Homo-Thugs, Hip-Hop, Entertainment and Keepin’ it Real

Homo-Thugs
You see them in every prison. Homo-thugs. Creeping on the low. Acting like they’re gangstas. Going hard and then breaking weak. Swearing they ain’t faggots. But I’m telling you if you let a man suck your dick or you hit one of them gumps, you a straight queer. Ain’t no ands, ifs, or buts about it. Well maybe there are some butts about it, but you know what I mean. These dudes up in here are crazy. Closet homos, you heard.

I’ve seen it all over the feds. And it ain’t like some macho movie shit in here, like fuck or get fucked. These dudes are just straight homos. But they’ re swearing they’re not. I’ve seen them all up with the gump on the pound, and then they’re fronting in the visiting room kissing up on their babymama and their kids. These dudes are sick for real.
If you can’t get no pussy what would make you wanna let a man suck your dick? I mean if you’re straight that is. If you’re a gump then that’s what you are. Don’t fight it. Don’t deny it. Be who you are. But in here you got a whole bunch of dudes faking it. Like they tough. Like they gangstas. Like they hard. Yeah they hard alright. Hard for another man to suck their dick.

And these homo-thugs blend in too. All up in the click with their homeboys, but hanging with the gumps on the downlow. They’re watching the videos on BET. Fronting and rapping like they’re gangsta. Keeping it real and shit. Talking about that Lexus they used to have. I keep waiting for the day when another brother will call one of these homo-thugs out. “You ain’t no gangsta nigga, you a homo-thug.” But it don’t happen that often. Dudes are letting shit ride. Don’t want no drama, I guess.

These dudes are all up on the court balling and everything. Sweating up on a motherfucker. Who knows what they got? A lot of these gumps got the package, but that don’t stop none of these dudes getting theirs. They’re digging that gumps back out. Tearing that ass up. In the name of what? Getting their? That shits crazy. And some of these homo-thugs are getting mad love from bitches. Their babymamas are taking care of them, and they’re all up in the feds hitting faggots. And they’re thinking these faggots is bitches too. Prison bitches they call them. Yo, that’s my bitch, you hear them say, referring to the gump. That ain’t no bitch motherfucker, that’s a motherfucking man, just like you.

And some of these gumps have tits too. The homo-thugs love that shit. When a faggot with tits hits the pound all types of drama will jump off as all the homo-thugs fight over the gump. Stabbing each other up and shit. Like they’re fighting over a fine ass broad.
I can see why some of these dudes with life do it. I mean fuck it, they got life. They’re trying to get something. But they got homo-thugs in here that are short and they go hard on that gump shit. All up in recreation or education sweating the gump to meet them in the bathroom, or even moving up in the gumps cell for some all night action. I’m like damn, these dudes is short. What are they thinking?

I’ve heard of dudes that got dilemmas when they hit the street. They got their babymama and their prison gump on the street waiting for them, and they’re not sure which one they want to go home to when they get out. They’re talking about the gump got a good job and their babymama on welfare. Damn son, and these dudes swear they’re not gay.

I say fuck it, come out the closet. Move to San Francisco. I ain’t gonna knock a person for being gay, but don’t be no hypocrite. Like, yeah I ain’t gay, but I’m fucking with gumps in prison. C’mon man, that shits retarded. Either you are or you aren’t. There’s plenty of dudes been in 20 or 30 years that never went that route.

There’s a saying in here that after 10 years it’s all legal. Meaning that after 10 years in prison it’s all good. You can fuck with a faggot and not be queer. But c’mon, that’s some bullshit. And some dudes jump right off the boat and into the water. They like, damn, I’m getting me some. Like there ain’t no difference between ass and pussy. These dudes going hard like they’re in ancient Greece or something. They think they’re Trojan warriors. They go raw dog too. No wonder so many homo-thugs got aids. Trying to say they were shooting up and shit. All up in the joint going hard on heroin. But motherfucker you ain’t shot no heroin. You a straight gump.

Going back out to the street and giving their babymamas the package, that shit is foul. These dudes are outta control. And it don’t matter where they’re from either. In the prisons a lot of dudes label DC guys as homo-thugs. And to a point it’s true. But not all of them are like that. And I even believe the word, gump, came from the DC prisons like Lorton and the like, but for real I’ve seen homo-thugs from all different places- Carolina, NY, Philly, Jersey, Virginia. It don’t matter. Some of these dudes get in here, and they think they’re home free. Like its ok, I was in prison. It doesn’t count. Stop fooling yourself man. That is some bullshit.

I even seen some Muslim dudes who are supposed to be all righteous and shit on that gump shit. Like they say, it takes all types. But these homo-thugs are a breed of their own. And they stick together too. You see them on the yard all late when it’s dark. Walking around the track with their gumps or they’re playing ball and their gump up in the stands cheering. And these same dudes, these homo-thugs will swear they’re not gay. They’ll go home to their woman swearing they never did no shit like that. But in here dudes know. And once you’re labeled a homo-thug the label sticks, you can’t shake it. Change your ways when you hit the streets. Once a faggot always a faggot.

