ALL: Los Angeles

Surviving L.A.

Since PnB Rock was murdered at a restaurant in South Los Angeles, there has been a lot of discussion about why rappers are being targeted in the city. In a Los Angeles Times feature, August Brown and Kenan Draughorne gather several opinions on a bleak trend of shootings that has claimed the lives of Pop Smoke, Nipsey Hussle, Drakeo the Ruler and many others. “Amid wider debates about rising violent crime rates in L.A. and nationwide, many artists are taking new measures to stay safe,” they write, adding that professional security details — not just “buddyguards” — keeping current whereabouts off social media, and resisting an urge to flaunt expensive jewelry may serve as protection. Still, the participants can’t help but admit that these are human beings, not walking ATMs, and the violence too many encounter is senseless and unjustifiable. “We have such deep inequality in L.A., coupled with joblessness, the pandemic, social unrest and more people carrying guns. The response is usually finding individual things to do: Don’t wear jewelry, don’t post on socials,” says UC Irvine professor Charis E. Kubrin. “That’s important, but we’re not going to get rid of this problem without attacking root causes.”