The 25 Realest Rap Songs About Prison

Ludacris f/ Beanie Sigel, Pimp C, and C-Murder "Do Your Time" (2006)

Producer: The Trak Starz
Album: Release Therapy
Label: Disturbing tha Peace, Def Jam

Prison was just one of those subjects not-serious Luda hadn't really covered until after he dropped the cornrows and then Release Therapy in 2006, when he became serious-Cris. For the track, he lined up an all-star gang of rappers who have been to prison: then-still-kinda Roc-a-Fella associate Beanie Sigel (who has been on this list more than anyone else, it's worth noting here), Pimp C (who had also just been released from prison the year before), and C-Murder (also already on this list).

As it turned out, Ludacris's performance with the material wouldn't be half bad, either. More importantly, however, was the chorus, in which all four rappers dropped the names of their friends still in prison, with a message of support and resilience—"stay up, homie"—and the line that anchored it: "Do your time/don't let your time do you." It might be one of the more hopeful songs on this list and in the pantheon of prison rap songs, and as such, helped Ludacris make his way to a rap Grammy in 2006. —Foster Kamer

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