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Rap’s Obsession With Gangsters and Mobsters



Most of us don’t even bat an eye when we refer to rappers by the names of some of the world’s most notorious drug lords and mobsters. The fascination with the gangster lifestyle has become a fixture for these artists and building these names are vital to their career.

But what is the purpose of renaming yourself after someone who has already existed and infamously at that? Why would you want to live up to someone else’s name and reputation?

Perhaps naming themselves after the gritty figures will bring them the same respect and fear of those who held the name before them. Maybe these gangsters are whom they truly look up to as these infamous people did have more money than most of us would see in a lifetime.

One of multi-platinum rapper Nas’ names was Nas Escobar, whose real name is Nasir Jones. He named himself after the Columbian drug lord, Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, who became so rich that Forbes Magazine named him the seventh richest man in the world. This status is a far cry from where Nas lived in the projects in Queensbridge and quite possibly, which could be his reason for choosing such a name.

Noreaga, a platinum solo rapper as well as half of rap group Capone-n-Noreaga, named himself after the infamous military dictator of Panama, Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno, who was detained as a prisoner of war and tried on counts such as money laundering and drug trafficking. He is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Paris.

Even historic figures are included. King Tut, known as the Pharaoh of Egypt, was worshipped as a god. Two men in the hip hop industry have renamed themselves after this king.

This first is Walter Johnson, who is more popular for being involved in Tupac Shakur’s shooting in 1994 rather than the music business. Johnson was killed in January of 1997. The second is more well-known as a music figure. Darnell Brittingham, a rapper among Camron’s group Dipset, also renamed himself as King Tut. Recently, he made news for allegedly stabbing a female and then shooting himself just forty eight hours after being released from prison.

Real or fake, rappers seem to name themselves after the most notorious characters. One of the arguably best rappers, Notorious B.I.G., referred to himself as the black Frank White, who was a drug lord in the movie, King of New York

Scarface, solo rapper, member of rap group Geto Boys, and former president of Def Jam South, named himself after the ultimate gangster movie, Scarface. It is a remake of the 1932 movie portrayal of gangster, Al Capone.

Al Pacino who plays the main character, Tony Montana, gives a riveting performance about the ultimate come-up and his character is revered as a symbolic figure on how to rise from nothing. It is no wonder that a lot of rappers who came from poverty make constant references to Montana. Lines from the Scarface are constantly repeated in hip hop songs from artists as Lil’ Wayne and G-Unit. Fat Joe has gone so far as to get a tattoo of Al Pacino as Tony Montana.

It seems as though many rappers name themselves after leaders of crime families, especially the most recognized name of all, John Gotti.

Irv Gotti, whose real name is Irving Lorenzo, used this stage last name in honor of John Gotti. Although Irv is not a rapper, he is responsible for bringing some of the most popular ones to light, such as Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule.

South Florida’s very own Rick Ross has released his album, Teflon Don, which was John Gotti’s nickname after being acquitted so many times. Ross has many nicknames which seem to all be affiliated within the same realm.

As the self-proclaimed “Biggie of his city” said, “I think I’m Big Meech, Larry Hoover, whipping work, hallelujah”. Larry Hoover, the alleged leader of the Gangster Disciples gang, is currently serving a life sentence for drug conspiracy and extortion. Big Meech is the leader of the Black Mafia Family (BMF) and is presently incarcerated. Ross also has a song called BMF, which stands for Blowin Money Fast. The rapper has tweeted that Meech “embraces his joint and movement”

Though, not everyone is happy with Ross’ many aliases. The main name we all know Rick Ross by actually belongs to a drug kingpin who ran quite a drug empire with thousands of employees. Initially sentenced to life in prison, he was released after serving twelve years. The original Rick Ross is now suing the rapper for his identity.

In addition, John Gotti’s grandson, Carmine Agnello, has also expressed his dissatisfaction towards the rapper for using his grandfather’s nickname, Teflon Don. In the New York Daily News, Agnello has stated, “I think he’s a great artist, but you can’t start calling yourself that to sell records. He wants to go for that whole image, but hey, be yourself”. Gotti’s grandson also added, “Only in America can you go from being a corrections officer to calling yourself Teflon Don”.

It appears that some rappers have such an admiration towards these figures, they forget that the youth looks up to them and wants to emulate what they do. It also seems as they neglect to portray the other side of this life, the side where many of them spend a great deal of their lives in jail or wind up dead. A lot of them don’t hear what the original gangsters they named themselves after are now saying.

The original Rick Ross alongside Frank Lucas, whose life was portrayed in the movie American Gangster, has been encouraging the youth to stay away from the hustlers. Ross has been quoted saying, “You have to think long term and know what’s going to benefit you in the long run”.

Lucas, who is now confined to a wheelchair, told a New York Magazine interviewer, “I have remorse”. He currently tells kids to go and get their education and “stop listening to the guy on the corner with the gold chain and big Cadillacs”.

Wu-Tang rapper and leader, Rza, played a detective in the movie American Gangster. He wants those that glorify these characters to remember what happened in the end. As stated in L.A. Focus, “Even though Frank Lucas only did fifteen years jail time, if you meet him on the streets now he’s basically crippled. Life will get back at you.”

