Study Finds Over Half of Hip-Hop Deaths Due to Murder
While there are still many unsolved details surrounding Tupac Shakur's murder in 1996, a new study has found that the late California rapper is part of a bigger statistic regarding the deaths of hip-hop artists.
Dianna Theadora Kenny, a professor of psychology and music at the University of Sydney, studied the deaths of 13,000 music artists across all genres to find whether or not there is a link between an artist's cause of death and the musical genre he or she is associated with. After conducting her research, she found that more than 50 percent of deaths in the hip-hop and rap genres were due to homicide.
“Murder accounted for 6.0 percent of deaths across the sample, but was the cause of 51 percent of deaths in rap musicians and 51.5 percent of deaths for hip hop musicians, to date,” Kenny wrote in her article entitled, "Music to die for: how genre affects popular musicians’ life expectancy." “This could be due to these genres’ strong associations with drug-related crime and gang culture.”
Despite these distressing stats, she doesn't mean that hip-hop and rap, which she puts in two different categories in the study, are two of the more dangerous genres of music. Her intentions are to point out what led to many of these artists' deaths and what the patterns are. For instance, R&B artists' predominant cause of death is related to heart health issues while more folk and jazz musicians died of cancer.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Kenny said, “It’s a cautionary tale to some degree. People who go into rap music or hip hop or punk, they’re in a much more occupational hazard profession compared to war. We don’t lose half our army in a battle.”
You can read more about the full study here.
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