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King Von didn't have to die (in Atlanta)


Life in a Shanty Town

November 13 · Issue #251 · View online

The hip-hop newsletter that's not afraid to ask the tough questions

What is the world coming to when T.I., of all people, is the voice of reason?
The “Whatever You Like” rapper took to social media this week to plead with child gangbangers from Chicago not to come to Atlanta to shoot people, which, what kind of vacation is that anyway?
Shooting at people is something you do in the comfort of your own hometown, not when you’re traveling—and certainly not when you’re in Atlanta.
Atlanta is a city where you go to listen to bad rap music, eat chicken wings and throw money at appreciative black women, and to be looked at quizzically for turning down numerous offerings of “sweet tea.”
The other day, a young Chicago rapper named King Von, who I’m sure was the future of rap music, was shot and killed in what sounds like a Mexican standoff outside a hookah lounge in downtown Atlanta.
According to reports, there was a brief scuffle between two groups, which led to a shootout, and then 5-0 joined in, as a public safety measure. Two people were killed, including King Von, and four other people were shot, including the guy who’s been accused of killing King Von.
How do they know he was the guy who shot King Von? Did a forensics expert with some red yarn chart the trajectory of each bullet, like in the ‘00s-era Showtime series Dexter?
One of King Von’s weed carriers, or perhaps his manager, said that everyone who got shot got shot by the police. He said that the rival gangbangers only fired one shot, and then the police just shot everyone.
One thing Chicago rappers might consider, regardless of where they decide to kill each other, is checking to see if 5-0 is in the building before they shoot it out, lest all of the participants are massacred by the police.
They might be used to shooting it out in their native Chicago, where the police somehow always manage to show up after the bullets have long since stopped flying, even though these shootings all seem to happen on the same few blocks.
I’ve yet to hear any calls for the police who probably killed King Von to be arrested, or even investigated, and it just goes to show the lack of regard for black men. I mean, if it wasn’t already clear from how Ice Cube was treated in the weeks leading up to the election.
Similarly, I’m disappointed—but not surprised—by the response to T.I.’s call for Chicago’s child gangbangers to not kill each other in Atlanta, which I guess is now a controversial thing to say. He didn’t even tell them not to kill each other, he just said don’t do it in Atlanta!
50 Cent implied that what T.I. said somehow constituted snitching. Which is a sensitive issue for T.I., because he was once forced by the police to film one of those Crime Stoppers commercials, encouraging people to call the police on people they suspected of having committed a crime, i.e. to pull a Karen.
Freddie Gibbs pointed out that T.I. once flew to Las Vegas to fight Floyd Mayweather, as if he were the somewhat less white Conor McGregor. Did Mayweather bang T.I.’s wife, Tiny? If so, I’d be concerned that he’s been hit in the head one time too many, despite his noted ability to bob and weave.
Regardless, I’d argue that what T.I. did there was different, since he flew to Las Vegas to get into a fistfight, not to shoot people. And it may have just been a performative thing, to make his wife think that he really cares what she does, lest she divorces him and splits his bucks.
I’m not concerned with child gangbangers going to Atlanta to get into fistfights, provided they’re not in an enclosed space where things can get broken. It wouldn’t even bother me if they went there to beat up people from Atlanta. They can start with the Migos.
All I ask is that, if you’re going to shoot someone, be considerate and do it in Chicago. The Trump era has come to an end. It’s time to show some concern for other people’s feelings.
Take it easy on yourself,

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