'It's ignorance:' Music producer frustrated by rap's violent trend after Foolio's death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville police are on high alert for revenge violence after a local rapper known as Julio Foolio was shot and killed in Tampa over the weekend.


Foolio’s attorney said he was celebrating his 26th birthday in Tampa when he was gunned down in a hotel parking lot.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

“We’re tired of losing our nephews and nieces and children,” Taj Ali, a Florida native who used to live in Jacksonville, said. He’s now a music producer by the name of Peedi 808 in California.

Ali explained there’s been a shift in the industry toward violence. “It’s ignorance. I hate to say but it’s ignorance. It’s a trend right now with a lot of youth that ‘I got to prove something’.”

Foolio survived two other shootings in the past three years, including one in Riverside in which several homes got caught in the crossfire.

In 2018, a quadruple shooting killed three people including the brother of local rapper Yungeen Ace. Ace was also in the car, but survived being shot eight times. He dropped a video hours after the shooting in Tampa this weekend called “do it”. One of the lyrics says, “I told ‘em: do it”.

So far, no arrests have been announced or suspects named by Tampa police.

RELATED: ‘We’re cracking down:’ Sheriff to monitor rivaling groups after Foolio killed in Tampa

“Come on what kind of mentality is that. Really. It’s demonic to me. It’s weird. I’ve never seen anything like that,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said in response to a question about the music video. He said that units will be on alert for retaliatory violence in Jacksonville as a result.

Ali hopes there can be a shift towards positive music and places some of the blame on the industry pushing for violence because it’s controversial and makes money.

“What are you doing to contribute to your community back home? For those who are less fortunate than you? What are you doing to uplift the people around you?”

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.

Comments on this article