The risk of appearing with a gangsta rapper in order to call for peace is that he could fall off the "Kumbaya" wagon and shatter the credibility of your message. In July, rapper The Game joined Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck in a call for peace on the streets following fatal attacks on five Dallas police officers.
"I think that we need to take responsibility as a human race and accept the role as peace givers and people that distribute love and change throughout this city," The Game told reporters that day.
Now, The Game has threatened East Coast rival Meek Mill in a beef over the details of a jewelry robbery. "I'm f——n' you up on site," The Game said, addressing Meek Mill in a video released last week (embedded below, with NSFW and explicit language). Before that, during a Sept. 15 performance in Miami, he reportedly said, "I just wanna beat that n——- ... It don’t gotta be about no guns." A vehicle associated with The Game took gunfire following that concert, and multiple reports linked the violence to the feud.
"For them to engage in this kind of East Coast-West Coast war of words is troubling, especially with The Game standing right next to Chief Beck, calling for peace, yet now his words are demonstrating something much different," said civil rights activist Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope. "It's hypocrisy at its worst."
In spring, Ali called on parents to boycott the rapper's app, Block Wars, a video game that features violent scenarios. " Why The Game would choose to encourage gang killings, drug selling, robbery and murder in the city of Compton with his app is shameful and pathetic," Ali said at the time.
Ali, who was at the LAPD's July 8 event, which also featured Snoop Dogg, said he hoped Beck would reach out to The Game to remind him of his previous desire for calm. "I think it's important that Chief Beck engage himself," he said.
Last night a spokesman for the LAPD's top cop said that Beck did not plan to get involved in the dispute.
"Chief Beck is unaware of any issues between these two individuals and currently doesn’t plan on mediating the disagreement," LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein said. "However, the chief is committed to the dialogue started when he first met with The Game and Snoop Dogg. He is and has always been willing to sit down and talk with anyone who wants to have a productive conversation about reducing violence in this city. Too often we focus on what divides us, but Chief Beck welcomes anyone who wants to build bridges. That’s exactly what happened on that morning in July and will hopefully continue as the LAPD pursues its effort to reach out and listen to the people of Los Angeles."
The hip-hop tension has caused other observers to call for a truce, lest this turn into a reprise of the mid-1990s, when an East Coast-West Coast rivalry produced a vivid backstory for the violent downfall of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. Using Twitter, rapper Nipsey Hussle has urged The Game and Meek Mill to "sit down like men" and work out their issues.
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After singer Sean Kingston was robbed of his jewelry at a club in June, The Game reportedly alleged that Kingston had told him Meek Mill might have pointed a finger at The Game. Kingston's mother also said associates of the Compton rapper were allegedly involved in the crime, according to reports.
Meek Mill recently unveiled a diss track calling The Game a former exotic dancer who is faking his Compton Bloods gang affiliation — fighting words on the street. The track also mentions, threateningly, Meek Mill's "trigger finger."
Ali is hoping this gets quashed before we see the tragic mistakes of the '90s again. "We've lived this before in South L.A. as well as on the East Coast, from the days of Tupac and Biggie," he said. "And people died on both sides. You would think that The Game and Meek would have learned this history lesson."