Often times rap songs are filled with bold statements, discussions of menacing acts, threats, and flat out admissions of guilt. What if every last lyric were an actual thing that happened while law enforcement were nearby? Let’s explore the laws against and punishments for the crimes described within the lyrics of these well known rap lyrics.
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name. If you come around here, I make ‘em all day, I get one done in a second if you wait.
M.I.A. better be careful – visa fraud is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, 15 years if it’s in relation to narcotics trafficking, and 20 if related to international terrorism. I’m worried her sticks and stones and, more specifically, weed and bongs talk might get her 15 hard ones.
Sentence: 10 to 15 years
Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice
Rollin’ down the street, smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice. Laid back. With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.
If it’s 28.5 grams of indo or less that’s an infraction and $100 fine. More than that is a misdemeanor, which could mean up to 6 months incarcerated and a $500 fine. As long as Mr. Dogg isn’t driving, he can sip that gin and juice with his mind and money both on each other.
Sentence: $100-$500 fine
Drake - I’m On One
Two white cups and I got that drink. Could be purple, it could be pink.
The purple or pink concoction Drake is talking about goes by names like purple drank, lean, syrup, and sizzurp. Whatever you call it, it’s a controlled substance and if you’re caught driving under the influence of it, your punishment depends on if you have a prescription and how intoxicated you are. Drake’s likely looking at fines and potential jail time.
Sentence: $200 fine
Kanye West - Jesus Walks
A trunk full of coke, rental car from Avis. My mama used to say, “Only Jesus can save us.” Well mama, I know I act a fool, but I’ll be gone 'til November, I got packs to move.
It’s a safe bet that a trunk full of coke is over 5 kilos, which is no less than 10 years as a first offense, as well as massive fines. The second offense is no less than 20 years, and even bigger fines. 2 or more offenses and it’s life imprisonment. So those “packs to move” might keep Kanye gone ‘til longer than November.
Sentence: 10-20 years
Childish Gambino - Bonfire
It’s a bonfire, turn the lights out. I’m burnin’ everything you motherfuckers talk about.
If you willfully and maliciously set fire to property or land or whatever these motherfuckers talk about, you’re looking at a misdemeanor. Maximum 6 months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Sentence: 6 months
Kelis - Milkshake
My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours. Damn right it’s better than yours, I can teach you, but I have to charge.
Actually Kelis, you don’t have to charge, and by doing so, you’re conducting unlicensed business and making untaxed money from it. That could result in a fine or imprisonment of no longer than 5 years – or both.
Sentence: Up to 5 years
Bruno Mars - Young, Wild And Free
So what we get drunk? So what we smoke weed? We’re just having fun, we don’t care who sees.
If convicted of public intoxication, that could mean informal probation, up to 6 months in county jail and/or a maximum $1000 fine. If it were an ounce or less of weed, there’s only a $100 fine, and other monetary charges. So what, Bruno get fees?
Sentence: $100 to $1000 fine
Game - How We Do
When beef is on I’ll pop that trunk. Come get some, pistol grip pump, if a n—a step on my white Air Ones, It’s red rum, ready here I come.
In short, Game is saying that he’ll murder (red rum) you if you conflict arises (beef is on) or you step on his sneakers (white Air Ones). Second degree murder is 15 years to life, but perhaps the judge will take it easier on him because I mean, someone dirtied up his fresh, white shoes.
Sentence: 15 to life
Kid Cudi - Pursuit Of Happiness
Crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit. Feeling lit, feeling right, 2 AM, summer night. I don’t care, hand on the wheel, driving drunk, I’m doing my thing.
If this happened in Cleveland where Cudi is from, and it were his first offense, he’d face 3 days to 6 months in jail, or a three day driver Intervention Program. His license would be suspended for 6 months to 3 years, and he’d be fined anywhere from $250-$1000. As for the weed possession, if it were below 100 grams, that’d be a misdemeanor which brings on a $150 fine, but no jail time. Above 100 grams? $250 fine and 40 days in jail.