Rapper 50 Cent, who named himself “after a stick-up kid from Brooklyn who used to rob rappers”, made an insightful statement on this topic in the book, From Pieces to Weight. “If I was going to take a gangster’s name, then I want it at least to be that of someone who would say “What’s up” to me on the street if we ever crossed paths. I couldn’t see Gotti or Escobar giving me the time of day.”

Source by Zoey Flower

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Tha.bzn$$ Debut Album Bilingual Basement Music Vol. 1 Drops Friday



Virginia-based hip-hop artist tha.bzn$$ is getting ready to release his debut album, and volume 1 of a 2 part collection, “Bilingual Basement Music Vol. 1”. The project will include 14 tracks, with almost half of them in English and the other half in Spanish, showcasing his dynamic range. Tha.bzn$$ describes his sound as “vibey, infectious, and energetic,” and admits he writes his own music. While it certainly wasn’t his first choice, it definitely has become his passion, having been in the industry for roughly 2 years now.


As a former member of the military force, the rapper grew up in a strict household and says he didn’t have much access to music as a child. Nowadays, he wants to inspire people by telling his life story through his lyrics, and be as authentic as possible with his fans. His sound is very unique, blending distinct styles like Hip-Hop, Urbana and Reggaeton. When asked about current artists he looks up to, tha.bzn$$ had three in mind – J. Cole, Kanye West and J Balvin. While he does make music in English, the up-and-comer also raps in Spanish, making him stand out from a few other artists, as he embraces his roots. With “Bilingual Basement Music Vol. 1’ dropping in a few weeks, tha.bzn$$ only hopes to connect with listeners by sharing his journey through his work.

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Sawyer Wildgen Shares How He Successfully Leveraged Social Media To Grow His Music Brand



Sawyer Wildgen is a talented music artist and TikTok influencer. Like most other up-and-coming artists, Sawyer found it hard to break into the mainstream music industry. There are many barriers to entering the field, and Sawyer soon discovered that people need an attention-catching reason to start listening to new songs.


Sawyer immediately embarked on a massive social media marketing campaign to get his music circulating. He leveraged the top leading platform for music marketing: TikTok. Sawyer settled on a unique approach to capitalize on trends and viral memes to push his music forward.


For efficiency and efficacy, the talented singer studied how to ride trends on popular platforms like TikTok. This research helped him build his creativity and position himself correctly, blazing his way to success through strategy. The main objective was to introduce social media music enthusiasts to his artistic sound and style.


True to his ambitions, he hit the ground running, amassing over 230,000 followers on TikTok. He has also had a viral TikTok dance with over 300,000 recreations. The impact was also visible in his music, as Sawyer now enjoys over a million streams across Spotify and Apple Music. This success includes a monthly average of over 100,000 streams, all courtesy of the online TikTok influence.


This genius marketing technique has worked in Sawyer’s favor, and he plans to continue with it. This strategy sets him apart from the other music artists who only release songs and sit back to see if they catch on. Sawyer challenges other artists to improve the marketing side of their music, which he considers an extension of the art itself.


Though it’s an effective music marketing strategy, Sawyer holds it to be more technical than it appears. One of his observations was that some of his online audience was only interested in the TikTok version of his songs. This implied that his audience on social media was not directly translating to streaming for his original music. Sawyer says he had to work hard to iron out the kinks and began focusing on the viral marketing of his actual songs.


Sawyer has also faced challenges with monetizing his art, which he still battles today. He noted that most streaming platforms pay peanuts compared to artists’ hard work in creating music. Due to this struggle, he often opts to work with crypto currency to supplement his music income. But ultimately, Sawyer views streams and money as a bonus to his craft.


“I just hope I’m releasing songs and content that is genuine to myself and that I don’t feel bogged down by promotion. I’d also love to have a platform and a brand to promote artists that I think are dope,” says Sawyer.


You can find Sawyer’s music on his website, Spotify, and Apple Music.

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Woman Claiming To Be DMX’s Child Joins Legal Battle For His Estate



Woman Claiming To Be DMX’s Child Joins Legal Battle For His Estate
DMX performs at The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2001 at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Florida. 8/20/01 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect

A woman joins the legal battle for the estate of the late DMX as she claims the iconic rapper is her father.

According to the reports, Raven Barmer-Simmons got in touch with all the 14 children of the legend DMX. The woman is from Georgia, according to the official information. There is no information about the relation of that female with the rapper who passed away back in April.

Some of the curtains claimers for X’s estate are firstly the three sons of the rap star. Xavier, Tahoma, and Sean Simmons are the legal children from DMX’s sixteen-year-long marriage to Tashera Simmons. The marriage was between 1998 and 2014 and they are the first to be declared as temporary administrators of the legacy the dog left behind. At least until some general conditions are not changed.

Since so many heirs are coming out of the dark, the attorney of the family had to make a statement. He said that no one will be just included in the will unless he or she had not taken a paternity test. The DNA will show who is real and who is the wanna-be.

Otherwise, there is no reason for anyone who is a legal heir to take an equal part of DMX’s property. Except waiting to get something there are administrative costs that also have to be shared. And the situation gets more complicated since the Low Court denied to declare Desiree Lindstrom – a fiancee and mother of DMX’s son who is five years old – to be the common-law wife.

It is unbelievable how to row this battle has become even after the court estimated the estate of the late rapper to no more than one million dollars. It was even cheaper at the time of his death.


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