Veteran rapper Ma$e has started a new Instagram initiative he’s dubbed “22 Days of Speaking My Mind.” On Wednesday (May 6), the former Bad Boy Records artist addressed his issues with Black men joining street gangs.
“I know what I’m about to say is unpopular but it still needs to be said,” he began in the caption. “The weakest thing a black man can do today is join a street gang. The person who you’re riding for today ends up getting a bag to kill you or sending you to jail. Think about it what type of person would ask you to hurt your own people and take an oath to be there for your gang only to end up not being there for your children and family. I NEVER UNDERSTOOD THAT.
“Maybe that’s why I NEVER THOUGHT PEOPLE IN GANGS WERE TOUGH! If you’re thinking about becoming one don’t! I RESPECT A MAN THAT CAN STAND ON HIS OWN. #Day3 of #22days of speaking my mind. #mase.”
Ma$e’s post comes as 2021 rap murders continue to pile up. On Monday (May 3), the body of popular Pittsburgh rapper Flatline Nizzy was discovered in the McKnees Rock area with a bullet wound to his head. His death follows the recent murders of San Diego rapper OG YD, Sacremento’s Hot Boy Ju and Memphis rapper Mendenhall 2x.
The frequency of each murder has come at an alarming rate and is reminiscent of late 2020 when the rap community suffered the losses of King Von and BadAzz Music Syndicate rapper Mo3 just days apart.
While gun violence has plagued the culture since inception — 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. murders being two of the most high profile in Hip Hop history — it seems to have ramped up in recent years. Blossoming rap superstar Pop Smoke was killed during a Hollywood Hills home invasion in February 2020 while Von and Mo3 were both fatally shot nine months later.
Chucky Trill, 18VENO, FBG Duck and his affiliate BCR Meezle are just a handful of other shooting deaths over the last couple of years (although they weren’t all necessarily gang-related).
Ma$e’s comments elicited plenty of supportive responses — from “I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE” and “This is Real Rap Bro!! Its not unpopular opinion at all.. Folks are just scared to say it!! It been wack. Especially now” to “Nothing but facts.”