Rappers Are Endangered: Hip Hop Behind Bars In 2010

From Lil Wayne to Lil Boosie, T.I., Gucci Mane, Shyne & Slick Rick, why our stars' downfall is hurting the culture and sales. But what does it all mean?

In March of 2009, T.I. was sentenced to serve one year and a day in prison for weapons charges related to purchasing machine guns and silencers. He’d been in trouble before, even as early as 1998, when he had been convicted on felony drug charges and possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, in Cobb County, Georgia. Last year's news was huge, not to just Hip Hop, but pop culture overall. Between 2006 and 2009, T.I. finally ascended to the southern Hip Hop throne with his album titled, not-so-coincidentally, King. He became a Top 40 fixture since his "Rubberband Man"-supported 2003 album Trap Muzik, and one the biggest recording stars in the country. The thought of him going to prison for an extended amount of time seemed a disaster, but at least a solitary disaster.

But soon, another Atlanta, Georgia based rapper who’s grind rivaled T.I.’s was facing prison time, Gucci Mane. Gucci’s appeal was similar to T.I.’s: Trap-based anthems full of (although not as aimed to women as some of T.I.’s biggest hits have been) vivid street subject matter, and smoothed over with simple, catchy choruses. Gucci Mane’s personal background was somewhat like T.I.’s. He had a string of arrests and charges, the most infamous case being the one where he was charged for murder in a May 10th, 2005 shooting. (The charges were dropped in early January of 2006, due to lack of sufficient evidence.) And, like T.I., Gucci’s career seemed on the rise after a number of setbacks. 2009’s The State vs. Radric Davis was supposed to be the biggest bullet in Gucci’s chamber - where the charts would mirror the streets. But Gucci wasn’t even around to promote the album. On November 12, 2009, the Brick Squad leader was was sentenced to 12 months in jail. The State vs. Radric Davis did move 89,000 first-week copies. But if Gucci wasn’t in jail during the albums release, there's a greater likelihood that this album - still under the 400,000 mark, would have struck gold in the form of a plaque.
 
With Rap stars like T.I. and Gucci Mane in jail, it would seem that the industry (and the south in particular) would have gotten a little more time to reel from the blows of the two men being imprisoned. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be the case on Thursday, June 17th, when Baton Rouge, Louisiana rapper Lil Boosie was indicted on a first-degree murder charge by a grand jury from an incident that occurred in October, 2009. When Boosie was indicted, he was already in jail for probation violation. Lil Boosie’s case is the most serious of recent rapper troubles. A district attorney involved with the case said the death penalty is a possibility if Boosie is found guilty of the charges.

The list of incarcerated Hip Hop stars doesn’t end with these three men. Lil Wayne, who is a contender for Rap's biggest star of today, was sentenced to a bid on March 9th of this year for a 2007 arrest in New York for gun and drug possession. Despite the fact that his bid ultimately could be truncated, the fact that he went to jail at all, at this point in his career isn’t good, career-wise (He did recently dodge a conviction in Arizona).
 
The biggest question to be asked is...how could these guys even be in these situations?
 
Due to public access to Soundscan sales figures, Billboard chart positions, and well, the Internet, even the most casual Rap fan can glance at sales data and see the money that rappers make. Millions of dollars get compromised when big money earners go behind bars. According to Forbes' “Hip-Hop’s Cash Kings” 2009 list, Lil Wayne earned $18 million in 2009 before he went to jail, meanwhile, T.I. earned $8 million. It’s a fact, in the 21st century, rappers can make U2 money if they play their cards right. Peep this Forbes list (not the “Hip-Hop Cash Kings”, but the “Celebrity 100”) of 2010 Hip Hop guap: Jay-Z made $63 million, Akon: $21 million, Diddy: $ 30 million. If anybody from the legions of people who form the American working class had the opportunity to make astronomical amounts of money, you could almost bet that they would do so and be mindful of the law.
 
