This month's issue of The Source magazine asks the following question on it's cover, “Are Rappers the New Target of America's Criminal Justice System?”. In article entitled “Operation Lockdown” there is a spread on various rappers who've had trouble with the law. They include
Jamal Barrow aka Shyne: Assault, Gun Possesion and Reckless Endangerment, sentenced to 10 years at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.
Corey Miler aka C-Murder: Second Degree Murder, awaiting sentencing but facing a mandatory life sentence.
Michael Tyler aka Mystikal: Extortion and Sexual Battery, sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Ricky Walters aka Slick Rick: Attempted Second Degree Murder, Self-Deportation and Illegal Reentry, served 5 years for the former and 17 months in an INS detention center for the latter.
John Austin aka Ras Kass: Driving Under the Influence sentenced to 16 months at the California State Prison in Corcoran.
Dwight Grant aka Beanie Sigel: Attempted Murder and Gun Possession, awaiting trial.
Chi-Ali Griffith: Murder and Gun Possesion, awaiting trial after being on the run for two years and being profiled on America's Most Wanted
John Fortè: Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute, sentenced to 14 years.
Patrick Houston aka Project Pat: Aggravated Robbery and Parole Violation, sentenced to 51 months.
Warren McGlone aka Steady B and Chris Rony aka Cool C: Murder and Armed Robbery, Cool C was sentenced to death by lethal injection while Steady B was sentenced to life without parole
Chad Butler aka Pimp C from the group UGK: Aggravated Assault with a Weapon, sentenced to 8 years.
Marion Knight aka Suge Knight (CEO of Death Row Records): Firearm Trafficking, Assault, Parole Violation and Other Charges, currently serving 10 months for parole violation
Shyheim: Armed Robbery and Gun Possesion, sentenced to two years.
J-Dee of Da Lench Mob: Murder, sentenced to 25 years-to-life.
Ronald Blackwell aka Spigg Nice from the group Lost Boyz: Conspiracy to Commit Bank Robbery, sentenced to 37 years
Marvin Bernard aka Tony Yayo from the group G-Unit: Gun Possession and Probation Violation, served a year.
Peedi Crakk of the group State Property: Gun Possession, sentenced to 11 to 23 months.
Big Lurch: Murder, sentenced to life.
Styles P of the Lox: Assualt, served 9 months.
Ol Dirty Bastard:Probation Violation and Drug Possession, served 20 months
Lil' Troy: Drug Possession, served 18 months.
Flesh-N-Bone: Threats with a Deadly Weapon, sentenced to 12 years.
Keith Murray: Assault, sentenced to 5 years.
Capone from the group Capone-N-Noreaga: Gun Possession, served 27 months.
Tupac Shakur aka 2Pac: Sexual Assault, sentenced to 18 months to 4.5 years.
The above list doesn't include various rappers that got probation or were put under house arrest for their crimes such as Jay-Z, Trick Daddy and Coolio. Going back to the original question asked on the cover of the Source as to whether the criminal justice system is targetting rappers, it seems to me that if anything it seems rappers are just going out of their way to tangle with the criminal justice system by committing crimes. Of course, there is the fact that young, black males are more likely to be harshly sentenced for a crime than their caucasian counterparts but this is different from the criminal justice system going out of its way to target rappers.
I find it sad that a lot of these folks whose music I've bought in the past made it out of the hood just to screw their lives up by doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in any way.
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