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‘You Know Who Is Not Dying? Record Execs’: Former Director/Producer Issues ‘Challenge’ to Rappers to Change the Culture That’s Been Having the Industry ‘Using You for a Long Time’

In the aftermath of the tragic death of Migos rapper Takeoff, who was shot and killed in Houston on Nov. 1, many industry figures have taken to their platforms calling for an end to the senseless violence that has taken the lives of an alarming amount of rising rap stars.  Recently former music video director Robert “Robby” Starbuck stepped out of the hip-hop shadows with “a challenge for all rappers.”

Starbuck, a Republican candidate currently running for Congress in Tennessee, said he decided to create the nearly four-and-half-minute-long video after seeing news of the Atlanta native’s death before introducing himself as the man behind the visual from various rappers, including Gucci Mane, Snoop Dogg, Lil Yatchy,” and more.

?You Know Who Is Not Dying? Record Execs?: Former Director/Producer Issues ?Challenge? to Rappers to Change the Culture That?s Been Having the Industry ?Using You for a Long Time?
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JULY 12: Robby Starbuck is seen on set during taping of “Candace” on July 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. The show will air on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)

The former director said, “I learned a lot of things,” before noting he left the industry over his political beliefs… but there is something I want to impart to people, hopefully, make some sort of change happen. So, I have a challenge to rappers.” He continued, “Here’s the truth. The truth is this. A bunch of young, Black male rappers keep dying. You know who’s not dying? Record executives.” 

Starbuck claimed those executives “push for [rappers] to continue to make songs and create a culture that is obsessed with death, drugs, and sex.” He went on to highlight that the higher-ups aren’t suffering from violent deaths, because they aren’t pushing that behavior on “their own people, but they’re encouraging you to push it on yours.”

Other claims included that labels paid music video directors more to shoot rap videos because the hip-hop genre is the only one associated with possibly being violently killed while on set. 

In another post, he wrote, “The industry is a toxic place filled with pawns who do the bidding of the elite to manipulate and transform society. The best thing I’ve done aside from getting married/being a dad was burning my career down to fight to stop the elite from destroying the country & people I love.”

Starbuck found support from Nigerian music producer and artist Taye Olusola, who reposted the clip, adding, “[Artists]/Musicians in other genres of music don’t get shot like hip hop recording artists. The hip-hop culture needs to change from this whole sex, money and drugs songs movement. Music executives don’t allow their kids to subscribe to that culture. Reinvent the wheel.”

Other social media users also joined the conversation, including one Instagram user who wrote, “Very eloquently put. It’s giving POINT BLANK PERIODT!!! So what are we gonna do about it???” Another person added, “Maybe we’ll listen if it’s coming from him….. cuz we never listen when it comes from us.”

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