Nine months after seeing his nephew and bandmate Takeoff shot to death as an innocent bystander during an argument outside a Houston bowling alley, Migos rapper Quavo has gone on a gun-control offensive: This week, he met with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House, spoke on a panel about combating the issue during the Congressional Black Caucus legislative conference in Washington, and appeared on “Good Morning America” Thursday morning talking about gun violence in the U.S.
“I feel like your calling comes at the least expected times,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “You don’t think nothing is going to happen [to you]. I have to do something about it, so it won’t happen to the masses — especially in our culture. I don’t want this to happen to the next person. I want to knock down these percentages.”
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A total of 48,117 people died of gunshot wounds last year, according to the CDC, the second highest single-year tally on record — down 1.5 % from 2021, when 48,830 people died of gunshot wounds.
Quavo visited VP Harris and congress to speak on ending gun violence in wake of Takeoff's death 🏛️
“I need to step up to the plate and hit a home run. I have to do something about it, so it won’t happen to the masses—especially in our culture. I don’t want this to happen to the… pic.twitter.com/JPlyrmfwZ1
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) September 21, 2023
While news reports tend to focus on gun violence as a hip-hop or Black community problem, it is indisputably the greatest threat to personal safety in the U.S., despite primarily Republican politicians and gun-lobby advocates who cite delusional interpretations of Second Amendment Constitutional rights.
Quavo joined a panel discussion Wednesday alongside Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, Rep. Lucy McBath — whose activism was propelled after the shooting death of her teenage son — and Greg Jackson of the Community Justice Action Fund.
Earlier, Quavo arrived at the conference hand-in-hand with his sister Titania Davenport, the mother of Takeoff.
"I know a lot of people out there that lost a loved one to gun violence."
Rapper @QuavoStuntin talks to @rachelvscott about advocating for gun safety with a visit to Capitol Hill after his nephew and bandmate Takeoff was killed last year. pic.twitter.com/pbyC19LEHN
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 21, 2023
“I’m a survivor — I was there, so it could have been both of us gone,” he told GMA’s Rachel Scott. “So I look at this as, me being alive, I have to do this job make sure everybody’s aware that losing my nephew — you could be in the same position.
“I think all of us [working] together is the key, and we need help from this big old building right here,” he said, gesturing at the White House.
He said that after Takeoff’s death, he often asked himself “How do we use [guns] safely? And how do you keep them out of the hands of people that make bad decisions? I’m kind of in a half-and-half place,” he told the AP. “Police have guns, and unfortunately, some of the people in our culture and loved ones have been lost to police brutality. It’s all about choices and how we can put a filter on who can use these guns.”
Last year, Quavo the rapper and his family launched the Rocket Foundation in honor of Takeoff and he committed $2 million to invest in community violence intervention, and says he hopes to develop after-school programs in areas where community centers have been shut down.
“I feel like after going to the White House, I need resources,” he said. “I need a bag of goodies, so I can take back and say ‘Here, this is for the culture.’ We have that extension cord. We are plugged into that type of environment. I don’t think no one else in our stature is that connected. In order for things to change, we need resources.”
Asked by Scott what he believes Takeoff would think of his actions, Quavo said, “It’s a tough thing know I’m not going to see him again on this earth — but I know he’s proud of me.”
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