Young Jeezy's TM: 03 album is being released on September 20th. Ahead of that date, the trap-star is hitting the tour circuit to drum up hype for the project, and will be bringing his stripped-down crack raps to the Mezzanine this Wednesday. In anticipation of Jeezy's show, here's a round-up of the best modern rappers who've not only copped to a drug-dealing past, but whose raps display a near-exclusive commitment to rhyming about the world of white powder.
Jigga's now-legendary "Dead Presidents," an independent release from 1996, still stands as one of the most eloquent insights into the drug game that also references Bill Cosby; melancholy laments like "My mind was fine 'till the dough hit it," established Jay as a street-centered rapper spitting at a more nuanced level than the average mid-'90s thug rap oik. Since then, Jay has taken observations picked up during his spell in the Marcy Projects and crafted a career hooked around the idea of rapping about the tropes of the drug game -- he even equated the rap and crack worlds as one and the same on the slick "Rap Game/Crack Game." Jigga stans take note: Jay's relatively lowly ranking on this list is only due to his recent predilection for bragging about dealing in the world of stocks and bonds, not corner contraband.
4. Rick Ross
If you were to take Officer Ricky's claims of a high-level drug dealing past at face value, he'd top this little listicle -- such is the conviction with which he's rapped about himself as a global crack kingpin of infamous repute. But in spite of Ross being outed as having been on the payroll of the prison system -- and even with the real-deal drug dealer from whom he nabbed his name suing him -- Ross's wonderfully delusional and often schizophrenic raps mean that he's continued to etch out a successful career as a dealer-turned-rapper. There's a moral in the Bawse's story somewhere, although it might not necessarily be the most positive of ones.
3. 50 Cent
So real they shot him nine times, 50 Cent turned his years posting up and directing street sales on the corner of Guy R Brewer Boulevard in Queens into a template for a rap career. His first attempt tp hop off the block and into the music industry included the track "Ghetto Qua-ran," which was basically a name-and-shame 'em profile of '80s drug kingpins. (Rumors still persist that it was the type of cocky move that was perhaps a little too close to the truth for Fif's own well-being.) Then with the powerhouse tag-team of Dr. Dre and Eminem in his corner, 50 brought the stark menace of gangsta-fied drug dealing to the suburbs -- before promptly going somewhat pop, forgetting about his street past, and rapping something about candy lollipops. Can we have the mixtape 50 back, please?