Rappers who are currently in jail

There are many styles of hip-hop, but none more notorious than gangsta rap. Popularized in the '90s thanks to hardcore rhymes penned by artists like Ice-T, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube, the genre has been vilified by everyone from parent groups to politicians, who have argued the violence, misogyny, and promotion of street culture represented in rap lyrics is detrimental to society.

Of course, the flip side of that argument is that gangsta rap, and any form of hip-hop, really, is merely the artistic expression of the culture in which the artists live, and no matter how ugly it may seem to an outside observer, rapping about it is certainly protected under the First Amendment.

Where this whole thing gets dicey is when rappers actually live the violent, criminal lifestyles depicted in their songs, partaking in activities ranging from drug dealing, to pimping, to misusing firearms, and even attempting and/or committing murders. The result of keeping it that real, so-to-speak, is a long list of rappers who have died, been injured, or were incarcerated. We're dealing with the latter here, and even more specifically, the ones who are still doing their time. These are the rappers who are currently in jail.

How could adding 'murda' to your name possibly go wrong?

Brooklyn rapper Ackquille Pollard adopted the handle Bobby Shmurda when he and several lifelong friends formed the rap crew GS9. According to GQ, the crew became official in March 2014, and Pollard became the group's breakout star. The viral success of his song "Hot N****a" and the accompanying "Shmoney Dance" that went with it got the attention of stars like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift, as well as record labels who scrambled to sign him.

Unfortunately, police believed that GS9 also operated as a faction of the infamous LA-based Crips gang, also known as G-Stone Crips, which resulted in a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy investigation that led to a December 2014 sweep during a recording session at Manhattan's Quad Studios. Using an indictment built largely on intercepted phone communications between GS9 members — in which they allegedly made coded references to drug dealing, shootings, and murders — the NYPD arrested Pollard and 14 others. "The investigation involved violent incidents in Brooklyn that include shootings and narcotics traffic," a spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor told the New York Daily News.

Pollard's specific charges, however, related only to felony gun possession charges. He copped a plea deal, accepting a seven-year prison term and waiving his right to an appeal, according to Complex. Pollard vehemently disputes the charges, alleging that lying cops railroaded him and that he got a raw deal when his trial was moved from Brooklyn, because in a Manhattan court, the jury was always going to believe "white people with badges" over "this black kid talking about shooting s**t up." 

Killa Kam should konsider switching to kredit kards

In March 2018, British rapper Cameron Wright, known as Killa Kam, was sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty to "being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine," reported Gloucestershire Echo. Though police did not actually catch Wright with drugs on him, they intercepted his "Jay Line," which was a phone he used to allegedly send "3,700 text messages to more than 100 customers." Wright allegedly managed "the supply chain" between Birmingham and Cheltenham, the profits from which he may have flaunted in a music video where he showcased wads of cash.

Wright's defense attorney, Jason Coulter, argued that Wright turned to drug-dealing after he was unable to find employment following a previous jail stint he served for similar charges back in 2015. Coulter argued that in his desperation to pay back fines associated with that conviction, Wright was "lured back into it ... not for glamour this time, but for dull necessity." The sentencing judge wasn't convinced, telling Wright, "It seems unlikely that you now care about the lives ruined through the supply of class A drugs." 

Wright's fortune took another hit when, in November 2018, a judge ordered him to forfeit an expensive Cartier watch he admitted to buying with drug money, as the Gloucestershire Echo reported. The judge threatened an extra six months of jail time if Wright's legal team didn't sell the watch and return the proceeds to the government, an order he seemingly fulfilled.

When RondoNumbaNine's life imitated violent art

RondoNumbaNine was a rising star in Chicago's "Drill scene," a subgenre of gangsta rap that, according to HuffPost, rose to prominence in the Windy City in the early 2000s. Drill quickly became something of a flashpoint for debate over whether its controversial lyrics — typically involving "gangs, guns and drugs" — were "influencing the violence plaguing Chicago."   

Rondo, aka Clint Massey, contributed most notably to Drill with his 2013 hit, "Hang Wit Me," which features lines such as, "These rappers they really rappers, I am just a savage who doesn't have any remorse" and "Catch a n****a saying tooka Gang then we gone murder you." Perhaps unsurprisingly, Massey became an object lesson in the debate over Drill lyrics when he was sentenced to 39 years for his involvement in the 2014 shooting death of cab driver Javan Boyd.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times (via XXL), Massey, then just 17 years old, and an accomplice named Courtney Ealy, who was also a rapper who went by the name Cdai and was just 19-years-old, shot Boyd multiple times as he sat in his car outside an apartment complex while "waiting for a customer." Boyd's murder was allegedly a retaliation "for an earlier shooting." For his part in the murder, Ealy was sentenced to 38 years in prison. 

Although Massey's sentence is pretty hefty, fellow Drill artist and collaborator Durk "Lil Durk" Banks has high hopes for his friend's future. "We've been back and forth with lawyers on his appeal and it's looking really good," he toldBillboard in April 2018. "He's going to get out soon."

