It seems like every rapper nowadays, including Drake, is ready to “catch a body” should disrespect be thrown their way. Although it’s good to be in most other circumstances, few—in this case—are actually “about that life.” After all, why would you be? Risking everything—money, freedom and your soul—just to claim that you walk that you talk?
As our religions, politicians, and parents tell us, violence is wrong. But as our music, video games, and movies tell us, it also sells. Here are five rappers who crossed that oh-so-blurry line between lighthearted entertainer and brutal murderer.
Among legendary men, there will always be legendary feuds: think Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and of course, Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy.
Gucci and Jeezy started beefing over the rights to their shared 2005 song “So Icy” when Jeezy decided to put a $10,000 bounty on Gucci’s chain. Five men—including Jeezy’s best friend, Pookie Loc—decided one night to try and serve out that bounty. While Gucci was hanging out with a stripper at her house, they stormed the residence. Gucci got up and took them all on. When the smoke cleared, Gucci was still alive, four men were seen fleeing the house, and Pookie Loc was dead. His body was later found half-buried in the woods near a middle-school.
Gucci beat the case, as it was clear self-defense. That didn’t stop him from bragging about being a murderer for years to come. In his 2012 diss record, “Truth (Not A Jeezy Diss),” Gucci callously reminded Jeezy of that fateful night. “Go dig your partner up nigga, bet he can’t say shit!” he said as he flashed a menacing grin to the camera. Word of advice: don’t fuck with Gucci.
New Orleans rapper C-Murder, the brother of hip-hop legend Master P, was doing well for himself, even collaborating with the likes of Snoop Dogg, when he carried out his namesake and got sent to jail for life. On the evening of January 12, 2002, an aspiring rapper and adoring fan of his, 16-year-old Steve Thomas, was killed by C-Murder in a Louisiana nightclub.
The exact details of the night are murky—after all, it’s always hard to discern why exactly a rapper would kill one of his fans—but according to one witness, Thomas and C-Murder started battle rapping. When Thomas started to get the better of him, C-Murder pulled out his gun out and shot him to death.
It was hard for the trial to begin, because so many potential witnesses were being threatened not to testify by C-Murder’s associates. Eventually though, the trial ran its course, and C-Murder was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Mac Minister, a rapper from the Bay area, had a promising career when he became embroiled in a deadly Midwest/West Coast beef.
In November 2005, two rappers from Kansas City, Fat Tone and Cowboy, arrived in Las Vegas on the promise that they were going to meet a representative from Snoop Dogg’s label. They instead met the barrel end of an AK-47, and their bodies were later found dumped in a construction site. When video footage connected Mac Minister to the double murder, he went on the run. It got worse, though: 2 days later, the body of a call girl who was the potential biggest witness in the case, Lee Danae Laursen, turned up dead as well.
Mac Minister was a fugitive for 10 months. During that time, he was featured on America’s Most Wanted and also managed to record the intro to The Game’s Doctor’s Advocate Album. He was finally caught on the evening of March 2, 2006, in a San Francisco apartment. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Eminem, Big L, and others rapped about drugs, rape, and murder, but there was always a sort of twisted humor to what they said that spoke to your inner kid. When you hear X-Raided’s early-90’s raps about drugs, rape, and murder, the inner kid in you just wants to run—especially when you realize that he wasn’t really kidding.
In March 1992, X-Raided, along with several accomplices, raided the home of two rival gang members. During the invasion, the owner of the house, Patricia Harris, caught a bullet in the heart. The iron curtain of the law came swooping down on everyone involved within days.
But when X-Raided went to jail, is when his career pretty much started. He received a lot of attention when his debut album—recorded over the phone in prison—was found to contain mirror images of the crime he was accused of committing. Additionally, the cover of the album featured his face with a handgun pressed to his head—the same handgun, it was said, that murdered Patricia Harris. X-Raided was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
And last but not least, a rapper whose brutality doesn’t just garner him a mention among the names above, but also among the likes of Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and others of the kind. Big Lurch, who starts off my future list of “Rappers Who Are Also Cannibals,” was a PCP addict and rising Bay Area rapper. His career came to a screeching halt when one night, high on PCP, he killed and ate his female roommate.
On April 9, 2002, Tynisha Ysais—Lurch’s female roommate—was found dead and disemboweled in her apartment, with bite marks all over her body and her lungs ripped out of her chest. A search began immediately for Big Lurch. Police found him in the middle of the street naked, drenched in blood, and screaming at the sky, just like a true fucking zombie.
They also found chunks of Ysais’ flesh in his stomach. Lurch had no recollection of the details of the crime, due to his intoxication via PCP, and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was eventually found guilty and sentenced to life without parole.