Rappers who haven't figured out they aren't famous anymore
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16.08.2017

Rappers who haven't figured out they aren't famous anymore

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From Flavor Flav to Da Brat and Foxy Brown to Flava Flav, these lyrical gangsters are clinging to a tiny speck of fame. Find out who else needs to spit some truth about their place in the rap game. 

Flavor Flav

Let's face it, Flavor Flav hasn't been famous since his ridiculous reality show Flavor of Love went off the air in 2008. Although he's done some other reality TV work, he's better known for failed business ventures and drama with the law than he is for fresh music. 
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Remember that time Flav (real name William Jonathan Drayton Jr.) tried his hand at the fried-chicken restaurant biz? Despite some initial success in Iowa in 2011, the budding chain shuttered just months after launching for alleged bounced paychecks and management drama. He opened another chicken joint called House of Flavor in Las Vegas in 2012, but that venture went belly up within six months. 

Though his culinary dreams failed to take flight, Flav did make headlines in Vegas for all the wrong reasons. According to CNN, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges in 2014, accepting a plea deal that kept him out of jail. He added to his rap sheet in 2015 when he was charged with driving under the influence of cocaine in Vegas, and he was back in the news again in the summer of 2017 for trying to unload a bronze statue of O.J. Simpson for six figures. Yep, it's time to walk away quietly, Flav.

Coolio
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When Coolio burst onto the music scene in the mid '90s, his unique style was a breath of fresh air. He won the 1996 Grammy for best rap solo performance for Gangsta Paradise, but Coolio hasn't been, well, that cool in a long time. Sure he's put out some music and done some acting appearances and voiceover cartoon work, but he's failed to make a splash. Also, he's still sporting the same hairstyle he rocked decades ago.

In recent years, Coolio (real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) is better known for misbehavior than beats. According to the Los Angeles Times, the rapper was charged with one felony count of possessing a firearm in 2016 after a gun was found in his carry-on bag at the Los Angeles International Airport. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days of community service and three-years probation. Coolio said the whole gun thing was a misunderstanding. "I do not condone the use of firearms legal or illegal…I don't do crime and I am not into anything illegal," he said (via the Los Angeles Times). 

Vanilla Ice
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Since his huge hit, "Ice, Ice Baby," Vanilla Ice's rap career has been put on ice. 

In 2011, he tried to reemerge on the scene flipping houses on a show for the DIY network called The Vanilla Ice Project. "I've had a great success in real estate, that's how I've made my investments, how I've held on to my money, that's how I didn't end up like MC Hammer," he told HuffPost.

Vanilla Ice (real name Robert Matthew Van Winkle) did end up like a lot of other rappers on this list when he landed in legal trouble in 2015. According to Deadline, police discovered stolen property—bicycles, a pool heater, furniture—on one of Ice's properties. He was reportedly charged with burglary and grand theft, but the charges were later dismissed in exchange for nine months of good behavior, reported TMZ.
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Ice reportedly had no chill in August 2016 when he threw a tantrum after missing a flight. The meltdown was broadcast by TMZ and shows the rapper serving up an earful of frustration after missing the boarding call, despite being at the terminal well in advance of the flight. It sounds to us like a certain someone did not collaborate and listen.

Chingy

In the early 2000s, Chingy was changing the scene with his fresh lyrics and catchy hooks. His debut album, Jackpot, went triple platinum, bolstered by hit singles "Right Thurr" and "Holiday Inn," but a high-profile feud with labelmate Ludacris and Disturbing Tha Peace records was the beginning of the end. 
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In recent years, Chingy (real name Howard Bailey, Jr.) has been trying to keep his name afloat. "I'm performing on the road and working on a new project called Dead Rose," he told HotNewHipHop.com in July 2017. "I've been traveling and making this new music. That's what it's been about for me…I was put here to make music and paint my vision through art of speech. So that's what I do."