At the time of this writing, however, there seemingly hasn't been any movement in Massey's case.

Montana Millz was a prophetic felon

Joining the illustrious crowd of rappers who conspicuously implicated themselves in crimes via their own lyrical admissions is Montana Millz. The Bronx-born rapper, whose real name is Michael Persaud, released tracks such as "Sell Drugz" and "Feds Watching" before he was arrested for — you guessed it — selling drugs.

Persaud got busted twice for trafficking heroin, first in Lebanon, Pa., after he allegedly dealt to an undercover cop which resulted in a raid on his hotel room that yielded "70 grams of bulk heroin" that had "an approximate street value of $11,500," according to the Lebanon Daily News. The second time was in Rhode Island, not long after the Lebanon bust, when Persaud once again dealt to a plainclothes detective, which resulted in another raid and seizure of several illicit drugs.

In January 2018, Persaud pleaded guilty before a Rhode Island judge to "seven counts of drug distribution and possession" and received a three-year prison sentence, reported NBC Turn to 10. He didn't fare so well a month later in Pennsylvania when the judge there handed him a sentence of eight to 30 years, which will serve consecutively with his prior sentence.

Does Nation not know how video works?

Convicted felon Ricardo Burgos, who raps under the handle Nation, apparently either wasn't aware or didn't care that he was no longer allowed to possess firearms when he allegedly brandished two of them in a music video in Deerfield, Ill. in January 2016. According to CBS Chicago, Burgos was arrested later in the day in possession of "a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol," at which point he was charged with "one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of distribution of a controlled substance," the latter of which stemmed from a 2015 arrest.

Making matters even worse, although not necessarily adding to his specific legal troubles, Burgos had spit lyrics in his music "about selling drugs, committing acts of violence, and disrespecting law enforcement."

The Associated Press reported that Burgos was a member of a violent Chicago-based gang known as the Conservative Vice Lords, which perhaps figured into the sentencing judge's decision to hand down the surprisingly harsh term of 188 months. Yeesh. For that kind of time, we sincerely hope waving those guns around in that video looked super dope.

Wild Bill's doing more than a decade over some bling

California rapper Billy "Wild Bill" Shaffer Jr. lived up to his rap handle when he shot and killed Connie M. Sowels III outside of an Oakland nightclub on Oct. 1, 2014, according to the East Bay Times. Shaffer, who also raps under the alias Billy Bankroll, claimed he was acting in self-defense during a scuffle between himself and Sowels over a gold chain.

The jury believed Shaffer and acquitted him on the charges of "first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and voluntary manslaughter," which could have landed him behind bars for far longer than the 13 years he got for his conviction on the remaining charges of involuntary manslaughter, as well as "using a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm."

Shaffer reportedly "cried tears of joy" over the court's decision, but we're wondering if there was a hint of bitter irony mixed in there since this is a guy who once rapped "check my track record, never no sucker s**t" on the 2013 song, "Tell Da Truth." No suckers in jail, we guess.

Drissy Bo found out pimpin' ain't easy...or legal

Richmond rapper and fledgling pimp Idris B. Jamerson, aka Drissy Bo, found himself swapping the recording studio for the cell block after he was sentenced to four years in prison in November 2017. Six months earlier, Jamerson sealed his fate when he reportedly recruited a woman on Instagram and began selling her services via shady websites that advertise prostitution, reported the East Bay Times.

Thanks to a sting arranged by the Vacaville Police Vice Unit and FBI Violent Crime Task Force, Jamerson was apprehended on his way to deliver the woman to a prospective "customer." Upon his arrest, police recovered text messages that indicated the nature of the pair's exploitative relationship, including Jamerson giving the woman consent to buy food using the money she earned, the East Bay Times reported. In addition to the text messages, some of Jamerson's music was even used against him in court.

We're not certain which songs were played for the court, but Jamerson was a featured artist on the questionable track "Price Tag," which features cringeworthy lines such as "Put the b***h on a plate wit a price tag" and "That's why she get this money and she bring it right back." In the interest of full disclosure, we should also say that we don't even know if Jamerson is the one who uttered those lyrics. However, his name is attached to the song,

so he's probably fine with the upsetting message.

This 'Dummy Boy' can't stay out of trouble

Rainbow-haired rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, is no stranger to trouble. When he's not kicking up beef with fellow rap stars like YG or Trippie Redd, he's waist-deep in legal drama — from his 2015 child sex crime case to his November 2018 arrest.

On Nov. 18, 2018, the "FEFE" rapper was arrested on racketeering and firearm charges. The charges reportedly stem, prosecutors said, from his role in the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, a gang that allegedly performed "shootings, robberies, and assaults in and around Manhattan and Brooklyn," according to The Washington Post. Some of those incidents reportedly included an April 2018 robbery of gang rivals and the attempted shooting of a rival, which left a bystander shot.

Although the inked-up rapper initially maintained his innocence, he reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in January 2019 and agreed to plead guilty to charges for racketeering, weapons possession, armed robbery and dealing narcotics, including fentanyl and heroin, according to NBC New York. Then in September 2019, Hernandez testified as a witness in a case against two Nine Trey associates, according to the Associated Press. He also accused fellow rappers Cardi B and Jim Jones of being members of the gang, sending shockwaves through the rap scene.

