More Hip Hoppers in the Clink
Seems like there's more hip hoppers in the clink than out at the moment.
Nate Dogg is the latest MC to rustle with the boys in blue, after his spouse called emergency services when the star made death threats against her; the car chase that followed resulted in the 'Area Codes' singer being chased down by the California Highway Patrol. He has since been released from a Los Angeles jail after posting $50,000 bail following his arrest.
Rapper DMX has also been a naughty boy of late; he was arrested after being caught without a valid driver's license in Miami. We're wondering if he has his own special cell in prison, since it's the third time he's been detained since May.
A fare share of mullah-making MC's have donned the orange jump-suit at some point, and in some instances, time in the house of correction has been a very lucrative stay indeed. Consider the rappers who've spent or are spending time behind bars; a list that includes 50 Cent, T.I., Flesh Bone, Flavor Flav, Tony Yayo and Gucci Mane.
Fiddy has built his reputation squarely on the back of his criminal history; talking openly about past convictions and a lengthy rap sheet which in turn has built his cred. His marketing team pounced on the concept, photo-shopping nine bullet holes (the number of times he was shot after he left the drug trade) in a series of posters distributed to promote his debut album.
Rapper Lil' Kim released her album 'The Naked Truth' eight days after she began her year and a day prison sentence for perjury conviction. The album went on to sell 110,000 copies in the opening week, and at the time of release, was the first album in three years to receive a rating of 5 microphones from hip hop magazine The Source.
Atlanta rapper T.I. took advantage of his a recent stay behind bars for a probation violation on a felony drug conviction by filming a promotional video in the Fulton County Jail. Apparently the credibility he received from the visit was part of the reason he named his fourth album 'Urban Legend. which became Atlantic Records' best-selling album in 15 years.
There was a time when artists downplayed any jail or prison time fearing it would detract from their image, but not any more. In fact, it's proving a rather effective way to draw attention to one's image, isn't that right Paris and Nicole?
Elliot Wilson, editor in chief of the hip hop publication XXL sees the silver lining. "I've known great art to have come out of horrible, tragic times," he reported back in 2005. "In his short life, Tupac went through an awful lot, and I think that's one of the reasons people call him one of the greatest of all times. Struggles and controversy can make strong records."
According to this theory, Paris should of released her album after her jail time - it probably would've fared better...
So has penetentiary time become the unofficial marketing plus in hip hop? Maybe it's time to build an exclusive hip hop penitentiary, because at this rate, it will be full in no time. And just think of the collaborations...
Ah we can hear the ka-ching already.