Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Be honest. Before you had all the facts, you had Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave — the heartbeat of the Irving Plaza shooting that left 1 dead and several injured — pegged as a bad guy. Even if you’re unfamiliar with him as a Hip Hop artist, all you heard from the media is that he raps about drugs and that it was him in that now infamous video. The one where he is clearly discharging his weapon in a room full of cowering party patrons.
A healthy portion of us who are familiar with Troy know him to be a bit outlandish and somewhat annoyingly arrogant in between his aggresive attempts to convince us he is New York rap music’s savior. His public feuds — some of which have been blamed for the shooting — and publicity stunts over the years have earned him a nefarious reputation, and his constant industry griping only serves to make matters worse. He seems to be one of those guys you’d have to get to know intimately to like as a person. But that’s neither here nor there. Troy has been hustling, scrambling, and clamoring for the spotlight (which had seemingly arrived when he took the Summer Jam stage a few years ago) for some time now, and it looks like his moment has arrived, albeit in an extremely unfortunate way.
For various reasons, Troy hadn’t quite cultivated the rap crowd in his favor, so when the shooting occured, before any of the facts began to circulate, when all anyone (including the cops — Hip Hop or otherwise) had to go on was the footage of him busting his gun without regard, it was fairly easy for people to cast him aside as something evil, cancerous, a danger to our beloved culture…
Words by Tony Grands
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