Tragedy struck the rap community again over the weekend as Charles Jones, better known as Julio Foolio, was shot dead on Sunday morning in Tampa, Florida. Sadly this was not even the first time someone had attempted to take the up-and-coming rapper’s life, with multiple incidents dating back to 2019 when his brother Bibby was shot in Jacksonville. He was reportedly celebrating his birthday with friends at an Airbnb when he was asked to leave because the group had exceeded the rental capacity. The party then moved to a Holiday Inn, where two cars in the parking lot were riddled with bullets, leaving Jones dead and three others injured.

It is an unfortunate fact that his most successful song and video was a tribute to his deceased brother called “When I See You,” racking up almost 50 million views since it was released three years ago. In an infamous Vlad TV interview, Foolio expressed his displeasure with fellow Jacksonville rapper Yungeen Ace talking about the death of his little brother and how it instigated a long running feud between them. It’s downright eerie to hear Vlad tell Foolio about how a similar beef between two rappers in Oakland left one paralyzed in a wheelchair. “Did you just not care about your life at that point?”

Maybe after losing his brother he didn’t care. The continuing cycle of violence with people who envy successful rappers and want to take them down, and rappers jealous of other up-and-coming emcees fearing they’ll lose their own spot, leads to a whole lot of unnecessary deaths in and outside of the music world. It doesn’t make a difference how many times I bring it up. I’m such a tiny blip on the radar in the scope of this industry that nobody is going to listen to me or try to make a change. I shouldn’t even be the instigator of that change though. It should come from the communities where the gunplay is rampant. It should come from the artists who decide to squash beefs rather than increase them. Sadly when Foolio made songs like “List of Dead Opps” that’s exactly what he did – escalate.

Nobody knows if this song or any of the other things he said or did is why his vehicle was sprayed with gunfire, nor any of the many other attempts on his life, but if I’ve said it a thousand times I’ll still say it 1,001 anyway — nobody should be dying over this music shit. Kendrick Lamar and Drake can beef on all the records they want but I don’t want either of them being shot and killed over it and the same goes for any other artist no matter how big or small. My condolences to the family and friends of Charles Jones with my sincere hope that the cycle of violence that surrounded him will not continue.