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A criminal past isn’t a necessary requirement to become a rapper, but if your image is one of tough talk and the like, it’s helpful when fans don’t doubt the sincerity. Since the beginning, there have been rappers from the hardest hoods to the plushest suburbs, but there are a few acts that appear to still be deep in the streets. Or, at least one point were.

Of course, the softer side of rap has plenty of representatives such as Kanye West, Drake, Kid Cudi and others not mentioned on this list. But on the flip, there are some rappers we wouldn’t tussle with unless we had armed guards behind us.

HipHopWired looks at 12 rappers (actually “rap acts” since there are some groups in here) that are ’bout that life, even after jail stints and growing fame.

Photo: Maybach Music Group, YouTube, Montreality, Instagram, Facebook, Def Jam

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