Too $hort och E-40 är trötta på den pågående dödsepidemin som sprider sig inom hiphop. Med hopp om att skapa en förändring har de två västkustrapparna gått ihop och skrivit en stark insändare i tidningen The Atlantic. 

I artikeln nämns de bortgångna rapparna XXXTentacion, Nipsey Hussle, PnB Rock, Pop Smoke, King Von, Young Dolph och nyligen bortgångna Takeoff. Både Too $hort och E-40 tror starkt på att sociala medier är roten till det ökande våldet och de undrar vem som är näst på tur om inget görs.

“The inner city is like the MMA Octagon—it’s the cage, the trap. 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 artistsspend 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.”

Med artikeln vill varken E-40 eller Too $hort peka finger mot en specifik person eller grupp. De tror istället på att alla involverade i industrin behöver förenas och hitta en lösning för att få slut på våldet. 

“The industry needs change. 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 $hort har egna erfarenheter av dödsfall inom hiphop. Han träffade 2Pac samma kväll som han blev skjuten i Las Vegas 1996. I ett avsnitt av hans YouTube-serie ”$hort Stories” från 2021 berättar han om kvällen: 

“I saw 2Pac the night he got shot in Vegas. 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.”