Grade A Certified

“The future is full of uncertainty…”

Posted by Oak Jones on December 14, 2009

On February 14, 1995, Tupac Amaru Shakur was sentenced to 1-4 ½ years in a federal penitentiary. About a month later, he released his multi-platinum Me Against The World. Shakur is the only artist ever to have an album at number one on the Billboard 200 while serving a prison sentence. Since then, ‘Pac has been the ONLY rap artist that has risen to fame, done a significant bid, and then recaptured (and perhaps heightened) his popularity with listeners around the world.

Now, with the recent incarcerations pending for hip-hop powerhouses, Gucci Mane, Lil’ Wayne and Lil’ Boosie; along with T.I. already doing his bid… what will that mean for their respective careers? Though rap music is an industry that thrives on the “street credibility” of it’s artists, it is also a genre of music that is constantly changing. Many musicians that were on fire during one year became irrelevant and non-existent in the next. So would the emergence of some of the music’s rising stars, doom the future of the current ones?

Lil’ Wayne has developed a massive audience throughout his tenure in the music business. His musical catalog is enough keep all of his fans satisfied with new tracks for years to come if need be. Also, his juggernaut of a record label Young Money Ent., I think it’s safe to say that his stint in jail will be a minor roadblock for Weezy F. Baby. Clifford Harris, better known to the globe as T.I., has been in jail since June. With his release slated to be within the next 6 months, his grind in the time before he went in was amazing. Tip launched a successful clothing line, signed the legendary 8Ball & MJG to his Grand Hustle imprint; as well as filming a new movie. While Gucci Mane and Lil’ Boosie’s future being a bit more uncertain than the previous two, the success of their young record labels, along with the success of their current albums will serve as a landing pad for when they are released back into society. The mixtape presence of Boosie and Gucci, will hopefully keep them in the public’s mind while they’re not in the public eye. So whatever happens to these four artists, I wish them all the best…

– Oak

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