Soulja Boy

Soulja Boy hasn't scored a victory on the charts his 2007 breakout hit "Crank That." He achieved moderate success with follow-up singles, including "Turn On My Swag" in 2008, but the rapper's personal life sabotaged his music career.
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In January 2017, Soulja Boy (real name DeAndre Cortez Way) was charged with two felony weapons possession charges and a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property, reported Rolling Stone. He took a plea deal, agreeing to five years of probation and 240 days of community service, according to TMZ. "He's not allowed to threaten anyone or possess any deadly weapons, not even [a] replica or toy gun," said TMZ.

Shortly after that snafu, the "Pretty Boy Swag" rapper faced another public issue with fellow bad boy Chris Brown. The pair reportedly agreed to duke it out in a boxing match, but the deal crumbled. Brown claimed "all the wrong people got in the way," reported Billboard. The event would have been Soulja Boy's biggest audience in years.
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Bow Wow

Bow Wow embarrassed himself in 2017 when he was caught lying about his lavish lifestyle. According to People, the former child star posted a picture on Instagram of a private jet and two Mercedes vehicles with the caption "Travel day. NYC press run for Growing Up Hip Hop. Lets gooo. I promise to bring yall the hottest show EVER." The problem: Bow Wow (real name Shad Moss) used a stock photo. He was later photographed on a commercial plane with all of us regular folks. 

The rapper's faux fame sparked an embarrassing new game dubbed the #BowWowChallenge. Participants share snaps of false scenarios to try to boost their images.
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Just weeks later, Bow Wow was caught allegedly feigning fame and fortune again. This time, he posted a video of him running down a street in Charlotte, N.C. because he's being pursued by "fans." The caption said, "30 yrs old and still getting chased. This s**t will never stop." Other Twitter users claimed Bow Wow paid people to chase him, reported People.

It has stopped, Bow Wow. It has stopped.

Foxy Brown
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Brooklyn-based rapper Foxy Brown hasn't put out an album since 2008, but that didn't stop her from inserting herself into a beef between Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma in the spring of 2017. After Ma slammed Minaj on the track "ShETHER," Brown stepped in and released a short diss track in response. It was a valiant effort, but no one cared. Brown (real name Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand) appeared to be drumming up attention in a battle she wasn't invited to. (We've got a hunch Minaj can take care of herself.)

Adding to the embarrassment, Brown was blocked from getting into a Brooklyn party in June 2017. She'd reportedly been scheduled to perform but showed up really, really, really late—like, five minutes before the end. 

Twista
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Speed was the name of the game and it was Twista's claim to fame back in the '90s and 2000's. According to the Chicago Tribune, Twista (real name Carl Terrell Mitchell) was awarded the fastest rapper alive title by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992. At the time, he was able to spit out a stunning 598 syllables per minute. His quick lips produced songs such as "Overnight Celebrity" and "Slow Jamz." Today, his career takes after the latter. 

"The memory of the youth today is amazing. I would walk around ready to battle anybody, with about 30, 40, 50 verses in my head to just shatter your world," he told the Tribune. "Now I'm walking around, and it's just harder to remember certain verses. I find it easier to memorize my lyrics with less syllables in 'em."

Twista also faced trouble with the law. He was arrested in March 2016 for possession of marijuana, but those charges were dropped.
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M.C. Hammer

In the '90s, M.C. Hammer was everywhere with his massive hits "Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit." According to Forbes, his net worth at the time was a staggering $33 million, but by 1996, Hammer (real name Stanley Kirk Burrell) was broke and filed for bankruptcy, claiming more than $13 million in debt.

"I didn't just take the money and say, 'I want to be a blessing to myself,'" Hammer said (via HuffPost). "I took my money and employed 200 people in my community. I had a payroll of a million dollars a month at times." He also said he wouldn't change a thing. "I really believe in the butterfly effect. Meaning that if I change one thing, everything else changes. I lose the kids I have now. I lose the relationships I have now. I lose the peace I have now. So I'm very happy with my decision."
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Though we don't predict a future in the rap game, this former mega millionaire did land a 
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