The Troubled Children Of These Rappers

The following article includes mentions of addiction and accidental drug overdoses.

Icy chains, Lamborghinis, and mansions worth a king's ransom ... oh, to be a rapper and live that good life. Or to be born to one. When a child is born to rap royalty, all eyes and ears are on them. A life of fame and extravagance sounds like a lot of fun, and it presumably comes with a lifetime subscription of certain benefits — perhaps the greatest one would be the apparent liberty to steer the wheel of life in whatever direction you want. 

Just look at Diddy's successful kids, all six of whom have been busy killing it in their own right these days, from high school to YouTuber popularity to taking on the music industry. Of quarantining with his children during the COVID-19 pandemic, the proud dad told Clive Davis ahead of the 2021 Grammys (via People), "For me, my life got better because I was running myself into the ground and I wasn't taking enough time for my family and for myself. It's really been a blessing. ... It helped me to make up for all those years I was on tour and to get closer to my family."

Celebrity children may do what they want with their silver spoons, and there's a fair chance they will enjoy at least some success, if not surpass their birth-givers. Who wouldn't love to be an artist minus the ever-looming fear of financial struggle or starvation? But unfortunately, not every famous kid has been able to take life by the reins. Here are some of the troubled children of famous rappers.

Future's eldest child was arrested in a gang bust

Months before the release of his eighth studio album "High Off Life" in 2020, Future found himself ringing up his attorneys after his oldest son, Jakobi Wilburn, got into some serious legal trouble that could have led to a 20-year sentence behind bars, as reported by Bossip

According to sources cited by TMZ, authorities arrested the then-17-year-old during a gang roundup in Georgia that January after he was reportedly "found in possession of a gun with the serial number scratched out" and was charged with "criminal gang activity, trespass, and the altered ID of a firearm." The juvenile teen would be tried as an adult, per state law, but luckily had the support of his mother, Jessica Smith, and his Atlanta rap legend father.

"Our son is a minor and to protect his well-being in this trying situation, we ask that everyone please respect our privacy at this time," Smith, who previously filed a child support and negligence lawsuit against Future in 2012, told the gossip rag. Meanwhile, her ex reportedly did everything in his power to get his firstborn out of the legal mess: In addition to covering Wilburn's $100,000 bail that March, Future was also apparently adamant about putting together and paying for his son's legal team. Although the gun charge has since reportedly been dismissed, per Hollywood Life, the status surrounding Wilburn's other charges — according to court documents obtained by Bossip, these also include "giving a false name, address or birthdate to [a] law enforcement officer" — remain unclear.

Eazy-E's son has spent time behind bars

Eric "Eazy-E" Wright made his name as the leader of one of hip-hop's most controversial groups N.W.A. — and the rap world was shaken when the 30-year-old Ruthless Records founder died of AIDS-related complications in 1995. The Compton native helped popularize gangsta rap, and son Eric Wright, Jr. (aka Lil Eazy-E) — who was 11 at the time of Eazy-E's death and raised by his grandparents in his dad's childhood home — later followed in the legendary rapper's footsteps.

But in 2006, shortly after launching his own music career, Lil Eazy-E (pictured) was arrested for alleged possession of a concealed weapon in his hometown after cops pulled him over due to a traffic violation, the Los Angeles Times reports. It's unclear what happened from there, but Lil Eazy-E later served a two-year sentence on state charges, part of which was spent in L.A. County Jail, in the mid-2010s. "It's tough, man," he reflected to HipHopDX in 2016, but added that love for Eazy-E and their shared resemblance made things easier: "I did what I did in the streets, got my respect and everything, but it's never as big as the individual that I'm doing this for. ... That's where the love came, and it all comes from my father's name."

That wasn't the end of the "Prince of Compton" artist's legal woes, unfortunately. His father's widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, sued him over trademark rights to Ruthless Records in 2017. Per The Wrap, Lil Eazy-E countersued, and the suits were eventually settled.

Inside Rev Run's son's brush with the law

The world knows Run-D.M.C. co-founder Rev Run as the hip-hop luminary who played a cardinal role in introducing the genre to the mainstream, but there is more to the "King of Rock" hitmaker. Born Joseph Simmons, the rap legend is a father to seven children: Vanessa, Angela, Joseph Jr. (pictured), Daniel Dwayne II, Russell II, Miley, and the late Victoria, who sadly died shortly after birth in 2006.

