Chuck D of famed hip hop group Public Enemy said rap music is the "CNN for black culture." Many of the issues behind the crime and poverty in cities across the U.S. often fail to get recognition from lawmakers and news media.
With the help of a microphone and a beat - and now social media - the distress in "the hood" is put on blast reaching the far corners of the globe.
The grim tale told by many rappers is often a story of violence, guns, drugs, poverty and the seductive lure of money.
Jacksonville's rap scene is no different. As many of the young musicians here seek stardom and an escape from some not-so-friendly streets, they can also find themselves ensnared in the very situations they're rhyming about.
Kyree Breyon Corley, 22, was shot to death in February 2017 at a Northside Jacksonville barbecue restaurant while some rappers prepared to shoot a music video. The rappers were Louisiana-based Lil Boosie Badazz and Jacksonville rapper Baby Soulja.
Seven months later, up-and-coming Jacksonville rapper Lil' Jug was shot to death by two men wearing masks at the Hillside Village Apartments.
The most recent case occurred late Tuesday night on the Southside near St. Johns Town Center. Another up-and-coming Jacksonville rapper was injured in a shooting. Three other teens - including the rapper's brother - died in the gunfire
Yungeen Ace, whose real name is Keyontae Bullard, has several videos on YouTube. The videos have millions of views. Killed in the shooting were Tre'von Bullard and Royale D'Von Smith Jr., both 18, and Jercoby Da'Shad Groover, 19.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office have said two of the people shot were known gang members, but declined to say who. No arrests have been made.
TOP 10 JACKSONVILLE RAPPERS
WARNING: Lyrics in the following videos contain language that some may find offensive
1. Montana Fat
3. Yungeen Gang
4. Soulja K
5. That Boy Poppa
6. Trap Beckham
7. Mob Squad
8. Tokyo Jetz
10. Baby Soulja