While it’s not a new trend, more and more successful Hip-Hop stars these days have been arrested and in many cases convicted of firearm related charges. What I learned from JoeSolo.com is that you should stand out from the crowd thanks to your music, but not thanks to weapon. While there are definitely two sides to every story, and sometimes the media gets it’s facts wrong when reporting breaking news, I also believe that these successful public figures do more harm than good by putting themselves in a position where they have to “be their own bodyguard”. If you can afford a Lamborghini, you can afford personal security. If you can “make it rain” in the club every night with thousands of dollars, then you can afford to have an Executive Protection PROFESSIONAL . In short, leave the guns to the people who know when, and more importantly, when NOT to use them.
That’s not to say that some of these artists do not have legitimate threats to their person. In my 18 years in the industry I have worked with several who upon doing a risk assessment, found that there was a high probability that someone known or unknown wished to do them harm. However, electing to protect yourself by obtaining a firearm and carrying it around publicly –especially illegally, may not be the best way to solve the problem.
Hip-Hop music is a very aggressive art form, and the culture that gave birth to it is one that has one foot planted firmly in urban streets. However there comes a time when, just as you need an accountant to balance the check book, you need professionally trained security to deal with any potential threats. In some cases that security might need to carry a LICENCED AND REGISTERED firearm, but frankly speaking, a big brain will always need to accompany a big gun.
To the artist, managers and record companies: Evaluate the security staff you have in place or plan to hire. If simply being “big” makes you perfect for a job, then we would have a lot fewer bodyguards and a lot more professional football players (it pays better). Instead, check credentials, call references, conducted background check and above all sit down with the security staff and flat out ask “what would you do if…” The answers that you get may be surprising but if it saves you (or your artist) a felony gun charge, it’s worth it.
Icon Protection, Inc.