Takeoff was reportedly an uninvolved partygoer who was killed in a random act of violence that occurred early on Tuesday morning in Houston. The altercation that led to Takeoff’s death occurred at a party. The heartbreaking news that a beloved member of the Atlanta rap duo Migos had passed away in such a senseless manner at the young age of 28 has been made all the more devastating by the widespread availability of graphic footage of his final moments on the internet. You can hear his uncle and fellow member of the group, Quavo, sobbing his heart out over the passing of his nephew in one of the clips. His wailing quickly became a topic of conversation not long after that.
The availability of fresh knowledge at our beck and call is one of the many attractions of the internet; however, some users also choose to display their dark side online. Fans and people who are morbidly curious are currently scouring recordings of Takeoff’s death that were taken with a device similar to a Zapruder camera in an effort to identify the person who shot him. All of this is taking place with a distressing level of detachment from the human beings who were involved.
The killing of Takeoff is only one example of a growing trend of violent acts that are effectively going viral. Payton Gendren allegedly broadcasted a live video of himself firing at persons of African descent in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in May of this year. In 2017, a man named Steve Stephens from Ohio broadcast live on the internet himself shooting and killing Robert Godwin.
The dynamic is extremely harmful every time there is violence in the rap industry. In the same year, a video of XXXTentacion, who had passed away the previous year after what appears to have been an armed robbery, became viral on social media shortly after his passing. Since then, rappers Nipsey Hussle, FBG Duck, King Von, and PNB Rock have all been murdered, and following photographs of the scene have been shared online. In addition, images of the shooting site have been shared.
Twitter has 750K views of TMZ’s post-shooting film. Six YouTube videos with 100K+ views depict the murder’s aftermath. The volume of footage is a result of our phone-obsession. Videos online show several viewpoints of the minutes before the shooter opened fire at 810 Billiards & Bowling in Houston.
TMZ has been criticised for posting various videos of Takeoff. Few have dubbed the outlet an ethical journalism model. They sell startling content. Akademiks, a podcaster and media personality, spent a live stream analysing down shooting footage and identifying the gunman.
It’s similar to when the media debated whether to show the grisly Vietnam War aftermath. FCC standards once debated if violent footage was newsworthy and in the public interest. Video platforms like TikTok and live streaming services like Twitch and YouTube allow indie stars to fulfil the public’s desire for knowledge while censoring potentially inflammatory content. Recent reports imply YouTube profits from targeted harassment videos.
Some say that sifting through gruesome details is a public duty that could help catch a criminal. Online mobs often incriminate innocent bystanders, adding to uncertainty. Continued exposure to violent imagery can affect Black mental health and pre-term birth rates, according to studies. Black trauma’s lengthy history as a commodity complicates the problem, especially in hip-hop.
Things may worsen first. Elon Musk’s Twitter is slashing workers by roughly half, making moderation changes doubtful. Gun violence persists. Takeoff’s death and the accompanying videos show our culture’s fascination with violence and fame. In many ways, we strip stars’ humanity by emphasising their work. Even after death, admirers want one more piece.