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Jacksonville rapper reacts to Foolio’s death

Jacksonville rapper reacts to Foolio’s death

  • PublishedJune 24, 2024

Natalac worked with Foolio on a song in 2018, offering the young rapper advice to avoid the violence he spotlighted in his music.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The impact of the death of a Jacksonville rapper is being felt by the music community and law enforcement in the area. 

Charles Jones, also known as Foolio, was shot and killed while celebrating his 26th birthday in Tampa over the weekend.

“He was very respectful,” Jacksonville Rapper Natalac said. “The type of people, when I hear about Foolio from other people about ‘I don’t like him or whatever,’ I never met that guy.”

Natalac fondly looks back on when a young rapper named Foolio showed up at his studio in 2018 to record a song with him.

Foolio’s popularity rose over the next few years, as well as the violence that followed his lyrics.

On Sunday morning, he was shot and killed during a birthday celebration in Tampa.

“It’s a painful ordeal all the way around,” said Natalac. “These kids are half my age and I’m expecting them to be fathers and mothers, and they don’t grow up at all. It’s very disappointing.”

RELATED: ‘They know who they are’: Jacksonville sheriff keeping eye on ‘clashing’ groups after Foolio’s death

Natalac says he’s tried to tell younger rappers he’s worked with they need to be careful with how they act and who they surround themselves with, but he’s often met with a shrug.

“It’s almost like listening to their parents,” Natalac said. “Nobody wants to listen to their parents, like ‘Ah, Dad, cmon.’”

Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters shared a similar sentiment.

“They think this stuff is a game,” Waters said. 

Waters says the sheriff’s office has a department dedicated to trying to help people get out of gangs in Jacksonville.

“We’re taking a proactive look at trying to get people to change and do something different,” the sheriff said. “If they don’t, we’re going to do everything we can to put them in prison forever.”

Waters hopes Foolio’s death shows the violence surrounding Jacksonville’s drill rap scene isn’t “cool.”

“It ain’t cool now, it’s over now,” Waters said. “It’s over for him. It’s permanent.”

Waters says air teams, community response and gang units will have eyes on people close to Foolio following his death.

“Focusing the areas that I know they live, and focus on them,” Waters said. “If it takes us following them one at a time, we’ll follow them one at a time.

Natalac’s advice for rappers he’s worked with after 30 years in the industry is that the violence for clout isn’t worth it.

“They’re fighting over crumbs,” he added. 

Waters says they constantly talk with other agencies in other areas when they’re aware members of rival groups are going to be there so they can prepare in case things get violent.

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