Hip-Hop's Greatest Frauds


Written by Jack Blocker
07 Thursday 07th February 2013

Controversial incidents and tales of hardship once defined Hip-Hop. Now it's mostly dominated by misanthropic Tumblr pages, pampered narcissists and potty-mouthed brats. There are still those, though, who claim to come from the toughest hood, deal the most drugs, and hustle the hardest in the name of credibility. We take a look at some of Hip-Hop's most infamous phonies.

Silibil 'N Brains

Silibil 'N Brains, a rap duo from Dundee, were failing to garner attention from major record labels back in 2002. Realising that the problem was not talent but their authenticity, they adopted fake accents and fabricated stories of a harsh American upbringing. Spurred on by the success of rappers such as Eminem, record labels soon came knocking. What started as an audacious prank turned into four years of minor fame, major excess and personal breakdowns. They've even been immortalised in a film about their exploits, The Great Hip-Hop Hoax, which is due for release later this year.


Rick Ross

Late last month, rapper Rick Ross was returning from birthday celebrations when shots were fired at the Rolls-Royce he was driving, causing him to crash into a nearby building. Rumours circulated that Ross staged the shooting to raise his profile.

The rapper's lyrics weave together tales of international drug trafficking, prostitution rings, and partnerships with Pablo Noriega, the Panamanian military leader who was convicted for drug trafficking. However, Social Security records revealed his former career - he was in fact a prison corrections officer. After the story broke, he continued to release songs about his imaginary criminal empire. It’s almost impossible not to admire the man.


Gucci Mane

With an impressive rap sheet, frequent collaborations with Rick Ross, and the phrase ‘trap house’ in the title of most of his albums, Gucci Mane is clearly a true disciple of the streets. Perhaps that's why, like many street-disciples, he’s steeled himself against ordinary life by getting a giant ice cream tattooed on his face.



The struggles faced by Jimmy Brooks, Drake's teen heartthrob character in Canadian TV hit Degrassi High, wouldn’t be out of place in the lyrics of Rick Ross or Pusha T: a life changed by a bullet, a promising athletic career cut short, solace found in music. The child star's personal troubles however, fail to extend beyond a champagne scuffle in the VIP section of a nightclub. It's hardly Biggie versus Tupac, but given that a bottle of Cristal landed on Chris Brown's nose, we can at least give him some support.


Pusha T

While he may be signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. label, he’s certainly not joining Yeezy on the front row at fashion week. Pusha's too busy boasting of a talent for drug-dealing so prodigious, it's a wonder his records haven't attracted the attention of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The man is obviously an untouchable drug kingpin, who can push coke as readily as he can make a song with Pixie Lott.


Too $hort

In his song, ‘Blow the Whistle’, Too Short claims he's rapped for 225,000 hours. That’s more than 25 years worth of lyrical content and at 46, over 54% of his life. It's a level of dedication unmatched by today’s rappers, who prefer a hyperactive social media presence. They're too busy to deal drugs or shoot anyone.


Lil Wayne

Is Lil Wayne a restless creative and a musical auteur, or a man derailed by drug addiction? Both may be true, but he hasn’t let personal troubles detract from his credibility as a gangster. He once even threatened a lawyer during a deposition. As any authentic gangster knows, it’s always smart to level death-threats at members of the criminal justice system.

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