Hip-Hop Does Not Mean Gang Related
Hip-hop does not mean gang related, but some in the media would have you believe it does. To the delight of hip-hop’s opponents and the consternation of its defenders rap music has a long history with the penal system. And with the recent gang legislation bills passed in Congress rappers better watch out.

“The same techniques that were used to investigate the mafia and drug gangs are being used on rappers today,” says Lisa Evers, host of New York’s Hot 97’Street Soldiers’ program. The feds targeted Death Row CEO Suge Knight in the 90s, and Y2K5 saw them indict Murder Inc. With Irv Gotti’s arrest and the continuing probe investigating Ja Rule and other Murder Inc. artists and employees, the feds are portraying the record label as a violent, criminal street gang allegedly led by Supreme Team founder and ex-con Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, a former 80’s drug baron, who after spending a decade locked down emerged to make strides of his own in the rap world as a film producer. The straight-to-DVD flick, Crime Partners, which featured Snoop Dog and Ja Rule, was among his credits. But with Gotti acquitted the feds case against Supreme seems weak. The trial starts in March.

In the mind of legendary Geto Boys alumni Scarface there is no doubt that hip-hop is being targeted by law enforcement officials. “They are about to make the rap game illegal,” he says. “It’s going to be like the dope game. It seems like it, because they’re trying to kill this shit. They want this shit dead. They don’t want any nigga in power, period. They don’t want niggas making money off this shit.”
With the ever popular cell block video setting and affixed gang colors, hip-hop has been tattooed with the markings of gang and prison culture. But it’s just entertainment, right? Maybe not. “They don’t call it gangster rap for nothing,” says FBI agent Fred Snelling, a primary on the Murder Inc. case.

And incarcerated O.G. Tank, who’s doing life in the feds says, “Rappers have taken on the persona of the hood stars who are now in prison or dead. They think its slick to be linked to the streets with their gangsta image and street credibility to boost record sales, but with that gangsta image comes some very real gangsta problems.” As Irv Gotti has found out. Even 50 cent says as much, “I think it’s sad, Irv Gotti’s situation. He tried to become something he never had the heart to be. That’s where Gotti came from. He was DJ Irv ahead of that.”

And in reality Murder Inc. is no more violent street gang then the US government is. And the alleged leader, Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff is just an ex-con that was trying to go legit. But with the feds war on rap its open season on every money getting dudes in the hip-hop industry. Especially, if they got a criminal past. “They doing some foul shit to Preme,” says Choke, a B-More native who did time with Supreme. “The feds won’t be happy til they bury Murder Inc.” But the Death Row case showed that reality isn’t always stranger than fiction and sometimes entertainment is just that, entertainment. No matter the connotations the media, critics and the government would have you believe. And with the Murder Inc. acquittal Supreme’s won’t be far behind.

Entertainment or Reality???
With an ever increasing violent world of hip-hop emulating the criminals and gangstas they admire the lines between entertainment and reality are blurring. The glorification of hip-hop soldiers who are in jail or who’ve been shot has reached a crescendo. The roll call lists a who’s who of rap royalty- 50 cent, C-Murder, Beanie Sigel, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, TI and the Game.

“Hip-hop brought with it a certain amount of violence from the street,” says Lisa Evers, the host of hip-hop news program ‘Street Soldiers’ on New York’s Hot 97. And the shooting last January 24th, at the Game’s Black Wall Street compound in the heart of Compton, LA exemplifies this point. “Everyone blows a shooting out of proportion,” says G-Ride, a BWS member. “It’s everyday life here. You hear shots and you just cover your head.” But is the violence in a rap video gone wild or real life?

In his rise to rap superstar the Game has had several violent episodes, not to mention his own coma-induced shooting that left him hospitalized before his rise to fame. A difference of opinion between the Game and 50 cent, G-Unit label mates, turned gangsta in New York on February 28th, when 50 cent called the Game out on Hot 97, and kicked him out of G-Unit. Shots were fired outside the radio station immediately after the interview, and a twenty-four year old from Compton affiliated with the Game was wounded in the leg. Coincidence or not, concerning the split G-Unit member Lloyd Banks says, “I don’t care if 50 dissed your moms. It doesn’t matter if he’s 120 percent wrong. I’m with him period.”

In the next incident a hip-hop DJ known as Zxulu from DC rap station WKYS was allegedly beat up in the radio station lobby by the Game’s entourage following an interview with the artist. So does gangsta rapper imply gangsta? “There’s people in the rap game who feel they have to project a certain profile, because they want people to take them seriously,” reflects Tank, an O.G. doing life in the feds. “But remember Tupac didn’t get into trouble with the law until after he had a hit record.”