Sentence: 3 to 6 months
Eminem - My Name Is
Walked in the strip club, had my jacket zipped up, flashed the bartender, then stuck my dick in the tip cup.
Public lewdness, Em? That’s a maximum of 12 months in county jail, fines that can typically reach $1,000, probation, and community service with court-approved organizations. They don’t serve mom’s spaghetti in jail.
Sentence: Up to 12 months
R. Kelly - Ignition (Remix)
Girl we off in this Jeep. Foggin’ windows up, Blastin’ the radio, in the back of my truck.
Sex in the car Mr. Kelly? This is a misdemeanor, and assuming he’s in LA, where famous people often are, there’s an unlikely maximum of 6 months in county jail and a likely fine of up to $1,000. A second offense could be a felony! Of course, none of this is as bad as R’s real life sex crime allegations.
Sentence: Up to 6 months
Ludacris - Move Bitch
I’m doin’ a hundred on the highway. So if you do the speed limit, get the fuck outta my way.
The average US highway speed limit is 70mph. If Ludacris were going 100mph in his hometown of Atlanta Georgia, he’d automatically to pay a $200 Super Speeder fine, in addition to the fines and fees owed to the jurisdiction where the offense took place.
Sentence: $200 fine
Macklemore - Thrift Shop
Walk up to the club like, “What up? I got a big cock!”
Using obscene language like that in Macklemore’s hometown of Seattle can include fines, community service, compulsory counseling and even… JAIL TIME! The judge considers the person’s criminal history before making a sentence, but surely Macklemore has a previous record for theft, after stealing everyone’s, collective heart.
Sentence: Community service
DMX - Ruff Ryders’ Anthem
Nosy people get it too, when you see me spit at you, you know I’m tryin’ to get rid of you. Yeah, I know it’s pitiful.
If DMX’s loogie were to connect with the nosy person he spit it at, that’d be considered simple assult. Conviction for that could mean a 6 month prison term. Oh. No. That’s how Ruff Ryders parole.
Sentence: Up to 6 months
Nelly - Hot In Herre
I said, it’s getting hot in here, (so hot) so take off all your clothes.
Careful Nelly, in St. Louis getting butt naked is considered a vulgar act and could lead to fines of no less than $100 and no more than $500. Nelly wouldn’t have to register as a sex offender, but 90 days imprisonment is alway a possibility.
Sentence: Up to 90 days and $100 to $500 fine
Will Smith - Just The Two Of Us
Haha, I wanna kiss you all the time, but I will test that butt when you cut outta line!
As Will may’ve learned from Adrian Peterson’s recent troubles, you’ve got to be careful with disciplining your child. If Will spanked a little too harshly, this offense could result in a felony, with no eligibility for probation or parole until no less than a year of the sentence has been served. Sentence: 1 year
Bobby Shmurda - Hot N—a
I been selling crack since like the 5th grade.
5th graders tend to be 10-11 years old, and likely wouldn’t be arrested for a crime. However, it’s said that Bobby Shmurda was selling said crack with his brother, who was in 9th grade, and would potentially be liable to face some sort of punishment.
Sentence: Juvenile correctional facility
Tyler The Creator - Yonkers
I’ll crash that fucking airplane that that f—-t n—-a B.o.B is in, and stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus.
This is criminally ambitious, but if Tyler crashed B.o.B’s plane and somehow survived to face punishment, he’d likely be looking at life imprisonment. However, it is currently in the works to make hijacking a plane punishable by death. As for wounding Bruno Mars’ throat, it sounds like first-degree attempted murder. Tyler would likely receive AT LEAST 10 years in prison, and possibly life with the possibility of parole. It’s not worth it, Tyler.
Sentence: At least 10 years
Chris is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow @CEHudspeth on Twitter.