Is it an accident? Murder? Or suicide? In either case, they’re gone.
I got up this past Sunday to be hit by the news that twenty-one-year-old Juice Wrld was dead. He’s not my generation, you understand, but you don’t have to be in my generation for me to like your music. For those of you who are as hip as me, and that ain’t saying much, he sang “Lucid Dreams.”
*I still see your shadows in my room
Can’t take back the love that I gave you
It’s to the point where I love and I hate you
And I cannot change you so I must replace you (oh)
Easier said than done
I thought you were the one
Listening to my heart instead of my head
You found another one, but
I am the better one
I won’t let you forget me
It won the MTV Video Music Award for the Best Song of the Summer.
Alicia Keys said that she wished that she had written these words. I can understand why. It expressed desire and loss all at once. But then again, it wasn't rapping. It was a song.
And it was more than a sad song; it was a miserable, depressing, lament for a love gone wrong. But we’ve all gone through a loss like that, where you see the shadows of what once was. “I won’t let you forget me.” How many times have I said that to myself. The other was, “You’ll be sorry!”
They very rarely are.
What is it that puts so many rappers on the path to death? Is it the street life? Is it a propensity for igniting envy and/or making enemies? Or is it something even deeper?
Is it a philosophy?
I have a feeling that if we could cocoon these artists and get them to their forties, like Nas, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, P. Diddy, Ice-T, Ice-Cube (I know. It's easy to get them mixed up) and Jay-Z, they would survive.
It's not like they didn’t try. Snoop Dogg bought a bulletproof van after Biggie Smalls and Tupac were murdered. He must have felt like a target. As of last year, he was still using an armored van.
One of the main themes that rappers rap about is the worthlessness of life in the streets. The songs feature what they see; sex, drugs, and violence. There is no future, no great goal to reach. And then it occurred to me.