The shooting death of Migos member Takeoff in Houston on Nov. 1 has many people questioning the state of hip hop. Some are decrying lyrics that promote violence, others, like controversial YouTube personality Charleston White, are calling out strong-arming and bullying in the city of Houston.
Migos consisted of Takeoff, Offset, and Quavo.
One of the city’s central figures is Mob Ties CEO J Prince Jr. He offers security to visiting rap artists. And some say artists are “forced” to deal with his Mob Ties crew whether they want to or not. Visiting artists have to “check in.”
Takeoff was shot and killed outside a Houston bowling alley on Nov. 1. Takeoff, 28, and Quavo were attending a birthday party for J Prince Jr.’s brother Jas Prince.
Streetwear brand Mob Ties, which stands for Movement of Bosses Together In Elevated Structure, was founded by J Prince Jr., who comes from a hip-hop heritage. His father, James Prince, started the legendary Rap-A-Lot Records in the 1980s. Mob Ties also supposedly provided security to hip-hop artists in the city. When Black celebrities come into Houston there is an unwritten rule that they have to “check in” with Mob Ties; if not, some say, they could get caught in dangerous situations.
According to gossip platform Sandra Rose, insiders say Takeoff did not “check in” with Mob Ties and supposedly arranged his own transportation to the party. He also did not participate in a high-stakes dice game, which seems to be a must for artists dealing with the Prince brothers. Quavo did play.
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“Checking in” is gang terminology for getting permission to roam freely in gang territory after paying a travel tax.
White, a former teenage gang leader who reinvented himself after serving jail time, is calling out the “check in” concept.
“Make that white boy check in…Make Taylor Swift check in,” said White in an interview in which he calls out the Houston check in. “Why the n***gas have to check in Mr. Prince, Mob Ties?…you don’t make the police check in…You are just making your people check in. That ain’t how the mob works. They make everybody pay a price…that’s why I don’t respect it.”
A clip of the interview was posted on Twitter by the Texas Nation account.
White gained popularity from his online attacks on various Hip Hop artists such as Soulja Boy and violence within the hip-hop community. White, who often faces backlash for questionable statements and beliefs, is the founder and CEO of Helping Young People Excel (HYPE), an organization dedicated to educating teens and helping steer them away from turning to crime, The Sun reported.