/mid-20th century: Trinidad, Tobago, Antilles, and Venezuela).

Yes, Gullah Geechee Talk (cumbaya or Kumbaya, okra, tote, obuh yuh, yent, ynnah, yenna name, buckruh, cootuh), and Geechee Songs; Cotton Field Songs, Underground Railroad Songs, African American Work Songs and Hollers; Hymn Choir Songs, Spirituals and Gospel Music; Instrumental and Vocal Praise & Worship Songs; “Say Yes, Say Yes” (West African Style and Afrobeat), Blues and Jazz Songs, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll Music (1940s - 1950s), Soul Music (1950s - 1960s), the 1960s Funk Music and 1970s Hip-Hop Music, and Rap Songs; Dap: “Juba” or Hamboning-Like Fashion, Gestural-Rhythmic Greetings, “Five on the Black Hand Side,” 1960s -1970s, by Black G. I. s (African American Communities, Vietnam and other Asia-Pacific Countries: APAC). In addition, the Soulful Dance Steps of James Brown (1933-2006), Michael Jackson (1958-2009), Football Touchdown End Zone Dances of NFL, College, High School Football Players, and Youth Football League Players.  And the 1970s - 1980s Poetic Words and Soul Music of Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011), "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." ---Oral and Written Sources, 187 Years of Recorded History, The Family Journal, USA & Overseas Archives, 2005-2021

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Article & Videos On The Early Deaths of Rap Artists Despite The Art Form's Rich Cultural Legacy Continues Below...

Hambone! Hambone!
Hambone, hambone where you been? I've been round the world and I'm going again. Hambone, hambone what did you see; the whole wide world was looking at me. Hambone, hambone in the pot; can't eat hambone until the soup gets HOT! 
Well hambone, hambone have you heard, Mama's gonna buy me a mockingbird.  And if that mockingbird don't sing, Papa's gonna buy me a diamond ring. And if that diamond ring don't shine, Mama's gonna take it to the five and dime Hambone. And if that five and dime goes broke, Mama and Papa gonna buy me a billy goat Hambone. Hambone, hambone in the pot; can't eat hambone until the soup gets HOT! (Revised Oral Lyrics, Red Road, SC, circa 1950s).
Watch "Hambone - Steve McCraven" on YouTube. See The Video above ^. 

Unfortunately, in America today, our African American journey brings us to hundreds of rappers (modern day griots) who have died tragically and violently since the passing of Tupac Shakur (September 1996) and Notorious B. I. G. (March 1997). 
Rappers Who Accurately Predicted Their Own Deaths 
According to Capital XTRA, 7 rappers accurately predicted their own deaths. These amazingly talented rappers who thought that they would have shorten-collective lives from 1971-2015; so sad and regrettably only 44 years, are as follows: Tupac Shakur (June 1971- September 1996), Notorious B. I. G. (May 1972-March 1997), Big L (May 1974 –February 1999), Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (May 1971-April 2002), Proof (October 1973-April 2006), Dolla (November 1987-May 2009), and Chinx Drugz (December 1983- May 2015). 
See 2015 Murdered Hip Hop Musicians and Their Deaths of 51.5%. Click here

And on March 31, 2019, popular and community-minded American rapper “Nipsey Hussle,” Airmiess Joseph Asghedom (1985-2019), was shot dead outside his neighborhood Marathon Clothing Company store, Hyde Park, Los Angeles, California. The murderous killings by guns did not stop with Nipsey Hussle’s untimely death.

“200 Rappers,” Who Died in 2020

Rapper Pop Smoke

Rapper Pop Smoke," Bashar Barakah Jackson (1999 – 2020), Brooklyn drill music (Canarsie), Brooklyn, New York, was tragically shot and killed on February 19, 2020, in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California. "Welcome to the Party, Meet the Woo (1&2), and Dior" were Three of Pop Smoke's most popular songs. --- Kamau Austin, Scoop Publications. Sadly, according to “YouTuber, Hip-Hop Universe,” Pop Smoke was 1 of “200 Rappers,” Who Died in 2020.
Rappers Who Died in 2021 by Chelsea Stewart, September 4, 2021, Showbiz CheatSheet

These rappers were: Baby Ceo (Jonathan Brown, cardiovascular disease, age 27), 18veno (Paul Harts, shot and killed, age 19), Prince Markie Dee of The Fat Boys (Mark Anthony Morales ,congestive heart failure, age 52), Chucky Trill (Corey Detiege, shot and killed, age 33), DMX (Earl Simmons, heart attack, age 50), Black Rob (Robert Ross, cardiac arrest, age 52), Shock G (Gregory Jacobs, unknown cause of death, age 57), Lil Loaded (Dashawn Robertson, suicide, age 20), and Biz Markie (Marcel Theo Hill, diabetes, age 57).   

