The 25 Realest Rap Songs About Prison

Akon f/ Styles P "Locked Up" (2004)

Producer: Akon
Album: Trouble
Label: SRC, Universal

The original version of this song, sans rapper, is great; it helped establish Akon as a hood star before he opted to be a world star. But the remix is so much better, thanks to the always-welcome presence of the wily Styles P. Fresh off a jail stint for gun possession, Styles' verses are raw as an open wound but still have a twisted humor: "Two toothbrushes up" he says, as opposed to the usual, "Two guns up." The Ghost paints a grim picture of prison life, one draped in paint as grey as the prison walls themselves. Yet his most hard hitting line is so daringly declarative, "The food is garbage." No wonder he started a juice bar. —Insanul Ahmed

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