While “street cred” is of great importance when it comes to the success of a rapper’s career, it’s a little difficult to be a lucrative artist when you’re behind bars. Going to jail is hardly a career booster, even though spending some time “away” can make a rapper appear edgier in the music industry. A rapper’s time in jail can even create more media buzz in some cases, which can lead to more popularity when it’s time to put another album out. There are several reasons why rappers could be arrested, and in many cases, their art imitates life, or vice versa. Some rappers have gone to jail for minor offenses, while others have been involved in serious crimes that have dire consequences. Either way, getting arrested and going to jail is a serious gamble that may not work out so well in the long run.
Another reason why going to jail shouldn’t be a substantial part of a rapper’s pathway to success is that it can be difficult to continue with a music career once a rapper has been out of the public eye for some time. Here are 10 rappers who were incarcerated during the height of their careers.
9 Max B
7 Slick Rick
5 Remy Ma
4 Gucci Mane
2 Lil Wayne
Tupac Shakur, or 2Pac as he is affectionately known as, was and is a very influential figure in the rap industry. He was sometimes known for his thought-provoking and community-minded lyrics, but recorded his share of thug rhapsodies as well. In 1993, he and his associates were accused of sexually assaulting a woman. Due to this, he was sentenced to 1.5 to 4.5 years in prison. Surprisingly, this sentence didn’t cause too much damage to Shakur’s career. His album, Me Against the World, was released while he was incarcerated. He also got a spot on Death Row Records, because the record label’s CEO, Suge Knight, paid for Tupac to be released from jail.
Sources: allhiphop.com, mtv.com, sabotagetimes.com, rollingstone.com
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