Rappers like Lil Wayne and T.I. have a right to bear arms
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. Up this week, Luke explains why famous rappers such as Lil Wayne and T.I. get caught with illegal guns.
Earlier this month, Lil Wayne began a one-year prison sentence on a gun charge, prompting people to ask me why, with all of his money and security guards, Young Money would risk his career like that. Well, people have to understand the rappers' workplace. Guys like Lil Wayne, T.I., Young Jeezy, 50 Cent — hard-core rappers — have to do shows in the hardest hard-core nightclubs where the thuggest of the thuggish congregate.
When those guys come to Miami, they better be going to the Lexxx, Coco's, and the Take One Lounge if they want to maintain their street credibility. You go into one of those clubs and someone is going to have a gun.
The problem with working in entertainment, especially in the rap game, is that if you aren't flashing anything, it means you ain't got shit. So a rapper will go out flashing his chains and driving around in a nice car with big-time rims. Everybody knows you just did a deal for $5 million.
Thugs are well aware of this. They will case a club to keep an eye on who is buying all the bottles, who is wearing the most jewelry — generally scope out the place so they can tell their boys, who follow you home. Now one might think that having a security detail would fix that problem. But when a rapper gets caught with a gun, it usually means he doesn't trust anybody around him. He's thinking, I've got to have my own back. Just look at what happened to Miami rapper Brisco. He got held up in a barbershop. No one was watching his back. A lot of times, it's your own homeboy who sets you up.
Unfortunately, Lil Wayne got caught with a gun on his tour bus. And worst of all, it happened in New York, where they have a dedicated rapper patrol. Their job is to go after rappers all day. In Weezy's case, someone needed to step up and take that gun charge. The boss is not supposed to go to jail. It's too bad because I always knew he was going to be a star.
I told him at the MTV Video Music Awards a couple of years ago that he was going to be big. He was sitting with Trina. I told him he just needed to take advantage of his window of opportunity because it would eventually close.
I felt the same way about T.I. I met him before he became a rapper. He was on one of my Freakshow tapes. He was in Daytona Beach for spring break and we hung out the whole time. T.I. is a very sharp, good kid. He is not one of the assholes in the game.
As for me, I own a gun, but I keep it at home. I don't carry it because I have a very bad temper and I will shoot somebody. My mama once told me: "Only fools rush in." Besides, I am usually at clubs like LIV, rapping about the birds and the bees for white people. I don't go to places where I am going to need a gun.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
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