Unfortunately, Hip Hop history has many tales of rappers with promising careers cut short due to time in prison. 1980s Philadelphia hopefuls Steady B (Warren McGlone) and Cool C (Christopher Roney) started out with promising careers, robbed a PNC Bank building on January 6, 1996, and killed a police officer, Lauretha Vaird. In the aftermath of the prosecution, Cool C was to have been executed, but got a stay. Steady B got a life sentence in prison. Most Hip Hop heads know about Shyne’s ordeal; he served nine years in prison for a shooting in a nightclub in 1999, with Diddy and Jennifer Lopez in tow. At the time of the shooting, Shyne was Bad Boy Record’s rookie of the year and New York‘s answer to late '90s rising stars like Juvenile and Nelly. Shyne Po's buzz was huge, as was his press coverage. His jailing derailed his upward climb, and may have compromised his artistry, as fans react to a different thinking and sounding artist over a decade later.
 
The first notable Hip Hop incarceration story (that dealt with a true star) has to be the story of Slick Rick. Rick was a rapper who’s legendary role with Doug E. Fresh on songs like “La Di Da Di” made him one of the most anticipated emcees in history. When his debut album The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick was released in 1988, it lived up to all of the hype, and was certified platinum for a developing Def Jam imprint. Rick was one of the biggest stars and one of the most talented rappers of the late 1980s (and early 1990s). There really seemed to be no ceiling to his career - until one fateful evening in 1990, when Rick shot at a cousin of his who allegedly harassed Rick’s mother. Rick then led police on a high speed chase, and later crashed, injuring himself and his then girlfriend. After the mess, Rick was indicted on two counts of attempted murder and pleaded guilty to numerous other charges. He spent a total of five years in prison. Arguably, the cruelest blow dealt to Rick was to his career, which never recovered. The mind boggles at what kind and how big of a commercial star that Rick could have been, although he remains a Rap icon.
 
It’s understandable how rappers can end up in legal trouble. They are targets, as are most entertainers. And in a country racked by recession, it’s prime time for stick up kids to strike, especially emcees who’s image is gully, hard, or gangsta (or flashy). These guys in some way, shape, or form can potentially be tested at any turn. Years ago, Ice Cube lamented the fact that he had to leave his beloved South Central, Los Angeles neighborhood, because of kidnapping threats his family were received whenever Ice Cube was on tour. In 1990, on his lesser-talked about album, A Taste Of Chocolate, Big Daddy Kane mentioned that old friends he grew up with wanted to “Rob the motherfucka." In Cincinnati, Ohio, (where this writer currently resides), T.I.’s best friend Philant Johnson was shot and killed in 2006 after an appearance at Club Ritz. When T.I. was accused of illegally purchasing firearms a few years later, he mentioned the Cincinnati incident as a big reason why he wanted the weapons. In another city in Ohio, (Dayton) there were rumors for years of a famous Hip Hop collective that allegedly were robbed of all of their jewelry in front of a shopping mall. And who knows how many times in how many cities rappers, deejays, and producers may have been robbed or assaulted, or both? Even the most conservative hip-hop head can’t knock someone for wanting to protect himself and his family.

Despite the troubles some in the Rap world have had with being jailed, there is good that has come out (and can come out) of a few situations. T.I. seems to have turned a corner as far his attitude and outlook since his release from prison. His album Paper Trail was an open letter of apology to the public for his legal troubles. T.I. even hosted his own reality television show on MTV where he counseled at risk youth. He seems like a man changed, if you watch and listen to his audio and visual interviews. Gucci Mane not only resumed his mixtape grind, but actually publicly buried his beef with Young Jeezy, a dispute that appeared far deeper than Rap since he got out. And Lil Wayne seems ready to pounce once he gets out of jail. He’s got an empire to look forward to (and Thank Me Later money to count), and the business of prepping Tha Carter IV.
 