And as the Game’s antics have escalated so has his popularity. Following the career path of another gangsta rapper by the name of Curtis Jackson who fueled his ascension in the hip-hop world by seemingly starting beef with all comers. Is this the new model? And if so is it show or reality? “In the Game’s case,” Tank says from the heart of America’s gulags. “I think he’s legit. He was a member of the Cedar Block Pirus from South Central LA’s blood gang and his manager is ex-con Jimmy Henchmen. Those cats get much respect.” But will respect be enough or will somebody make the Game resort to something that he doesn’t want to do again. Because bullets kill. Bullets maim. And just like Tupac and Biggie found out its not all entertainment. Or maybe it is.

Keepin’ It Real
The violence that exists in hip-hop is often talked about as being separate from the violence in our society, but it isn’t. America on the whole was built on violence and violence is a huge part of our culture. The biggest selling movies and highest rated TV shows- not to mention the news programs- are all about violence to some extent. Violence has become entertainment in our culture. So the rappers who are quote-unquote keeping it “gangsta” are just following the national trend.

But when do they go too far? When is “keepin’ it real” too much? Violence-real or imagined- seems an integral part of the music’s appeal. Particularly, to the white audience that composes nearly 75% of its total CD buying market. But it seems some of these rappers get caught up in the act.

“Having a reputation means maintaining that reputation, which goes hand and hand with drama.” Says Sport, a boriqua from the Bronx doing 30 years in the feds. “Drama ultimately brings on situations outside of ones control.” Its like Big Mike, another convict, says, “Nobody wants to hear that Tony Montana doesn’t want to be Scarface anymore.”

The biggest rapper of today, 50 cent freely boasts not only of his crack-dealing past, but of surviving 9 gunshot wounds. In CD photos he appears reaching for his gun in variously menacing poses, and he recently appeared on the cover of Vibe magazine as the aforementioned Scarface. But yet at the same time he’s been quoted as saying, “Fuck the hood.” Is this every thug who bought Mike Tyson’s Connecticut mansion keeping it real?

“I’m still hood,” is every rappers catchphrase but nailing down a precise definition of hood-ness can be difficult. Hip-hop success stories claim to still represent the hood even it they rarely associate with it anymore. And then there’s the other side of the coin. “I have never dropped the block mentality,” says Geto Boys rapper Scarface. “I will never lose my block mentality. I have never left the block.” And while this might be true in some cases “keepin’ it real” can have consequences as Lil’ Kim, who was just sentenced to one year in jail for lying to a grand jury about a 2001 gun battle, found out.

In the rap world one persons tragedy, real or imagined, is another persons entertainment. Boastful tales of gun battles, drug dealing and murder permeate the lyrics of BET’s and MTV’s countdowns. And by “keepin’ it real”, if only in a video, artists are defining trends and culture. In Y2K6 America it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that violence sells.

Hip-Hop From Prison
Hip-hop has taken over the airwaves. Of 681 million CD’s sold last year, 246.5 million- more than one third- were rap or R&B. The genre has influenced everything from film to fashion to sports and nowadays you can see your favorite rapper pitching everything from shoes to beers to vitamin water in magazines and on TV. The music has moved beyond the fascination with the outlaw aesthetic that’s long been prominent in many forms of popular culture to become a movement of its own spawning imitators in popular culture worldwide.

Yet for all their business world ascendancy hip-hop’s biggest players remain plagued by affairs uncommon to most corporate boardrooms. From the murders of Tupac and Biggie to the Puff Daddy nightclub shooting trial to the Death Row/Suge Knight episode to Jam Master Jays mysterious death to J. Prince and Rap-Alot Records legal problems to the Murder Inc indictment, the chaos in hip-hop’s lyrics is often all to real.

“America is a nation that funnels a third of its black males aged 20-29 through the prison system,” says Mary Bosworth, a criminology professor at Oxford University. And when it comes to hip-hop artists, jail time can be a career enhancer. Numerous artists have released albums while incarcerated. Including Beanie Sigel, who released The B-Coming while doing time in the feds, and others like Turk, Mystikal, Slick Rick, Keith Murray and ODB, who made his record while he was a fugitive from the law. And Master P’s brother, C-Murder, with the assistance of New Orleans Attorney Ronald J Rakosky, and a hand held recording system even laid down tracks for his album, The Truest Shit I Ever Said, during attorney visits while awaiting a murder trial.

And prison isn’t an obstacle to sign a record deal as Shyne can attest to. He signed a $15 million dollar deal with Def Jam while incarcerated. “We’re selling his story, his credibility,” says a Def Jam staffer of Shyne’s Godfather Buried Alive CD. And sometimes that story sells, but other times in the case of Shyne’s album it doesn’t.

But with so many rappers being funneled in and out of the system how long will it be before the prison systems capitalize on it. They already have factories in the prisons making all kinds of product at slave-labor wages. Why not take the next step and jump into the entertainment market. Imagine that, Cellblock Records- straight outta Ryker’s Island.

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