2Pac is one of the most influential rappers of all time, but not just for his lyrics and image. It’s also because many rappers after him have tried to emulate the success he achieved due to going to prison.
In 1995 2Pac made history when he went to prison on rape charges and released Me Against The World, an album that debuted number one on Billboard and went on to sell two million records in a year. The feat made 2Pac the first artist to have a chart-topping, platinum-selling album while serving time behind bars. He made history again the next year when he got out of jail and released his double-album All Eyez On Me to rave reviews and even more platinum plaques. To this day the album is known for its hard-ass opening “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” with Pac making sure that the first time you heard him out of jail was going to be him at his best. It’s also known for the “out on bail, fresh out of jail” line on the first single “California Love.”
Rappers have been trying to capture that lightning in the bottle ever since. However, it must be noted, jail time rarely translates into platinum albums and critical acclaim, if ever at all. But, that hasn’t stopped rappers from trying to capitalize off going to jail. Try deciding for yourself if going to jail hurt or helped these rap careers.