By Hillary Crosley
After T.I.’s recent arrest in Los Angeles for substances which authorities are still analyzing, one couldn’t help but count the times the MC’s been in hot water. Mr. Harris isn’t the only rapper with a nose for trouble, but this year marks the third time Tip has stumbled.
In 2004, as “Rubberband Man” climbed Billboard’s Rap chart, T.I. violated his probation for an earlier drug arrest for which he served one month in jail before heading to a work release program. Then in 2007 he was arrested, and later sentenced, for weapons charges just before the BET Awards. Now, as he preps King Uncaged Tip is back in the hot seat proving some guys just have the right knack for the wrong things.
But since hip-hop is a family affair, here are nine more MCs that enjoyed hip-hop’s hype before disaster struck.
This Dip Set fringe member, who was formerly more Jimmy cohort than Cam’ron comrade, was enjoying his new found popularity for singing the hook on Jim’s “We Fly High.” Then moments after people figured out how to use the word “wavy” in a sentence, he and an associate robbed two men in a hotel room, shooting one of them, and Max earned a 75 year bid.
Beanie Sigel made it clear early on that Philadelphia folks aren’t for play. But Cassidy’s baby face with strong enough chops to spar fellow Penn. state native Freeway in a video-taped battle, caught many by surprise. Swizz Beatz even blessed him with one of the first popular Jay-Z samples for Cass’s hit “I’m A Hustla” after Hov’s faux retirement. Then the MC was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 22-year-old Desmond Hawkins, as well as two counts of aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of crime.
If the Atlanta MC’s personal beef with Young Jeezy wasn’t enough, after his release from prison in 2006 following the murder of one man who invaded Gucci’s home, he went back to jail in 2008 for a probation violation at the height of his party jam “Wasted” featuring Plies. Fortunately, La Flare shot so many music videos, few could tell if he was really locked up or enjoying a Kanye-inspired Hawaiian vacation.
He’s the best rapper alive… who’s also in jail. No contemporary MC is more pervasive than Lil Wayne and just as his Tha Carter III popped along with the careers of his proteges Nicki Minaj and Drake, he was convicted of weapons charges and shipped off to Riker’s Island. Learning from Gucci’s smoke and mirrors, Wayne shot videos with Tupac-like fury which is why clips like “Miss Me” and “Loyalty” among others are still in rotation on MTV Jams.
Hanging out with 50 Cent in the early years couldn’t have been easy but, in a cruel twist of fate, when Fif finally made it big with Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, his best buddy Tony Yayo was in the clink. When Yayo got out in 2004, he wound up back in the bing less than 48 hours later for possessing a forged passport. SMH.
Where does one even begin? Inga “Foxy Brown” Marchand is a complex woman. From Naomi Campbell-like tendencies where she attacks people with cell phones to literally fighting in the street, Foxy seems to ruin every shot she has at reclaiming her Broken Silence glory.
Long live ’Po… but the Belizian-born MC has chosen a hard road. On the heels of his first mainstream hit in “Bad Boyz” featuring Barrington Levy, Shyne and Diddy — Puffy back then — were involved in a shooting at a Manhattan nightclub in 1999. What was most likely about 15 minutes of action earned the MC over nine years of prison time. Now Shyne is free, working on his upcoming albums and keeping his nose clean.
Everyone knows the ’hood in New Orleans is nothing to joke about and Master P worked tirelessly to get he and his No Limit family into better circumstances. Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo. P’s brother C-Murder was caught on tape in 2002 and later convicted of murder for which he received life in prison.
Does anything really need to be said?
Have any additions to our list? Tell us in a comment below or at @MTVRapFix!