Exclusive – Jim Jones once said being a rapper was “more dangerous” than being a soldier, which caught the unwanted attention of an Iraq War vet who was furious by the comparison. Two years later, the rate at which rappers are dying violent deaths only seems to increase with each passing day.
During a recent interview with HipHopDX, Jones unequivocally stood by his original sentiments, pointing to Lil Tjay’s current medical situation and the growing gun violence epidemic as prime examples.
“I stand on it,” Jones tells DX. “We have more rappers getting killed than we have weeks in the year. Shit, my prayers go out to Lil Tjay who just got shot up the other day and I don’t even know his condition but, you know, it’s terrible out there. Every day they talk about a different rapper that just got shot or was involved in a shooting or something like that.
“So yeah, I stand on what I said. Being a rapper in today’s society is definitely the most dangerous job in the world. You have a 50 percent chance of making it as a rapper and making it alive as a rapper is what it means. It’s one for one, so you take that how you want to take it.”
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Lil Tjay was shot multiple times at a Chipotle restaurant in Edgewater, New Jersey on Wednesday (June 22) and rushed into emergency surgery at a local hospital. Rumors he’s been paralyzed or, even worse, has already succumbed to his injuries are rampant on social media, but nothing has been confirmed by any reputable sources.
Plenty of people believe the murders of Pop Smoke, Drakeo The Ruler, Nipsey Hussle and dozens of others over the last few years are a result of jealousy. As Jones says, there’s a “shitload of money in rap” and some rappers aren’t afraid to flaunt it online.
“I don’t want nobody to ever get that twisted,” he says. “Rap and music make a lot of money. Matter of fact, these rappers couldn’t get to the other money that they’re making if they didn’t have the music that they have. Nobody would give a fuck about them if they didn’t have some music that the people loved, so you gotta think about that.”
Jones isn’t alone in his thinking. Benny The Butcher — who he himself was a victim of gun violence at a Houston Walmart in November 2020 — told DX last year he agreed with Jones.
“There’s other guys who got more money than rappers and got maybe a better life than a rapper, but they still want the fame and they still want the spotlight because that’s what come with being a rapper,” he said at the time. “So guys envy you because of that. Everybody envy you because of the money you make.
“They envy you because of the position that you’re in. It’s not just the money either — it’s they look online and see a bunch of people loving you and praising you for the talent that you have. That’s dangerous. It’s like a king. It’s dangerous to be a king because everybody want to be the next king. Everybody wants your spot.”