Children, Money, and Murder

Rapper Pop Smoke was murdered in a Los Angeles rental home on July 9, 2020. He was 20 years old. Social media posts accidently revealed the home address and allowed another group of teen boys to track him with the intent of stealing his luxury jewelry. When a fight erupted during the robbery, gunshots broke out and Pop Smoke passed away from a bullet fired into in his chest. Corey Walker, the boy who murdered Pop Smoke, was just 15 years old. How can children be responsible for such horrific crimes?

Our society places such a heavy emphasis on economic wealth. Money is a primary symbol of success and dominance, especially among those in the public eye. Therefore, fame and money are directly associated. Rappers portray a glamorous lifestyle by purchasing luxury cars, jewelry, and clothes. While many rappers are criminals or gang members, they can still maintain an extravagant lifestyle due in part to their platform and resources. However, this juxtaposition of violence and luxury is extremely misleading for adolescents who idolize these rappers and crave similar habits.

Wealth significantly divides our communities, and unfortunately, conflict from this is trickling down through younger generations. Teens see how violence can be a reliable way to “earn” money. Whether they believe it is wrong or not, the desire for fortune and brand name material possessions occasionally overpowers their moral compass. Are some children really so money-hungry that they are willing to commit murder? Or is society desensitizing children to extreme violence to the point that delinquent behavior is normalized?

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2 thoughts on “Children, Money, and Murder

  1. I think that children who engage in a life of crime grow up with few role models that all live a similar life. Rap artists who they look up to often come from gangs and portray an image of a lifestyle they want as well. In the case of pop smoke, it is a case of someone looking to get rich quickly, taking what they see someone in a higher position has. I think that rap artists who portray an image of crime should be more careful when stepping out into the public world, being more careful and moving differently than they have in their past. With fame comes more attention and people wanting to get close, so maintaining your location and plans private should be of great importance.

  2. Leaking Pop Smoke’s address was dangerous, because people are willing to go to lengths for money/jewelry in many past celebrity experiences like Kim Kardashian’s experience in Italy. It is unfortunate how such a successful rapper passed away at only 20 years old. I agree that the display of wealth and extravagance that celebrities, rappers in particular, display via clothing and lifestyle. It definitely draws an eye to kids, teenagers, and even young adults who are more susceptible to influence and envy. I don’t think the kid wanted to kill Pop Smoke, because he would’ve done that instead of robbing the jewelry first. He likely panicked and shot with aim that wasn’t meant to be fatal. Gun violence and control could be debatable to this situation, and privacy and security of personal information.

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