Real Rap music fans (and media) try their best not to judge their Rap heroes when they go to jail. Despite the overwhelming diversity of the Hip Hop community, a good number of our stars still come from impoverished areas. Or, they are people of color. And anybody who either is poor, or ethnic, or both, knows the perils of everyday life. In this country, you can get caught out there. And for famous, well known Rap stars, not only does the law potentially have a bulls-eye on their back, but so do the jealous civilians out there who would love nothing more than to their jewels and status…and/or their lives. It is understood that modern rappers face the dilemma of: carry a gun and protect yourself, and possibly get into a firefight with a hater, or don’t carry a gun, and taken out by that same hater. And, as anyone who followed the T.I. Ohio incident, knows, not even the V.I.P. section of the club is safe for stars anymore.
 
What does irritate real Rap fans is that some rappers should know better. Frankly, Hip Hop as a culture has fought too hard and too long for 21st century Rap stars to have unprecedented revenue streams, only to see them halted them because of…a gun and a bag of weed found in a front seat. Or anything that common sense could have prevented. Hip Hop’s charm stems from the underdog fighting for and gaining respect, success and status…not losing it all because of a massive loss of focus. Rap fans ride with their favorite rappers through thick and thin. But, we hate to fall with our idols. Being blessed with success and losing it all to prison time isn’t smart, gangsta, or funny. It’s bad business, counterproductive, disrespectful to those that came before them…and wack.

The views and opinions expressed in the following feature editorial are those expressly of the writer of this piece and do not necessarily reflect those of HipHopDX.

59 Comments

  • The Ghost Bks1

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  • DLP1212

    Wayne is in jail where he freakin' belongs...T.I. should be in the cell next to him, shenaniganz!!! he did something foul to reduce his jail time...

  • DLP1212

    Wayne is in jail where he freakin' belongs....T.I. should be in the cell next to him, shenaniganz!!!

  • PREMO459

    Why did yall LEAVE OUT.... MAX B. He is also a dummy like Lil Boosie... and Boosie might get less time than Max B! wild shit mang...

  • DSTEPHENS

    check out D.STEPHENS debut video for "Another Life" starring ROSA ACOSTA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV-cNIDNXX4 His mixtape Glory Rd Pt 2 can be downloaded for free at www.wapproved.com

  • freshyboi

    free max b! free prodigy!

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  • WAPPROVED

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  • dalai lame

    This article has good intentions but it disappoints since it didn't take the concept further. Li'l Wayne as the biggest star in rap today is a fact but hhdx should have emphasized that that very development is also disrespectful to the emcees who paved the way, not to mention wack. A lot of people tend to pass the arrival of Li'l Wayne as 'evolution' of rap and how you're supposed to accept it whether you like it or not. That argument only works if you understand what evolution is. Evolution is an advancement and improvement over the previous prototype. In today's world where saying the truth makes you a 'hater', voicing opinions like these can be taken as an invitation to called as such. But if hhdx is concerned about how everything that hip hop has gone through over the past few decades is in danger of being 'halted', they should start with calling out popstars who masquerade as rappers. Not calling Li'lWayne and Gucci Mane for their suckery is disrespecting hip hop as well hhdx. Rapper were getting arrested when the culture was going forward and hhdx conveniently forgets how many times arrests helps drive album sales. I am in agreement with hhdx's apppraisal of the situation, but this behaviour had been there when the hip hop culture was starting and it continued unabated when it was flourishing. I do not condone the rappers' careless ways, but hip hop's biggest worry today is not rappers getting in trouble with the law. But rather the danger is there being of no hip hop to begin with. I don't care what others say, but I will never regard the wack rappers that are topping charts today as 'rappers' in the real sense of the word. If hip hop wants to survive, it HAS to weed out the pretenders or there will be no rappers in the near future to go to jail to begin with. My $0.02

