Quavo takes gun violence prevention very seriously.
Less than a year after his nephew and former bandmate Takeoff was fatally shot in Houston, the “Walk It Talk It” rapper met with Vice President Kamala Harris and members of Congress this week to advocate against gun violence.
Takeoff, whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball, was shot multiple times outside a bowling alley in Houston on November 1, 2022. Takeoff was “an innocent bystander” who was “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Houston police said at the time. The 28-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Quavo took part in a panel convened by the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss the issue. He was accompanied by his sister and Takeoff’s mother, Titania Davenport.
“I feel like your appointment comes at the least expected time… You don’t think nothing will happen,” he told the group. “I have to step up to the plate and hit a home run. I have to do something about it so it doesn’t happen to the masses – especially in our culture. I don’t want this to happen to the next person. I want to get those percentages down.”
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.; Rep. Lucy McBath, the Georgia Democrat who lost her son to gun violence; and Greg Jackson from the Community Justice Action Fund were present at the panel discussion focused on community-led intervention strategies against gun violence.
“We need to improve gun control,” Quavo continued. “We need to figure out how to prevent incidents like this from happening when people go somewhere thinking they might hurt someone where it shouldn’t happen.”
The “Bad and Boujee” artist addressed two main questions: how do we handle guns safely and how do we keep them “out of the hands of people who make bad decisions.”
“I’m kind of in a half-and-half situation. Even police officers have guns,” he said. “Unfortunately, some people in our culture and their loved ones have fallen victim to police brutality. It’s about choices and how we can filter who can use these weapons.”
Jackson praised Quavo for using his status as a cultural figure to pressure lawmakers to advocate for change on the issue.
“This is what we need,” Jackson said. “To change gun violence, we must change behavior as aggressively as we focus on safety, ownership and access. But we cannot change our behavior when our communities lack the resources and our youth are overlooked and forgotten.”
Quavo in 2022 helped set up the Rocket Foundation, an organization focused on funding programs that “save lives through proven, community-based solutions to prevent gun violence.” The nonprofit was founded in honor of Takeoff.
What Quavo emphasized most in his talk Wednesday was the need for more resources in under-resourced communities.
“I feel like I need resources after my visit to the White House,” he said. “I need a bag full of goodies so I can take it back and say, ‘Here, this is for the culture.’ We have this extension cord. We are embedded in such an environment. I don’t think anyone else in our format is as connected. In order for something to change, we need resources.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.