Rap Culture
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When The Checks Stop Coming In: Rappers Who Went Broke And Hustling

So, this time, we will present to you the most rap brokers in the game today.

Rap culture has always been obsessed with the spoils of victory. From private planes to chains on chains, the material goods a successful career in hip-hop can acquire have always been a fixture in the genre.

But what happens when those material prizes—the money, the cars, the clothes—all start to work less in favor of the image of rap celebrities, and start to work against them? When those assets aren’t managed carefully and begin to backfire on those who prized them so much?

We’ll tell you what happens: For one thing, the IRS usually comes calling.

Xzibit – He’s flat broke…Pimp My Ride didn’t exactly pimp his life.
When did they go broke?
The quick-witted ex-host of MTV’s Pimp My Ride, Xzibit has been out of a steady paycheck since 2008. That was the year when Pimp My Ride was cancelled. X’s income soon fell to a reported $67,510. After his SoCal home was foreclosed in 2009, X to the Z filed for bankruptcy.

Nick Cannon – He went broke before he turned 19…good to see he picked himself up though.

Young Buck – He couldn’t even pay his cell phone bill recently. Blame Fiddy.

Bow Wow – He owes a few thousand dollars he used to buy himself a nifty little car. Whatever floats his boat.

Bow Wow’s problems are comparatively benign. Unlike many of his hip-hop peers, he is not in debt up to his eyeballs or in danger of losing his every material possession. Still, Bow Wow does have his problems. In 2009, he was court-ordered to cough up the $216,084 he owed creditors—the MC had failed to keep on his car payments after leasing a Ferrari in ’08.

MC Hammer

He lost 30 million in a year buying marble floors for his mansion is crazy.

Dame Dash

He’s not a rapper but he’s close enough…and owed the government millions.

Beanie Sigel

He’s going to jail for owing the IRS money. SMH.

Lil Kim

All that plastic surgery cost her too much money…so she also filed for bankruptcy.

When did they go broke?

Kim has tried to put her mid-’00s prison stint (for perjury) behind her, but thus far has been unsuccessful. In 2008, she was sued by her former label, Brookland Media, for $2.5 million, which legally barred her from putting out new music


When did they go broke?

After helping pioneer “shiny suit” rap with Puff and Big, Ma$e famously jettisoned the world of hip-hop for the religious sector, becoming a Christian pastor. Once there, he kept his more materialistic tendencies: Atlanta jeweler Aydin and Company sued him for failing to pay $35,000 over six years. A Georgia court luckily sided with him.

Trick Daddy

When did they go broke?

Big-hearted thug Trick Daddy has been trying in vain to dodge Uncle Sam for over a decade. According to the IRS, he failed to pay sufficient scratch in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. This amounted to $157,034 in unpaid taxes. What’s more, his suburban Miami home was foreclosed in May 2010.

Damon Dash

When did they go broke?

While not a rapper per se, Dame Dash balled like one during his tenure at the now defunct Roc-A-Fella. Sadly, the mogul’s downfall has been just as epic. Dash and Roc-A-Fella co-founder Jay-Z exchanged fantastic bile for years—remember when Dash infuriated Jay by promoting Cam’ron?—before the label disbanded. In the wake of a nasty 2009 divorce from wife Rachel Roy, Dash had his Chevy Tahoe repossessed and two NYC condos foreclosed.

Uncle Luke

When did they go broke?

In the 1990s, bass pioneer and M.I.A. hip-hop ambassador Uncle Luke was maligned on a near unimaginable scale, persecuted for his hyper-sexual lyrics and raunchy stage show; Tipper Gore, for one, was not a fan. Luke thrived on the bad publicity for years, but in 1995, his Luke Records imprint was driven into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A Miami lawyer named Joe Weinberger purchased the label’s entire catalog.

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