Now, What is Rap Music All About?

Whether you like the poetic words or not, the lyrical utterances of rap and its musical accompaniment are here to stay for a while. Why? Because ever since the creation of mankind, special words, rhythms, or sounds have been used by human beings to express a particular emotion or to name a person, place, or thing. It is safe to say that all languages have a name for the sun, moon, stars, and water. It is also fair to assume that all languages have a traditional statement, phrase, or vernacular for telling an acquaintance goodbye (arrivederci, au revoir, adios, auf wiedersehn, etc.). In like manner, the so-called lyricists of rap are not only saying their goodbyes, but more importantly, they are speaking to those of us who are willing to listen. Hello!  Are you there? The persnickety melodies of rap music are pervasive tones of Homo sapiens!
Yes! “We, the young hopefuls of this era have something to tell you; will you listen?” Maybe in this modern age of computers, answering machines, e-mail, beepers, and cellphones, our youths are trying to tell other humans that they need to have a talk. Educator and family-care professional Deborah Walker-Little of Norcross, Georgia, concluded that “a person who raps is telling his or her own story and hoping frantically that other people are listening.” Frankly, the task of finding a clear and concise explanation for rap is as elusive as its actual origin. The audiences of popular music believe that either rap has no generic beginning or that rap music is a derived entity, entwined with other musical compilations — karaoke, calypso, rock ’n’ roll, rhythm and blues, pop, hip-hop, country, rock, reggae, soul, jazz, and musical slang, etc.

However, the comments about this repetitive juggernaut do not stop with an empirical investigation into the emergence of rapping. Teenager Khristopher Miller (1996), a junior at Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Georgia said, “Listening to rap music is the in thing to do for some people.” Khris, who was one of Cedar Grove High School’s drum majors, summarized that young people listen to rap because they like to hear the rant of rhythmical beats, rhyming lyrics, and music to dance by. Khristopher Miller, along with other members of this young generation, said that high school teens listen to rappers because of peer pressure and the absence of parental communication.
Another observation of this style and type of popular music is the vocalists’ usage of repugnant speech during a song. Such horrid renditions often appeal to a number of listeners. However, many rap enthusiasts would rather hear musical compositions without profanity and vulgarity. Now you know, and that is what rap music is all about.

Adults and parents, please try to listen and communicate with society’s greatest resource — our children, your sons and daughters. Besides, the day of reckoning is certainly upon us. Truly, the rapid calls and responses of this raspy-loquacious repertoire must be answered by all individuals, especially parents. I willkommen (welcome) you to the intractable world of adolescence.  --- Read Between the Lines, Windows of Recourse: Provocative Essays for Saving Our Children, Dr. Charles L. Singleton, 1997, 2019. Click here.
“Somebody's Gotta Do Something,” Troy Ramey And The Soul Searches, Atlanta, GA

Somebody's Gotta Do Something - Troy Ramey & The Soul Searchers, "Somebody's Gotta Do Something" See Video Below...

We Must Eliminate Senseless Rage by Reducing Violent Behaviors, Making Better Decisions, Living Longer and Willfully Improving Our Mental Health: Individual and Group Counseling Can Help. Please contact Felicia Brown at Leap For Joy Counseling.

Counselor Felicia Brown

And, in Florida, Felicia writes, “For my full-time employment, presently, I am a Senior Program Manager with Orange County Government Youth and Family Services. As a business owner, I am the CEO of Leap For Joy Counseling, LLC., a Professional Faith-Based Counseling Private Practice, where we are Counseling and Coaching Youth and Families to be Healed Healthy and Wholly!  Learn More at.  or visit: I'm a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with the State of Florida.” Congratulations Evans and Bells Families, Locally, Nationwide, and Abroad!  Absolutely, Our Family, Our Heritage, Our Story! ---The Family Journal, USA & Overseas, Volume 3, Issue 18, Publication Journal and Tree, July 2021

Highly Regarded HBCU Scholar and Purple Heart Awardee Dr. Charles L. Singleton Weighs In On Using Our Brains To Stop Gun Violence Now! Click here.
Copyright © 2005 -2021 The Family Journal, USA & Overseas, Sarah McLean, Karen Merrilles & Charles L. Singleton| All Rights Reserved. Mr. Isreal T. Singleton, Editor-in- Review

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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