In the wake of Pop Smoke’s recent shooting death, his peers have become reflective about the dangerous situations that newfound fame can put an emerging star into. Although Pop Smoke’s legacy deserves to be more than just a cautionary tale — read Uproxx’s analysis here — that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some lessons to be gleaned. While West Coast rapper Blueface warned visiting artists to considering employing native guides to help navigate the deceptively sunny Los Angeles culture, 2 Chainz explained all the ways in which the dark side of fame can rear its ugly head.
“Success is dangerous,” he reminisced on Instagram, reflecting on Pop Smoke’s death. “You sure you want this sh*t?” In the caption of the question, he elaborated: “Been shot at in San Fran , got arrested in Maryland , La , New York and Oklahoma.Had a so call stand off with police in Oklahoma , Cali spot got broken into 4 times alll on tape and one of them even left they phone 😯😒ALLL SINCE I BEEN A ‘RAPPER’ you literally gotta Pray 🙏🏿that you make it back home safe !! But then you not even safe at home..” He also offered his condolences to Pop Smoke’s surviving family and friends.
It’s true that while rappers seem to be particularly susceptible to the pitfalls of their lifestyle — many of which likely stem from rap’s rough-and-tumble origins and aggressive posturing and showiness, which can bait would-be robbers into risking the notoriety of attacking famous victims — there are equally as many rappers on the cash kings list who stay out of the spotlight and thus, out of trouble. J. Cole, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, and more have seen plenty of success but have also demonstrated that sometimes, the best option is to invest in things that can’t be carried — or snatched — on their necks and wrists or in their pockets.
Read 2 Chainz’s response to Pop Smoke’s death above and check out more of his war stories on his 2019 album Rap Or Go To The League.