Rappers Who Have Received Lengthy Prison Sentences
In the world of Hip Hop, it’s a sad truth that many rappers have been in prison. The narratives spun by Hip Hop artists often reflect the gritty realities of life in urban America. Moreover, throughout its history, the genre has served as a platform for artists to amplify their voices and share their experiences. However, amidst the glitz and glamor, there exists a darker underbelly.
Unfortunately, Hip Hop culture has a history of being accused of sometimes promoting crime. Many rappers have had to deal with the harsh realities of the criminal justice system, and spend time in prison. These sentences range from a few months to several decades depending on the gravity of the crime committed. In short, unfortunately, many rappers have been convicted of some serious crimes. Here’s a list of rappers who have received some of the longest sentences in prison.
In the mid-1990s, C-Murder rose to prominence as a member of the supergroup TRU. Despite achieving success, however, his career was overshadowed by legal troubles. The rapper’s involvement in a high-profile murder case ultimately led to the end of his musical career. In 2002, C-Murder was convicted of the second-degree murder of a 16-year-old fan at a nightclub in Louisiana. He was accused of pulling the trigger, leading to his arrest and subsequent trial. Following his trial, the rapper was sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 12: Rapper YFN Lucci onstage during SiriusXM+Pandora Playback with YFN Lucci at Pandora Atlanta on December 12, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
When YFN Lucci was accused of murder, assault, and racketeering in 2021, fans did not expect the rapper to turn himself in. However, surprising his devoted listeners, Lucci submitted himself to the authorities. Since then, he has been in jail, awaiting trial. After about three years in jail, his trial finally began. Lucci pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Additionally, the plea deal he took saw prosecutors drop all other charges against him. While YFN Lucci was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison, it was subsequently reduced to 10 years. He has already served three years, and will soon be eligible for parole, according to his legal team.
Following his original sentence, Max B would have been one of the rappers to spend the longest time in prison. In 2009, he was arrested and charged in connection with a botched robbery that resulted in a homicide. Alongside his two accomplices, Max B was accused of planning and carrying out the robbery that led to the man’s death. Subsequently, he was found guilty of multiple charges and sentenced to 75 years in prison. However, in 2016, his sentence was reduced to 20 years after he pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 05: Tory Lanez performs on stage during Wireless Festival 2019 on July 05, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns)
The legal battle between rappers Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion ultimately landed Lanez in prison. The case was heavily publicized, and stayed trending for years until Lanez was eventually sentenced in 2023. In August 2020, Megan Thee Stallion accused Tory Lanez of shooting her in the foot. Addressing the accusation through multiple songs, Lanez vehemently denied the shooting. The case dragged on for a while before a verdict was reached. Finally concluding the trial, on August 8, 2023, Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Of all the rappers on this list, Big Lurch inarguably has the most horrific reason for being in prison. The rapper’s career was marred by a gruesome and tragic incident that led to his incarceration. In 2002, Big Lurch was arrested and charged with the brutal murder of Tynisha Ysais, his roommate. In detail, Ysais was found dead in her apartment with her chest torn open and parts of her lungs missing. Reportedly, Big Lurch was under the influence of PCP at the time of the murder. During the subsequent trial, the rapper’s defense argued that he was not in control of his actions because of the drugs. However, despite these claims, he was ultimately found guilty of murder. Big Lurch was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on November 7, 2003.
In 2016, Tay-K was involved in a home invasion robbery in Mansfield, Texas, during which Ethan Walker, a 21-year-old man, was fatally shot. Subsequently, Tay-K was arrested and charged with capital murder. While awaiting trial for his involvement in the home invasion, he was placed on house arrest. However, the rapper cut off his ankle monitor and fled to San Antonio, Texas. During his time on the run, Tay-K released “The Race.” The song detailed his experiences as a fugitive and quickly went viral. Subsequently, he was apprehended and sentenced to 55 years in prison.
Philadelphia-based rapper AR-Ab was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in 2019. Not many rappers have served time in prison for drugs as long as AR-Ab will. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison on April 15, 2021. Following his trial, the rapper was found guilty of multiple charges, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and distribution of cocaine, among others.