    • Chris Columbus

      Why exactly does Lil Wayne suck? Is it because he doesn't sound like Talib Kweli or Slum Village?? News flash - whether you like it or not, music (and other forms of art) evolves as time passes. YOU may not think that Lil Wayne is a great artist but guess what? According to his sales numbers and the platinum plaque that he got for Carter III, there's a multitude of other people that disagree with you. I'm not a Weezy fanboy by any means, but I like his music... and I also like a bunch of other rappers from all over the genre. Everything that you placed in your post was not THE truth - it was YOUR truth. Greg Simms did a good job in highlighting the legal troubles that some of the top artists are getting themselves into. What would've made the article disappointing is if he would've expanded it to encompass the artificial "truth" that you refer to in your comment.

  • dalai lame

    This article has good intentions but it disappoints since it didn't take the concept further. Li'l Wayne as the biggest star in rap today is a fact but hhdx should have emphasized that that very development is also disrespectful to the emcees who paved the way, not to mention wack. A lot of people tend to pass the arrival of Li'l Wayne as 'evolution' of rap and how you're supposed to accept it whether you like it or not. That argument only works if you understand what evolution is. Evolution is an advancement and improvement over the previous prototype. In today's world where saying the truth makes you a 'hater', voicing opinions like these can be taken as an invitation to called as such. But if hhdx is concerned about how everything that hip hop has gone through over the past few decades is in danger of being 'halted', they should start with calling out popstars who masquerade as rappers. Not calling Li'lWayne and Gucci Mane for their suckery is disrespecting hip hop as well hhdx. Rapper were getting arrested when the culture was going forward and hhdx conveniently forgets how many times arrests helps drive album sales. I am in agreement with hhdx's apppraisal of the situation, but this behaviour had been there when the hip hop culture was starting and it continued unabated when it was flourishing. I do not condone the rappers' careless ways, but hip hop's biggest worry today is not rappers getting in trouble with the law. But rather the danger is there being of no hip hop to begin with. I don't care what others say, but I will never regard the wack rappers that are topping charts today as 'rappers' in the real sense of the word. If hip hop wants to survive, it HAS to weed out the pretenders or there will be no rappers in the near future to go to jail to begin with. My $0.02

  • Twinblades

    Hum the new layout is kinda weird...... Not sure what to think fuck I'm still tryng to figure out how to log in lol.

  • RocJay

    Thank God the commenters have some brains, because Greg, this is a major fail. Rappers are screwing themselves.Obviously, they are the most high profile, but T.I and Weezy also happen to be the most guilty and in a very serious manner, rappers out there right now. We talk about culture, but its all ignorance. Even if cats ain't out there doing what they claiming what they are doing, they are rapping about it, putting nonsense out there. So when popo starts arresting innocent rappers, then repost this article. For now, screw this. Its not always a case of the white man trying to get brothers when our people get arrested. I wish I remembered who, but years ago, I watched a comedian talking about, how he went to go visit in jail and while he's down for his people and all, there are those who definitely deserve to be in jail. He wasn't kidding. You mentioned Gucci Mane. How many times has that dumb mofo gotten himself arrested? I can understand he's got that monkey on his back., but damn, go to rehab.

    • sharksbreath

      These rappers need to take a lesson from Lupe. His business partner was one of the biggest heroin dealers in Chicago. If his raps contained nothing but drugs, murder and destroying our own communities. he would be doing 25 right now. Like his former dope partner.

  • ARC

    As Jay said "If I shoot you I'm brainless, but if you shoot me then your famous....whats a nigga to do?!"

