How Many Rappers Can Jail Hold?

12.20.10 7 years ago 25 Comments

“It ain’t them that’s knockin’ us off, it’s us that’s knockin’ us off.”

Originally, “White Manz World” was going to be a simple Shuffle post to shine light on one of Pac’s most rousing but unheralded songs. Then G-Dep chose this weekend to make a casual confession to committing a violent act which ended up being a seventeen year old murder case gone cold. Then too, Charles Hamilton allegedly socked a cop. Lastly, DMX spent his 40th birthday in jail on December 18th. Placing all of the jail-related news that transpired in 48 hour window alongside last week’s situation with Gucci, Waka & Miss Deb plus Ja Rule’s guilty verdict and Hip-Hop amassed an unusual amount of time on the police blotter.

G-Dep’s case seems the most perplexing. Aside from jail reports, the former Bad Boy artist is rarely ever seen or heard from unless he is getting arrested (reports say approximately 25 since ’03) so to hear about him wearing police-issued bracelets isn’t odd. It’s the manner of how it all transpired. On Saturday, he popped up on the radar when he went looking for the cops instead of the reverse.

In a post-confession jailhouse interview with the NY Post, G-Dep explained that he wasn’t aware that his victim died but I’m calling bollocks on that one. Having done my share of ignorance, I’m not walking up to the precinct with donuts and coffee in hand and then plopping myself down at a detective’s desk just to share incriminating war stories about when I pulled the trigger on aggins. G-Dep most likely knew his victim was critically wounded, thus his whole dumbfounded approach seems unbelievable, especially him saying “‘When they told me, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not going home after this.”” No shit buddy.

I contend that he had to be aware and thus his desire to “get right with God,” the epiphany we all experience sometimes but addicts seem to envision more frequently, as if getting high means getting closer to heaven.

“‘I started to wonder if all the bad things that happened to me in my life were karma for what I did… you start to think ‘My happiness is because of someone else’s sadness. I thought that if I turned myself in, it might give me closure.’”

Minor details aside, maybe Dep truly did want to seek forgiveness but I still contend he went about it the wrong way. Salvation from God most likely won’t happen by taking a detour through the U.S. judicial system. The more favorable path to redemption would be to triple your good deeds and not make the same mistakes again. Nevertheless, this guy’s crackhead behavior leads me to believe he probably had more to gain in the form of three hots and a cot instead of fending for himself in the world.

We can hope that G-Dep does sober up and smartens up during his probable bid. The same can be said for DMX too but we all know that won’t happen. Jail’s been a revolving door and the one constant in his life, aside from his continuing battle with addiction. The only other things we could count on with X was that his ride or die b*tch Tasheera would be around but even she ditched his ass. Musically, X has been gone but, as a man who once had the rap world barking and praying in unison, watching him go in and out of jail is senseless, especially given his age.

Charles Hamilton? Someone please find this guy some help. Seriously. In the music biz, I’m sure there are plenty of perilous stories of an incredibly talented young artist who makes moves that sink their careers instead of helping the stroke. However, Charles is managing to one-up them all on some real Todd Bridges sh*t. Sonic The Asshole has run through management teams like toilet paper and made even worse moves along the way to the point where his chances of a career are completely in the shitter. Honestly, I don’t think the kid’s a bad seed and still know he’s talented than more than half the rappers runnin’ YouTube right now. But ask anyone who has ever tried to work with C. Hammy and they’ll tell you he’s got a mental tick, a deficiency which won’t allow him to be great.

Remember when Slick Rick was the only rap cat in jail? Times have obviously changed and, in part, we hear more rap-related arrests because of the proliferation of rappers. If we stopped accepting new entries for a few years on some NBA age requirement shit, that might slow things down a bit for the heavily saturated situation, but I digress. Years ago, situations like these would be easy to blame on the man, but not so much anymore. In the ’80s and ’90s, Black males were inundated with statistics stating more Black males were in jail than college. Thankfully, those numbers have been overturned, but the myth hasn’t been completely debunked. The idea still exists, ingrained in our minds and largely perpetuated by our actions.

A few weeks ago, I had a convo with an artist trying to get on in rap. While he’s had his successes, ascending to the top is taking longer than he planned and he’s got a family to feed. While he waits, he dabbles in dope to support himself and his family. Nothing wrong with that, right? Sounds like the scheme to stay paid so many have taken. The only difference is that this brother has a degree in a financial field and could likely snatch a gig if he wanted because he has both the knowledge as well as the charisma necessary.

Frustrated beyond belief, I scolded him for even telling me about how “hard it is on these streets” and “tough it is to make it in rap” so he had to hustle. No, I responded, he’s choosing to hustle instead of taking the his well-earned sheepskin and the tools at his disposal to eat well while he works and waits on his rap plans to come together. Instead, he’s putting his career and his daughter’s future on the line, walking a treacherous path for no particular reason other than maybe it’ll add to his rap resume and the hours are better than working as a slave.

Speaking prophetically from the grave, Pac seems to have nailed it once again in song.


“It ain’t them that’s knockin’ us off, it’s us that’s knockin’ us off.”

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