Extorting Rappers


Here is an issue that “street rappers” face at one point in their careers. Understand that music is entertainment and the street image is usually something used to sell to people. Yet the streets are different, actual gangsters are in it for the money because there isn’t much opportunity elsewhere from their perspective. To be believable with their street image these rappers will eventually need “street cred”. In this day and age of the internet you can get by without such until you go on tour and have to be in the streets. This has led to many acts being extorted by gangs for money also known as protection money to keep people from checking them at all times.

Extortion is the same thing the Mob would do to businesses in their communities. They would charge for “protection” when they were the ones going out destroying businesses that didn’t go along with the program. Same concept is being applied to rappers, the gang that will attack you is asking for money to keep attackers off you. Yet many acts take this to another level assuming that because they are paying these people it makes them honorary gang members. It does not, they are trying to use being extorted as their street cred and that makes no sense at all. This is why you should never believe the hype of a street act until you see it for yourself to be true. Keep in mind it is all entertainment so don’t take it serious or you could go down with these individuals who are trying so hard to fit the image.

My question, is being extorted worth this image of being a gangster in the music industry? I never heard of acts like Lupe Fiasco, Big K.R.I.T., Drake, or J Cole being extorted because they are being true to themselves. If you don’t try to profit off the image of others then they wont mess with you. Yes there has been occasions where gangs have tried to run up on acts because of their percieved value but people like Drake keep massive security that has already knocked out his own fans. That isn’t a good look but in the grand scheme I understand, it will cost less for actual protection than paying one gang to not mess with you. Keep in mind having success will put a target on your back and many different types of people will come to try and cash in on it.

The moral to this story is to beware the cost of being a street rapper who isn’t really in the streets. Eventually you will have to go on tour to get money and this is why you see many acts get their chain snatched or get extorted. Even if you are in the streets rival gangs are national and your respect may only be regional. One way or the other you can be gotten to, so this leaves you with two choices. Get your security game on the level of Drake to even 50 Cent if you are paranoid or you can be yourself and not represent what you aren’t.