Rappers going to jail is nothing new. Even infamous managers like James Rosemond a.k.a. Jimmy Henchmen is serving a life sentence. The Source Magazine released an issue in March 2004 titled Hip Hop Behind Bars highlighting the different artists who were incarcerated or facing incarceration at that time. Historically, some rappers who come from the streets have come into contact with jail or prison through their prior activities. When they start doing music, it is assumed the overwhelming danger of getting locked up is minimized. However, recently some artists have been the targets and have been sent to prison because of their presumed activities and the prosecution, in some of those cases, has used their lyrics and songs against them.
Ra Diggs a.k.a. Ronald Herron is supposed to start his trial this month. Diggs is mostly known through his past association with Uncle Murda, when they formed the group the Murda Team and releasing music. He is from the Gowanus area in Brooklyn. Ra Diggs upward trajectory ended when he was arrested for various charges. In 2012, he was charged with a 23- count indictment by the United States Federal Government. Since his arrest, Diggs has been ridiculed in the media and in court there has been some debate about his music and whether they should be used in his trial. Herron and his defense attorney are arguing they shouldn’t because it is free speech and it is protected and by the First Amendment. Ra Diggs has been releasing letters through social media to communicate his innocence and address what he says is the unfairness of the case against him.
Jerms Black a.k.a Jeremy Naughton was sentenced to 36 years in prison and 5 years of supervised release for a slew of charges related to pimping. Black was an up and coming rapper from Brooklyn, mostly known for selling his music on the streets of New York City hand to hand and started to attain some exposure for his music. His record “Da Paper” started getting played on the radio and internet radio. He was also started getting exposure from various hip hop blogs and websites. That all came to an end when a federal grand jury indicted him in 2012, and in 2013 a jury convicted him for running a prostitution ring. During the case, his music like Ra Diggs’ music was made an issue. He is currently appealing his case.
Casanova Kris a.k.a. Kristian Emborieme Fitz is an up and coming rapper from Dallas, TX making his way in the music industry. So far he has collaborated with 2Chainz and producers like Drumma Boy. In 2012, some of Kris residences were raided because of an investigation into his activities. The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Observer both covered the raid and the subsequent events that happened after the raid. He was indicted for possessing over five pounds of marijuana. PNC Radio recently did an interview with Kris, where he explained his grind and his recent situation with the law.