*First it was fallen rap mogul Suge Knight’s arrest for murder. Second the alleged murder took place in Compton. And third, it was rap.
This is the perfect dysfunctional storm to get the tongues clucking again that Knight, rappers, and by extension young black males are hopelessly ensnared in the thug life.
At first glance, it looks bad. Knight and his Death Row Records have been in or near the center of a lot of mayhem over the past few years. There have been murders, and their murderers in almost all cases were other rappers, or their friends, or the associates of rival rappers. There have been well-publicized brawls at parties, at nightclubs, in recording studios, or while sitting in their cars. There are the celebrated killings of rap big wigs Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG.
Now there’s Knight who’s accused of running down two men in a parking lot altercation. This tossed the ugly glare on a problem that has bedeviled the rap business, and a bigger problem that chronically plagues young black males. The personal feuds, jealousies rivalries, and unvarnished gangsterism that is rife among some in the rap industry has deeply planted the sordid image in the minds of many that the rap industry is synonymous with gangs, crime and violence. The murder accusation against Knight is a rerun of an all too familiar rerun of mob brawls that have been the prelude to the murders of the other rappers.