  • dj_noname

    this article is garbage. typical DX as of late with trying to paint criminal acts committed by rappers as acts of heroism. TI's situation, he was lucky to have only gotten a year and 1 day for what he was caught with. a person carged with marijuana possession can get the same punishment as what he got. OK you can use the arguement about his bestfriend being killed right infront of him and causing that insecurity. OK Fine, so get a hand gun to carry on your person, fucl it slut it up get a big ass hand gun to carry on you. not that its legal either but definetlly more within reason of the arguement thjan the aresenal of a small country that he was caught with. Not once did he ever go into any depth as to what Gucci Mane is currently charged with or anything about his current situation so all anything else he had to say about him is for not. The samething with Boosie other than his current charges but no details about the situation or the circumstance he's currently in. there was only one posetive thing to come out of any of these jail sentances and that was the stuff that TI did. not saying "Gucci is back on his mixtape grind" or talking about Wayne working on his next album. that shit would've happened anyways. and this whole arghuement about their earnings being put out their makes them targets. what about all the other celebrities and artists who make just as much and more than alot of rappers who dont get into the trouble that these rappers do? of course you're just going to fall back on the "Oh its a porduct of their upbringing" arguement, which is complete garbage. the goal is to get up out of the hood not get rich and remain in the hood. they're not the victims you pain them out to be. how about calling them on it and expecting them to be accountable for their actions?

  • Cultures Clothing

    I'm glad rappers are endangered...rappers are f'ing stupid LOL. We need more MC's. We need more Talib Kwelis & Immortal Techniques. More Pharoahe Monchs and MF DOOMs. More Lupe Fiascos, Blus and Macklemores. More Canibus and Black Thought type of MCs. The "Rapper" can die out for all I care. It's not like they talk about shit anyway...their lyrics hold no weight. It's all a bunch of gangsta bravado and bragging coming from the rappers instead of lyrics that actually mean something. We need more songs like "The Day" by The Roots ft. Blu & Phonte, and less ignorant Nursery rhyme-ass Gucci Mane songs. Fuck rappers...Viva La MC!

    • 850a.d

      MC's were 15 years ago. Gucci gone make mo money with his Nursury rhymes than all yo MC's

    • Anthony Jensen

      I'm Good with out any of those weak ass RAPPERS you mentioned. Had you said, Royce da 5' 9', DMX and other MC's in that same league, I'd agree. But fucking Canibus? Lupe Fiascos, Blus and Macklemores, gtfoh with that weak shit. I'd rather listen to souja, and trust me, I'd rather drink bleach than listen to him!

    • dj_noname

      good point with the mc/rapper difference

  • Notorious H.A.T.E.R.

    I agree one hundred percent with the article, I think something that needs to be examined more closely is the socio-economic status of these rappers when they enter the music industry. A vast majority of these artists are from the lower income brackets that are inundated with crime, lack of education and scant resources. These are children of the ghetto, they are adherents to values that are in stark contrasts to the values held by mainstream society. They are members of a sub-culture that praises violence, misogyny, ignorance and run ins with the law, I am in no way surprised that so many of these artists ended up behind bars. Hopefully, with the coming of J. Cole and other artists with education we can finally leave this decrepit, self defeating, harmful part of black society to rot.

  • BILL K.K. WALKER

    THEY ARE WANNA BE GANGSTER ,THEY DO STUIPED SHIT LIKE ROCK STAR AND GET ARREST .THEY DO DON'T EXPOSE THE TRUTH , SO WHY WOULD THEY BE ARRESTED FOR POLITICAL REASONS ?

  • Lima

    This piece was common sense, fluffy, and somewhat unnecessary until the last two paragraphs when some actual analysis was done. Thanks for pointing out that all these rappers have gone to jail. But please, let's not kid ourselves by sympathizing with them. I can't feel bad for a rich person who makes bad decisions and gets jailed for three months. It's like me feeling bad for Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

