Rappers tend to live in a much more high stakes world, where DUI, drug, gun, and murder charges are not uncommon. Is the fame and fortune worth the risk?
When country music star Sam Hunt was charged with a DUI in November 2019, it seemed like a big deal. Dozens of news outlets picked up the story and it spread around the internet like wild fire. Sure country music stars are known for drinking and hollering and singing about their exes. But criminal charges? Not so much. It’s not like they’re rap artists, right? Rappers tend to live in a much more high stakes world, where they could easily see those DUI charges and raise some drug and murder charges as well.
Lifetime of Crime
Suge Knight, whose long history with the rap industry makes him a legend even if he isn’t a rapper himself, has been in and out of jail since the 1980s. He’s pretty much done whatever he wanted, when he wanted, and taken the time in lock up to prove it. He earned one of his longest sentences (28 years) after a 2015 hit-and-run incident that he claims was self defense.
Rap artist Gucci Mane has also been known for his criminal charges throughout the years. He was even charged with murder at one point, though it ended up ruled self-defense so he didn’t have to serve prison time. However, in 2013 he was arrested on drugs and gun charges after a friend called police concerned about his erratic behavior. He faced nearly 20 years in prison that time.
Before They Were Famous
Both Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z got themselves into serious trouble before they became the rappers we all know and love today. In 1993 Snoop faced second degree murder charges after his bodyguard shot someone — and Snoop drove the getaway vehicle. He was eventually acquitted only to have new charges filed against him. Luckily those came to nothing when a mistrial was declared.
In 1999 Jay-Z was facing up to 15 years in prison for stabbing a record executive at a party. He was under house arrest and things looked grim. But he took a plea deal and ended up with three years probation instead of over a decade of prison time.
Rapper Tay-K began his time with crime early. In 2016 he, along with six others, was charged with murder. He was a teenager at the time and put on house arrest. Deciding that didn’t work for him, he escaped and was on the run for three months. When the police finally picked him up again he was charged with another murder and an assault. He was 17 by then and charged as an adult.
Rondonumbanine also decided his teen years were a good time to break the law. He was 17 when he was charged with the murder of a taxi driver. It was decided he was old enough to serve time as an adult, and he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 39 years.
The Long and the Short of It
Some rap artists get really lucky when it comes time to meet the judge. Lil Boosie faced life in prison back in 2010 after his arrest on first degree murder and drug charges. Instead, he ended up serving just eight years. Bobby Shmurda, along with 14 others, faced up to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder and reckless endangerment. But he took a plea deal and only had to face seven years.
Other rappers don’t seem to have the same kind of luck. Tekashi6ix9ine is currently facing 32 years to life in prison. He was arrested in November 2018 after a federal sting for racketeering that had been years in the making. If he’s found guilty, he could have one of the longest sentences of any rapper so far. He wouldn’t beat Max B though.
Back in the 2000s Max B was arrested for conspiracy to commit murder and armed robbery, though he wasn’t physically involved in the killing. Instead, he sent his ex-girlfriend and stepbrother to rob a man at a hotel. The robbery went wrong and one person ended up dead. And Max B ended up with a 75 year prison sentence.