Some of the most exceptional performances in hip-hop have taken place off of the stage in the courtroom. Rappers have been on trial for a myriad of things, including their controversial lyrics or misdeeds they should have never committed in the first place.
Philadelphia native Meek Mill has been going through trials and tribulations over his decade-long probation for his 2009 case that has more twists than a soft pretzel. From misuse of power and bizarre courtroom antics, Mill is dealing with a legal situation that he can't seem to get out from under.
Then you have the landmark case involving Luther Cambell, aka Uncle Luke, who had to go to the Supreme Court to fight for 2 Live Crew's right to free speech, because their music was deemed obscene by the state of Florida.
In 2001, all eyes were on Puffy and Shyne as fans awaited the outcome of their nightclub shooting trial. Although the Bad Boy Records mogul was acquitted, Shyne had to do a decade in prison for his actions in the shooting. In the late 2000's, Irv Gotti and his brother, Chris, were put on trial for money laundering. The case would eventually change the trajectory of both the Gotti brothers and Murder Inc. Records.
Elsewhere, veteran rhyme-slingers like DMX, Gucci Mane, and Boosie Badazz have found themselves in legal trouble for almost their entire rap careers.
The Boombox decided to take a look back at some of the most notorious legal cases that involved rappers fighting for their freedom. Some of these highly-publicized trials destroyed rap careers and in one case, destroyed a $100 million rap label. While many of these artists fought the law and won, there are others who are still languishing in the legal system still fighting the good fight.