Some would look at King L, shift through his music, and come to the conclusion he’s squandered opportunity through bad decisions, but were they his decisions to make?
His music isn’t positive. There’s no discussion to be had about that. Where some artists like Game will reflect on participating in gang violence and issue warnings, King L’s music reflected someone entrenched in that world.
As many know, this past week King L was shot in the head and is now recovering in the hospital. It’s easy to say “he had it coming” or ask what else he expected to happen putting out this kind of music. In part, the music and his lifestyle may have attributed to his current situation. However, I think that’s the product of a surface deep analysis into the world of gang culture.
If you grow up in an impoverished area, the prospect of dealing drugs to make ends meet and joining a gang for the sake of protection will seem like smart options. It’s easy to judge a person’s choices from the safety of better off neighborhoods. While communities should continue to work within themselves to eliminate gang violence, and those on the outside should help and fund those programs, it’s important to understand the problem’s source.
Lupe Fiasco poetically detailed the emotions tied to participating in gang culture, while Brother Ali explains why some would turn to a life of crime. I think both tracks are a good introduction into understanding that world.
art by your homie, Arthur Banach
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