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  • Dade Countess

    I think that this article kind of states the obvious, but you can't always pull the race card. Sure, racism exists, and it may play a part in the downfall of many rappers, but there's more to it than that. I agree with what someone said before, which is that a lot of rappers just make stupid mistakes because of their arrogance, knowing full well that they are targets. 1. Lil Wayne. This nigga was caught with an insane amount of marijuana and a gun on his tour bus. We all know rappers like to smoke weed and tote guns, and we all know these things are illegal. Period. That was stupid. Yes, he was a target. Yes, he was an idiot. 2. Lil Boosie. I was so upset when I found out this dude went to jail on a probation violation when all you gotta do when you're on probation is sit your ass down somewhere. Who cares if you're Lil Boosie. You can do what you need to do after its over. As far as the murder charge, it could have been a situation where somebody racist saw an opportunity to lock him up forever, and possibly give him the death penalty. Or, he may have hired somebody to kill rival rapper Nussie. Who knows? If he's being framed, that sucks, but he should have obeyed the law in the first place. 3. Gucci Mane. As far as the murder charge goes, he totally did the right thing and that was proven through the law. Somebody came to rob him, and he killed them. Self defense. All his other legal troubles are his own fault. I guess I said all this to say that the "product of my environment" shit only works to a certain extent. Most of Hip Hop's biggest starts come from poverty and/or criminal backgrounds, but they don't encounter legal troubles. And if they do, they nip it in the bud. (i.e. Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Diddy, Dr. Dre.) At some point you have to leave it all behind you and mature.

  • haha good jail time

    it just means this people are all uncivilized human beings. affermative action!

  • rizzo

    lol if you cant do the time dont do the crime simple as that.

  • rizzo

    lol if you cant do the time dont do the crime simple as that.

  • Rusty Scars

    to the slow idiot who wrote this..Greg Simms....this has got to be one of the most pathetic attempts to rationalize something...the reason why rappers get caught up is because they are arrogant and ignorant and believe laws of civil society do not apply to them...not because they are some endangered target...Greg..your a fucking moron in plain and bold...what a stupid fucking pointless article...good thing DX put that editorial disclaimer at the end...man.....what a bunch of shit....

    • A real gangsta

      There are a few rules in the streets that EVERYONE should follow. First if your gonna talk tough you better be it. Second if your gonna talk about and show off what you got you better be ready to protect it or give it up. Its simple if these dudes that make MILLIONS where such big time crime kings they would be in the streets not on a record. They are all fake and thats a fact they are artist not gangstas or gangsters. They are weak they have a lil money and they try to show it off all the time. Act tough and we WILL rough you up flat out stop talkin about stupid ima "G" shit all the time and make music NONE OF THEM ARE TOUGH fuck em.....

    • Greg Simms Jr.

      Rusty...Sigh. "the reason why rappers get caught up is because they are arrogant and ignorant" Your words. Not mine. Yours. T.I. went to do a show in a mid-major touring market, and at the end of the night, he ended up LOSING his BEST FRIEND in a firefight. T.I. had to go to his best friend's family, and EXPLAIN what happened to them. Think about it. His BEST FRIEND was KILLED. On a tour. In a smaller town where no one was expecting any real trouble. Now, the aftermath, as far as T.I. buying illegal automatic weapons, wasnt the smart move. It was the HUMAN move at the time. I don't like the idea of ANY non-Marine holding an automatic weapon. I HATE violence in all forms. BUT, I am also a man to my DNA, and I can understand the actions of a confused, angry man. Add into the mix, a man with a family, and a career, and you can see why T.I. bought the firearms. And, I LIVE in Cincinnati, where it happened. I saw the local news EVERY DAY when they reported on the tragedy. It ws horrible. The fact that T.I. continued making music soon afterwards was impressive to me. As far as the video shoot mention, either look on hiphopdx's video archive, or any other Hip-hop site for the Wakka/Gucci video shoot incident. That wasnt things getting "hectic". It was a crew of local gang members who came to START TROUBLE. They were trying to surround Gucci and Wakka with the intent of harming them. And these two rappers were SHOOTING a MUSIC video. That's it. Two guys standing around, shooting scenes in a music video, and they get locced up on by locals who just want to HURT THEM. (By the way, Gucci and Flame stood down like the bigger men) My point to you is that it's too simple to just say that something is "arrogant" and "ignorant". You have to (as I did, peep the article again) look at things from all sides. "the reason why rappers get caught up is because they are arrogant and ignorant" YOUR words. Not mine.

