Last Wednesday, Atlanta’s Crawford Long Middle School raised eyebrows and churned the stomachs of parents everywhere when rapper Gucci Mane showed up to speak to kids for career day. While his stunning face tattoo and lack of verbal eloquence may be the most immediate reasons for this reaction, it was Gucci’s prolific criminal record that had many parents calling for the school administration’s (figurative) blood.
Gucci, née Radric Davis, has a rap sheet (or Wikipedia “Legal Issues” section) that seems to channel Eastbound and Down‘s Kenny Powers in its irreverence and stupidity. We’ll let you decide whether or not to read all of it, but the two highlights are definitely the case in which he filed a “Special Plea for Mental Incompetency” and the one where he was arrested for *deep breath* “driving on the wrong side of the road, running a red light or stop sign, damage to government property, obstruction, no license, no proof of insurance and other traffic charges.” Oh, he also reportedly pushed a woman out of a moving car.
As evidence of Gucci Mane’s incompetence piles up like endless bricks of cocaine, he may seem like the absolute worst role model the school could have chosen. Sadly, that’s not the case. Somewhere, these five felonious rappers are probably thinking they have a shot at motivational speaking, but they should never be allowed to be within 100 yards of a child, let alone speak to one. Let’s take a trip down legal issue lane…
“Hip-Hop’s Greatest Storyteller” wasn’t adept enough at spinning tales to escape two counts of attempted murder in 1990, for which he served five years in prison. His lengthy stay put a sudden halt to a stellar career, and reinforced the pirate image that the patch-eyed British rapper has attempted to cultivate.
Gucci’s fellow ATL resident has actually spoken to groups of children before. Unlike Gucci though, T.I.’s school visits have come in the form of sobering speeches about not fucking up big time, as he himself has done several times. While most charges on his record are minor drug offenses, his pièce de résistance is the 2007 charge for possession of three unregistered machine guns and two silencers. What you know about gats? He knows all about that.
While Keef’s record may look paltry compared to some of his peers on this list, you have to remember that this kid is 17. So far, he’s only got charges of heroin manufacture and distribution, three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on a police officer, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, resisting arrest, and most recently, a parole violation courtesy of a video on Pitchfork. Keep at it, Keef, and maybe one day you’ll top this list!
Although Lurch may have the most abbreviated rap sheet of anyone on this page (one crime), his is definitely the most gruesome. In 2002, he and his female roommate allegedly used PCP, which somehow prompted Lurch to not only murder his roommate, but also eat part of her. He was found by the police standing naked in the street, covered in blood, with human flesh in his stomach. Luckily, Lurch is the member of this list least likely to ever see another child, as he is currently serving a life sentence.
Some musicians’ Wikipedia bios are so extensive that they are divided into chunks by year or decade. So far, the only time we’ve seen this organization applied to the “Legal Issues” section is on DMX’s page. 2000-2005 was a particularly busy time for X’s lawyers, who somehow translated a whopping 19 separate charges into less than a year of total jail time, a brief stint in rehab, and $776 in fines. Not bad, especially when considering that eight of those charges stem from one incident in 2004, and two of those eight are “claiming to be a federal agent while attempting to carjack a vehicle” and “menacing” (a crime most likely coined by whoever DMX barked at during this frenzy of illegal activity).
Only time will tell if Gucci’s career day visit will set a precedent for rappers in the classroom, but let’s just hope it’s not one of these guys. Rappers aren’t the only celebrities that can be problematic as motivational speakers– those with severe mental health issues should probably be avoided by schools as well. It’s a little unnerving to think that this guy gave a speech about positivity to my third grade class in 2000.