It appears Hernandez's cooperation gave him a leg up in sentencing because the judge ordered him to just two years in jail. "I failed these people. they believed in Daniel Hernandez," he reportedly said at the hearing, per Page Six. "And I was too busy making the negative image."

Tay-K's future looks grim

Texas rapper Tay-K (born Taymor McIntyre) attracted national attention with the 2017 hit "The Race," a song about being on the run that — wait for it — was actually recorded while he was on the run. As if that weren't enough, he literally flaunts his "Wanted" poster in the song's video. The same day the video was released, June 30, 2017, McIntyre was arrested by authorities after a three-month chase for his alleged role in capital murder and other crimes, The New York Times reported. He, along with six others, has been accused of killing a man in a 2016 home invasion. For their roles in the murder, McIntyre's associates, received sentences ranging from 20 years to 40, per The Star-Telegram.

The fledgling rapper pleaded not guilty to capital murder and to a separate count of aggravated robbery. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery by threats, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In July 2019, McIntyre was found guilty of murder and the outstanding count of aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison and received a $21,000 fine, according to the Dallas Morning News. He will serve 30 years in prison on one count of aggravated robbery and 13 years for each of the remaining two counts of aggravated robbery, with the sentences running concurrently.

McIntyre's predicament worsened in November 2019, when he was indicted for capital murder relating to a 2017 robbery. Prosecutors allege he shot and killed a 23-year-old photographer named Mark Anthony Saldivar after stealing the victim's photo equipment, according to KSAT-TV. At this time, McIntyre's trial hasn't begun yet.

Ralo's freedom went up in smoke

Rapper Terrell Davis, who's known as Ralo — the Atlanta emcee and close associate of Young Scooter and Future — had a serious run-in with the law in 2018. According to WSB-TV, he was arrested in April for conspiracy to distribute marijuana after authorities allegedly discovered him shuttling 444 pounds of marijuana (which holds a value of around $840,000) into an Atlanta airport on a private plane. An affidavit obtained by the outlet also reports that the "Can't Lie" musician has a leadership role in a gang known as "Famerica," which allegedly sells drugs through properties Davis rents in the city.

Despite the charges, Davis has maintained his innocence. On May 2, 2018, he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, per VladTV, and, in a November 2018 interview with Forbes, he suggested that he'd been targeted by cops, saying, "I knew they were gonna try and come up with something to arrest me. Once these people want you, they're gonna do whatever they gotta do to get you."

At the time of this writing, Davis is still in federal custody, but his team told 11Alive's Neima Abdulahi in April 2019 that they hope he'll be released soon. "Over the time, I've learned so much wisdom and knowledge that I can apply for when I do get out," Davis said via phone interview on the prospect of his release. "I would have never learned the things that I have learned if I was out."

Kodak Black's lying got him locked up for a long time

In November 2019, Grammy-nominated rapper Kodak Black (legal name Bill Kapri) was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to falsifying information on federal background check forms to buy multiple guns from a Miami-area gun shop on two separate occasions, according to the Miami Herald. Not only did the Florida-born star admit to lying about his criminal record, but two of the illegally purchased guns were found at crime scenes. Kapri's fingerprints were allegedly discovered on one weapon supposedly used to shoot at another rap artist, but he hasn't been charged in that case as of this writing.

Kapri — who collaborated with Cardi B on "Bodak Yellow" — was originally arrested in April 2019 after trying to cross the border into New York from Canada with an illegal weapon stored in the trunk of his car. He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm at the time, as well as unlawful possession of marijuana, according to The New York Times.

"I'm sorry for the actions that led me for where I'm standing," the "Skrt" rapper said at his sentencing hearing in Miami, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "I do take full responsibility for my mishap."

Unfortunately, this isn't the only criminal case for Kapri — he's also facing trial on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, having been accused of raping a high school student in South Carolina, according to The State.

Killah Dre was accused of a tragic crime

Texas-based rapper Tavores "Killah Dre" Henderson was arrested in December 2019 on a capital murder charge relating to the death of Houston-area Sgt. Kaila Sullivan. According to People, Sullivan, a 15-year veteran of the force and mother, pulled over Henderson for a traffic stop violation the night of the killing. When Sullivan reportedly discovered Henderson had an outstanding warrant involving assault, the rapper — who has worked with Soulja Boy — escaped while Sullivan and another officer attempted to handcuff him, according to NBC News. After taking off in his car, Henderson allegedly hit Sullivan with the vehicle, and she later died at the hospital as a result of her injuries.

"She was a police officer at heart," Nassau Bay Police Chief Tim Cromie said about Sullivan's legacy, according to the Associated Press. "She came to work every day, she enjoyed the job. Her blood ran blue. She was a police officer's police officer."

As of this writing, Henderson has yet to be convicted of the crime at the time of this writing, but the outlook doesn't look good, especially since he supposedly confessed to the murder.