Lil' Kim may be in prison, but I am not about to feel bad about her 366-day perjury sentence, which stemmed from a grand jury investigation regarding a 2001 shootout at the world's most dangerous commercial radio station, New York's Hot 97. Fact is, Kim's sentence has been well used to bring attention to the release of her latest album, The Naked Truth, which sold close to 109,000 copies in opening week sales (good for a #6 spot on the Billboard chart)—only furthering the idea that in the street-cred game of hiphop, there are worse career moves than going upstate.
Take for example, Puff Daddy's protégé/fall guy, Shyne. For an MC locked up since 2001, he has enjoyed a pretty lucrative career. Taking the fall for Puffy, his bodyguard, and the obviously guilty party (in my opinion) Jennifer Lopez, Shyne was sentence to a 10-year term. Although the "Son of Sam Law" prevents him from getting his royalties, his most recent Godfather Buried Alive album has sold an impressive 443,000 copies to date.
Joining Shyne on the cellblock of locked-up-yet-still-commercially-successful MCs, are Beanie Siegel (379,000 sold of his The B. Coming album) and Cassidy. The latter of whom I haven't even heard of before researching and writing this article, yet he somehow managed to sell 222,000 records while being incarcerated and facing first-degree murder charges. Cassidy?
Even more baffling is the sheer marketing genius—and gall—of Atlanta rapper TI. While being held for a probation violation on a felony drug conviction, TI somehow managed to make a video... in prison. Apparently housed in the world's coolest jail, TI's video was not authorized by the prison officials, yet when asked how a video crew was able to film inside the facilities, prison official Clarence Huber commented to AP that, "We did find out there was some sort of video being shot... there is a lot we're still looking into." Really, you think? To make matters worse for the prison, another prisoner escaped the facilities later that day.
But despite all of this, Lil' Kim is still in jail, and for the love of God, you need to send her something. Heartfelt letter, homemade zine, demo tape, or perhaps something cute you've knitted, as her usual attire might be a bit too drafty for the cold and unforgiving walls of prison. That said, send away:
Federal Detention Center
P.O. Box 562
Philadelphia, PA 19106