While most of Run's kids have seemingly enjoyed a life of luxury while mostly staying out of trouble, his oldest son, actor and reality TV star Joseph "Jojo" Simmons Jr., had a brush with the law in 2009 after he allegedly purchased marijuana in New York City and prepared to smoke a joint in his car, per MTV News. A nearby cop, who apparently witnessed everything from a distance, arrested him. Jojo faced multiple charges, including misdemeanors for marijuana possession and resisting arrest, as well as a felony for attempted reckless endangerment after nearly hitting a police car during his alleged attempt to flee the scene. Most of the charges were eventually dropped, however, and Jojo was sentenced to just one day of community service after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.

"I had a lot of troubles, but me having a child matured me in a crazy way," Jojo, who welcomed daughter Mia Kaylee with wife Tanice Amira in 2016, later reflected to Hollywood Life. "It made me look at life way differently and just made me way more focused on things."

Dr. Dre's son died of an accidental overdose

As bona fide music royalty and one of the founding fathers of N.W.A., Dr. Dre has pretty much seen it all. Money, fame, a verse-worthy life ... you name it. Born to teenage parents, his rollercoaster life eventually soared towards greatness in the entertainment industry and beyond, but we imagine nothing could have prepared him for the tragic loss his family experience in August 2008, when the music mogul's son, Andre Young Jr., was found unresponsive by his mother, Jenita Porter, in their Los Angeles home. 

Per Reuters, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office stated that the responding paramedics pronounced Young dead at the scene. According to Porter, the 20-year-old had hung out with his friends the night before, and she had even heard him snore at one point the following morning. Although an autopsy was completed right away, it took four months for the toxicology reports to arrive, and Young's death was ruled an accidental heroin and morphine overdose, according to People.

"Dr. Dre is mourning the loss of his son. Please respect his family's grief and privacy at this time," Dre's publicist, Lori Earl, stated (via the Los Angeles Times). When the family held Young's funeral at the Church of the Recessional in Glendale, California, more than 200 people were in attendance.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

TobyMac's late son struggled with addiction

Born Kevin Michael McKeehan, Grammy-winning Christian rapper TobyMac's world came crashing down when his firstborn son, Truett McKeehan, died due to an accidental drug overdose in October 2019. Truett was unresponsive when his friend found him in his Nashville home, per Radar, and was pronounced dead at the scene. According to his toxicology report prepared by Tennessee's Davidson County Medical Coroner, the 21-year-old, who reportedly previously struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, had a fatal cocktail of amphetamine and fentanyl in his system.

An aspiring musician in his own right, the late McKeehan performed under several monikers like TRU, Truett Foster, truDog, and Shiloh, and also worked on some musical collaborations with his famous father. Following his son's death, TobyMac took to Instagram to share how Truett was an expressive man of immense potential, writing in part, "He was a magnetic son and brother and friend. If you met him, you knew him, you remembered him. His smile, his laugh, the encouragement he offered with words or even without." 

In January 2020, the rapper paid tribute to his late son with a touching song titled "21 years." In another lengthy Instagram post, TobyMac detailed how it was hard to grapple with a loss of such magnitude. "God didn't promise us a life of no pain or even tragic death, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us. And I'm holding dearly to that promise for my son as well as myself," he wrote.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Nate Dogg's youngest son pleaded guilty to dealing drugs

When singer and rapper Nate Dogg died in 2011 due to complications stemming from multiple strokes, per The Hollywood Reporter, he left behind six children who wanted to continue their Grammy-nominated father's legacy. In fact, a month after his death at the age of 41, sons Naijiel Hale and Lil' Nate revealed that they were set to record an album with Snoop Dogg, aka their father's life-long collaborator and friend. "We're trying to be just like him," the duo shared during a chat with TMZ

While both have since continued to honor the "Regulate" hitmaker, Hale made headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2017 when he and a fellow Montana State football player were arrested by the Missouri River Drug Task Force for selling Xanax, according to the Bleacher Report, and faced indefinite suspension from the team. The cornerback was previously dismissed from Washington University's football program for disciplinary reasons in 2015. In 2020, however, Hale claimed in since-deleted Instagram posts that his dismissal was the result of coaches advising him to see a therapist to work through trauma, and then allegedly using his mental health struggle against him.