    • Rusty Scars

      Greg...I never said anything about having a gun to protect yourself. This in it's own sense, is not arrogant nor ignorant. I can understand the motive of wanting or even needing the firearm for protection of ones self. Again, this is nothing to do with arrogance or ignorance. The ignorant part is trying to purchase illegal automatic weapons. Right? Against the law. Right? So it would be considered ignorant for one to make such a move knowing these potential consequences. Therefore, placing you "ignorant" because you know of the consequences but yet your "arrogance" allows you to go ahead with it. So your bit on T.I. is without merit and substance. He was ignorant and arrogant. Not hating, just stating. As for locals mobbing a video shoot. This is understandable. These gentlemen are iconic figures in their respected neigborhoods. Of course there are gonna be mobs of people wanting pics and all that, and sure things can get a bit hectic, I would say this is due to the artists swagger and has nothing to do with "arrogance". Again, another slow attempt to rationalize a pointless article. And finally, if some bum attacks say T.I in the club how is T.I. "ignorant"? I never implied to that anywhere. It would be the other individual that would fall unto this labeling. Not the attacked rapper. You make no sense whatsoever. No one is ignorant for defending one's self. Anything else??

    • Greg Simms Jr.

      Rusty, Rusty.... "the reason why rappers get caught up is because they are arrogant and ignorant" Hmmm. So, if you were T.I., and your best friend was shot in front of you, you wouldn't think to buy a firearm of some sort to protect yourself in the future? T.I. has children, a new wife, and a career. And, he..saw..his..best..friend..KILLED in front of him. So is he arrogant for wanting to protect himself? "the reason why rappers get caught up is because they are arrogant and ignorant" I addressed the lack of focus by some rappers in the closing paragraphs. I agree, there are rappers who lose perspective. And I mentoned that in the story. Hip-hop nation (us) doesn't suffer fools. There's nothing cool about killing your own hustle. "the reason why rappers get caught up is because they are arrogant and ignorant " Hmmmm. Well, when a rapper is fliming a music video, and he gets run up on by the locals (see. Wakka and Gucci), did the rappers "arrogance" cause that? Or, if a rapper is enjoying a night in VIP, and then a local lowlife decides to crash the party (T.I.), and drama ensues, was the rapper "ignorant"? Some rappers do bring drama on themselves. But, there are others who indeed get caught up in situatons out of their control.

  • foranyentertainment

    "Or, they are people of color. And anybody who either is poor, or ethnic, or both, knows the perils of everyday life" Wow, this is one of the dumbest things Ive ever read. Don't blame your paycheck or skin color for being a bad person. There's the hard way (nice) to live life, and there's the easy way (being a bad person). These sorry excuses for men did things the easy way...Be a man...Just wait til I blow up, I'm gonna change the way people think in this retarded industry. Its hip pop now, and its run by a bunch of blood thirsty pieces of shit...Since when has it become cool to take someone's family member away forever?

  • Rocky black boa

    I dont think rappers are endagered but great point about thirsty cats out to rob/attack rappers. Nothin wrong with protecting what youve earned but, you know ur Y.B.R.F (young, black, rich n famous) so the police will always be on ur ass if ur sloppy with urs. I know rappers have this 'gangsta' image they feel they need to live upto but would it hurt to get an arms licence and strap urself Legally? Or hire legal security that carries? And the drug shit, for pete's sack get one of the bums in ur emtourage to carry the weed! Possesion is the dumbest charge.

  • DJ C

    Once again, southern rappers show they cannot hold the mantle for hip-hop. With the exception of Big Boi and Andre 3000, the south is a mess.

