Black rappers who served prison sentences

Somebody’s keeping track of all the black rappers who’ve spent time in prison. Seems like a major undertaking, and it certainly provides entertainment for the rest of us. Maybe it would be easier for them to count the ones who did not go to prison.

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13 Responses to Black rappers who served prison sentences

  1. countenance says:

    Many rap and hip hop music careers started with the seed money generated from slinging dope. Rising rappers need the street cred of being arrested. A person who is 100 years old with Alzheimer’s can remember the list of rappers who never went to prison.

  2. Ariston says:

    Many rap and hip hop music careers started with the seed money generated from slinging dope. Rising rappers need the street cred of being arrested.
    This is commonly believed, but mostly true only at the height of “gangster rap” from the early to late nineties. Note that most of these offenses actually are not drug–dealing or drug–related violence, but assault, gun possession (a questionable crime), drug possesion, and sexual offenses. Some of these aren’t even prison sentences, despite the title. A lot of people have spent a few nights locked up in their life, especially young men with too much money.
    Generally speaking, rap was created and is still largely maintained by middle class black people (Kanye West’s mother was an English professor at Clark Atlanta and Chicago State— where she also served as dept. head) who are smarter than average. Even the famously murdered Tupac, whose career was at the height of the gangster rap trend, came from a middle class family. There’s not just a few who were in gifted or magnet programs as children, either, including (surprisingly to many) Lil’ Wayne. There have also always been a lot of Jews or half–Jews in the industry (Drake is a current example), which has led to black antisemites theorizing about how hip–hop is a conspiracy by Jews to destroy the black race. (Really. There are also highly detailed Illuminati theories about the entertainment industry as well, which have bled over into the white conspiracy theory community.)
    On a related note, West wrote one of the best pieces in recent memory describing the condition of American black people from the inside point of view— and I’m being serious.
    These—for the most part—aren’t stupid people, even a lot of the thugs and dealers. (Jay–Z dealt crack, but now has a multi–billion a year industry run by himself.) The “street cred” thing came from angst about “authenticity” from these men from more successful families and as a marketing angle for white kids who wanted to vicariously experience “the streets”; it wasn’t about a prevalence of actual thugs.
    Oh, and the “seed money” for major rap artists? It comes from record labels, who get it in the normal, boring ways. The Jewish Rick Rubin possibly did more than anything to bring rap into the mainstream; and his black partner Russell Simmons came from a solidly middle–class family in Queens.
    I’m not at all writing this to defend rap culture or anything, but the reality is far more interesting than the face.

    • countenance says:

      The labels won’t give you studio time for free. And it’s not cheap. They need the money for their initial studio sessions from somewhere.

      • Ariston says:

        I guess you have never heard of talent scouting?
        Studio time is extremely overrated nowadays; for rap, anyone with a beat made can record the lyrics on fairly inexpensive equipment and produce the whole thing on ProTools. A friend who is a producer has worked for larger labels, but still has people record in his home— and not in a room that is particularly high–tech or well–insulated. This isn’t about a lack of quality, but because of tech becoming better and cheaper.

    • jewamongyou says:

      Interesting – and thanks for the insights!

    • rjp says:

      Kanye West’s mother was an English professor at Clark Atlanta and Chicago State ….
      I would guess that the English being taught in a suburban Pittsburgh gifted 6th grade class is more advanced than what is taught at Chicago State. It’s a diploma mill …… that has a rough time granting diplomas. I would also guess Clark Atlanta is the same, but I could be wrong about that.

      • Ariston says:

        It’s not about how smart she was or was not (and no kidding about suburban Philly gifted classes— it’s where I live), it’s about the fact that that still puts you in the middle–upper–end of black America, not on “the streets”. “My mom taught at Chicago State” is not the “my mom was a crackwhore” thing that people often assume is the background of people in hip–hop.

    • Kn83 says:

      It is certainly true that successful rappers tend to be smarter than most black people, even J.P. Rushton pointed that out in one of his research papers. I was quite surprisedto find out the Lil Wayne’s Iq is 119 and Jay-Z’s s is estimated around 135-142.
      Actually, quite a sizeable number of rappers have been charged with serious offenses also.
      Also, there is nothing in 2pac’s background info to suggest that he was of middle class background (East Harlem, Marin City, etc) considering that Afeni Shakur was a single mother on welfare and 2pac himself was living in homeless shelters for 2 years after moving to California.

  3. countenance says:

    I have to walk back what I said just a little bit. From asking around, (I won’t go into detail), I found out that “getting off the ground” isn’t the expensive proposition it used to be. Hardware and software to produce a commercial-sounding single is so inexpensive that you can cut your own, release it on the web, hype it on Twitter or Facebook, and hope that it catches the attention of a label. Point being, you no longer have to sling dope to get off the ground.

    • Ariston says:

      Right. When I was talking about “seed money”, I assumed people meant promotion and radio time, not recording, which is cheap. Those things are from the labels, and are what drive people out of “the underground”. It’s the same in other forms of popular music, as well.

  4. fnn says:

    Rahm needs the IDF in Chicago:
    t was the worst ever on mag mile. people eating outdoors at restaurants were getting bottles and stuff thrown at them. there were groups of hundreds “wilding”. hundreds. like packs of 300-400 beating , robbing etc. wow. just wow. i mean really wtf.

  5. nobody says:

    Vanilla Ice, who is on the list, is not black.

  6. It’s not the way we made it; but it’s the way it is. We all need to work together for a solution.

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