Per the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Hale ultimately pleaded guilty to a distribution of dangerous drugs felony charge in 2018 and was sentenced to four years' probation, 100 hours of community service, and paid a $2,500 fine. "I truly learned from my mistake," he said in court. "And I would like to move forward and get back focused on my football career."

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Luther Campbell's estranged son's alleged car heist

Rapper and producer Luther Luke Campbell, popularly known as Uncle Luke, is no stranger to controversies. He rose to prominence as the lead rapper of the infamous rap group 2 Live Crew. While the musician has had multiple brushes with the law over the years, so has his son, Luther Rodrick Campbell. 

In 2018, the younger Campbell was arrested after he was allegedly found driving a stolen car, per the Miami Herald. Miami Beach police also reportedly found drugs in the vehicle, leaving Luther Rodrick charged with controlled substance possession, driving with a suspended license, and grand theft auto. That unfortunately wasn't the first time he was arrested. Back in 2014, Luther Rodrick was put on a six-month probation for stealing a vehicle, and he received another five-year probation after being charged with burglary with assault or battery and witness tampering three years later.

It's unclear what happened following the 2018 charges, but after this arrest, dad Luther Luke took to Twitter to let the world know that the father-son duo hadn't seen each other or even spoken to one another in a decade. Calling out a news network for reporting his estranged son's case using his name, Uncle Luke claimed that Luther Rodrick was being used "as a pawn in the game to attack me," adding, "How many other kids do you report driving with a suspended license and you throw their dad's name in it?"

Coolio's child has done some serious prison time

Though he's never done serious time behind bars, rap sensation Coolio still knows what it's like to spend your days in a prison cell, as the "Gangsta's Paradise" hitmaker has been arrested for various charges over the years, including possession of a concealed weapon, cocaine base possession, battery, and carrying a loaded stolen gun while traveling at LAX. For the latter charge, which came in 2016, he received three years of probation after pleading guilty, per the Los Angeles Times, but chalked the incident up to a misunderstanding. "I was very worried," Coolio expressed to the press at the time, adding of following the terms of probation, "I don't do crime and I am not into anything illegal, so it should be easy."

Unfortunately, his son, Grtis Ivey, found himself in more serious trouble in November 2011, when he and an accomplice were arrested for trying to loot a Las Vegas apartment and threatening the tenant with a gun, according to TMZ. Four out of his five felony charges were dismissed in a plea deal struck with prosecutors, leading Ivey to plead guilty to the felony charge of robbery. In an odd twist of fate, Coolio was temporarily booked at Clark County Detention Center, where his son was held prior to his sentencing, in March 2012. E! News reports that the musician had two active warrants out for arrest over traffic violations.

While Coolio was soon granted bail, Ivey was sentenced to between 3.5 and 10 years in prison that September.

Kirk Frost's eldest son has struggled with substance use

Fans of "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" know that Kirk Frost is no stranger to drama. The rapper-turned-reality-TV-star has made some scandalous headlines over the years, between cheating on wife Rasheeda Buckner-Frost, his own alleged legal violation after reportedly driving recklessly during a 2015 dirt bike rally, and even fathering a baby out of wedlock. All of that aside, however, Frost is also a gifted rapper and doting father to his seven children from various relationships — so when the world discovered that he had a 30-year-old son named Christopher Frost, whom he had not seen in 18 years, some fans were in disbelief.

Kirk first publicly opened up about his eldest child during a 2021 chat with "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" co-star Safaree Samuels, during which he also revealed that Christopher had struggled with addiction and wasn't acting like himself. This led to a concerned Kirk to assume his New York City-based son was avoiding him. "He got caught up in the wrong crowd. He might say, 'Yo, I'm going to come down there and chill with you, Pops,' but he'll never really come," Kirk told Samuels. 

Christopher's mother told Kirk about his issues with substance abuse. Following rapper DMX's death due to a cocaine-induced heart attack that April, Kirk reunited with his son, explaining in a talking head, "It made you realize life is short, so I just want to make sure I get to see him myself and make sure he's alright." Thankfully, Christopher said that his own children inspired him to get sober.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).