  • bhikku

    Foolery. No disrespect to the author, but this is just foolery. Rappers are not endangered.The wildlife in the Gulf is endangered. Any motherfucker who does a year and a day for the bullshit T.I. did is both immensely privileged and immensely stupid. People who betray their peers by perpetrating the myth of black ignorance and hedonism SHOULD be endangered though. They should be shot on sight. Dipset should be shot on sight. Talib Kweli, The Roots should be triple-platinum. They ARE endangered because we don't support them. We support drug-addled homosexuals like Lil Wayne, correction officer turned cokelord liars like Rick Ross, crackheads like DMX, and straight up bitches like Kanye West. Write a motherfucking article like this when the "Hip-Hop cops" arrest Mos Def, Immortal Technique, Q-Tip, Opio, Lupe and Phonte in a six-month span. Otherwise, this is some truly moronic shit. Retitle it "MILLIONNAIRES TEMPORARILY INCONVIENCED DUE TO BAD BEHAVIOR". Or "SELF-CONTROL: ONE OF THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE RAPPERS". Or "FELONS RETURN HOME".

    • bhikku

      Breaking News: KRS-One arrested for walking around Central Park with two loaded handguns, a sawed-off shotgun, a plastic bag full of weed, and a gravity knife. Rappers are endangered. Fuck outta here!

    • AHAB

      Can't deny most of this as truth Bhikku. Clearly "endangered" is the wrong word. And when all examples provided in the article involve people who genuinely put themselves in bad situations, the blame can't be pushed off onto anyone but the rappers who at least partially got what was coming to them. Simms does bring it around in the last paragraph to say that it's wack though, so the entire article isn't quite "foolery" either.

    • pseudonym

      Huge ass cosign.

  • ceepee

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ORhFfhLPqs

  • HipHopGodd

    Rappers aren't endangered. Rappers are idiots. They get such opportunities to get out of the hood and off the streets and become legitimate millionaires but they'd rather go to prison for chasing the lives they're trying to leave in the first place. Then again, this is rap music (not hip-hop), the only form of music where the more ignorant you nonsensical you are the more successful you'll become. It's one thing when the fans are brainless idiots. But when the artists become that way then what's left?

  • chronwell

    Great writing, G. Simms! Rappers are in the marketplace, Niggaz gotta be professional. I feel the removal of the ghetto business mindstate will open up new avenues to the money, they love so much.

  • Jermaine

    @EM Fan #1: you hit another point too. How the hell are these actors, businessmen, and celebrities getting in trouble and losing their assets because of not paying taxes? That's just plain stupid! They got all kind of loopholes, and they just choose to ignore them. Dumb! lol

  • Jermaine

    You hit it right on with this article! With the music industry the way it is, can artists really afford to be stuck in prison? The answer is: NO. It's not worth losing thousands and millions of dollars over some petty incident that's avoidable. And most of them are stupid anyway!

  • Em fan #1

    That's the rappers fault. These rich people who are in the piblics eyes choose to do the dumbest things. Instead of using what they got, pay off their bills and shit, they choose to buy guns, not pay their taxes and end up in this mess. Lil Wayne is the second most popular rapper EVER there is no reason in 2010 his ass should be in jail when everything he does is considered a classic by moron fans. But that's lost black people for you. Thinking money is the solution when the mentality WITH the music is what's gonna make better lives for them

    • G'

      Everything was cool till the whole "lost black people" deal. Em was in and out of trouble with the law too. He just came off a drug addiction which should've had him in jail. Regardless, folks need to be wiser PERIOD regardless of if they are rich or not. And the above comment is just garbage. Step your diss game up, kid. Since Vanilla Ice? Somebody please don't allow such crap on this site

    • because I can

      Em fan shut your dumb ass up. I can tell your an idiot because you think eminem 's gay ass is good. Eminem is the most commercail and corny rapper since vanilla ice. you must be some lost white guy doesn't matter either way your an idiot and a piece of garbage. shut the fuck up and go back to sukcing dick

  • damnbruh

    i fucks hard with hhdx becuz yall niggaz always drop these sick ass articles.. and ohj yeah, everyone commetin after can suck on sumn big ya heard