Rappers may sound like they're obsessed with the idea of "keeping it real"—and, believe us, most of them are—but the truth is that very few of them actually do it when they step inside the studio. They embellish their bank account balances, exaggerate how many kilos of coke they pushed prior to picking up a mic, and create fictional characters. Lots and lots of fictional characters. Everyone from Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. to Ghostface Killah and Devin The Dude has done it. It's a trend that we don't see coming to an end anytime soon.

Not that we necessarily want it to. While we could do without some of the other fabrications that rappers work into their rhymes, the truth is that we love many of the fictional characters that rappers have created over the years. They've helped tell stories. They've resulted in funny skits. And in a lot of ways, they've earned places in hip-hop history—even though they're not, you know, real. So to show them their proper respect, we came up with a list of 20 Memorable Fictional Characters From Rap Songs and pondered what they might be up to these days, now that their short-lived rap careers are over.

Written by Chris Yuscavage (@ChrisYuscavage

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