SOTBMusic: A Rant About XXXTentacion, Jimmy Wopo and Gun Violence

Editor’s Note: This is a rant; I wrote this as I thought it. My apologies if it doesn’t fully flow or what have you.

While I did not know him personally, based on what I saw and heard, XXXTentacion was a highly flawed, very controversial individual.

While he was messed up, I won’t use a mug shot to represent the man.

Some would even say he was pretty effed up in a lot of ways. I’m not going to get up here and grandstand like I championed his music or his lifestyle choices. The man did some pretty messed up things (allegedly and otherwise) and his music never really spoke to me. The beats were cool, his message was sometimes positive underneath the foolishness. But, I was never a fan of his lyrics. Blame it on the ten-year age gap between us or something. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll give his latest project another listen in memory. Here’s the Spotify for his last release, ? (and yes, I know I said it was “good” that Spotify removed his music from their spotlights and I still agree with that. I can mourn the dead and still disagree with their life choices).

However, I do know that he was young. And the fact of the matter is this: we lost two prominent young Black men (twenty-one-year-old Jimmy Wopo was also gunned down last night) to gun violence in the past twenty-four hours–and I’m sure they’re not the only ones people out there are mourning. Regardless their life choices, these are practically kids out here killing other kids. I know that they’re out here brandishing guns and doing all sorts of crazy crap, but they’re still young boys being killed out here.

The crazy thing is, while XXXTentacion’s death was seemingly written in the stars in some eyes, there were pockets of people who decided to post videos of the aftermath and/or not give a damn that someone else just lost their life to gun violence. XXXTentacion’s final moments had a twisted, full-circle approach as he grew his fan base because of social media and practically died on social media. Social media users will troll and post horrible things–it’s seemingly in our nature these days. But, that’s not what I’m discussing today. That’s another rant for another time.

Look, I know that gun violence is a thing that can’t be ignored for anyone and this crap is getting way out of hand. Seemingly every time I turn on the news or log into social media, I hear about another shooting–either some sort of one-on-one thing or a mass casualty event. I’m not about to get out here and be like “peace and love is the only way,” even though I’ve referred to myself as the “Revolutionary Hippie.”

However, there has to be a better way to hash things out than just blasting on everything in sight. There’s got to be a better way to deal with your frustration at the government or whomever than killing innocent people. There’ve got to be better regulations on guns and more control abroad on keeping them out of people’s hands–legally and otherwise. I mean, for Pete’s sake, enough is enough (and I’m trying really hard to keep my rant family-friendly). I’m tired of seeing Joe Schmo get on social media and tout his gun, then have that same jackass go and murder kids and civilians. Mental health is key when dealing with gun violence, but that’s not the end-all, be-all, either. There’s a long list of things that we, as a people, have to do better when it comes to guns.

I don’t mind guns. I don’t own one and I won’t infringe on your right to bear arms. But, there comes a time and a place where you’ve got to wonder: why in the hell do we need all these arms? As crazy as the world is today, do you really think that holding a friggin’ military arsenal in your basement is really the best way to go? I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve had enough of senseless violence.

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on speedonthebeat.com

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