Pants On Fire: Hip-Hop's Most Exposed Liars

Roxanne Shanté isn't the only rapper to stretch the truth every now and then. Who else has taken poetic license a bit too far?

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Complex Original

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You've heard the news by now: Slate has found that rapper Roxanne Shante was not nearly the business-savvy teen that she bragged about being--and that rather than holding her label accountable for her college costs as she went on to get her doctorate degree, she actually didn't ever get a degree at all, let alone make her label pay for it.

But more on that later! Hip-hop (and R&B) is as full of self-mythologizing bluster as the next genre (you ain't no killa, Kenny Chesney!), but sometimes we're amazed at what people try to get away with..which is why we rounded up the biggest fibbers in the biznass. Dear bad liars: try to stay away from polygraphs in the future...


THE LIE: Arguably the first female gangster rapper, Bo$$ talked nonstop about slangin' in Compton, being a certifiable G-ass killa who was also paradoxically dead broke, and assorted other street tales that were so familiar to the early-'90s West Coast movement. Then came the Wall Street Journal reporter who in 1994 published a story exposing Lichelle Laws' middle-class upbringing in Detroit--including two deacon parents who constantly sent money to her in L.A.
THE VERDICT: Guilty of affected gangsterism in the first degree! But at the time, she was the biggest Bo$$ that we'd heard thus far.



THE LIE: The singer's entire backstory, as he repeatedly discussed in interviews, revolved around leading a car-theft ring and serving more than four years in prison, including a three-year bid in Georgia. Of course, after The Smoking Gun started looking into things, they planted their gumshoe square in his ass. The reality? That Akon had landed in jail once, for a single stolen car, and served a matter of months before charges were dropped.
THE VERDICT: Might want to rename that record label, potna. In the meantime, can we borrow one of your wives?



THE LIE: The Dallas-area rapper, who hit the charts with 2007's "Bussa Move," claimed in his press release that he'd been in the Marines for four years. After the Marine Corp Times looked into it, they found no record of big homie serving in any military branch.
THE VERDICT: Why would a rapper bother to lie about being a Marine? Guilty, but laaaaaaaaaame!



THE LIE: After the infamous 2001 shootout between her crew and Capone's outside the Hot 97 studios in NYC, the Queen Bee repeatedly told authorities that her manager D-Roc wasn't involved (and that she didn't even know her bodyguard C-Gutta).
THE VERDICT: Guilty of federal perjury! Off to the bing went Kimberly Jones for a year and a day. This is the thanks she gets for being loyal to her crew? It's enough to make someone want!



THE LIE: The first lady of the Juice Crew claimed that she had made Warner Music pay her way through college and graduate school on her way to getting a Ph.D. Problem was, as Slate has just uncovered, that a) she wasn't signed to Warner Music (they just distributed her Cold Chillin' records), b) she only attended her undergraduate college for three months, and c) that despite the claims, she doesn't possess any college degree, undergraduate, Ph. D., or otherwise.
THE VERDICT: Looks like UTFO's homegirl The Real Roxanne was actually the real Roxanne. We'll lay off, though; she's an icon, and any education is better than no education at all. Hear that, you bum-ass rappers who like to brag about not reading?



THE LIE: Where to begin...Okay, maybe that he was a coke kingpin, that he knew Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and that he had never been a corrections officer--despite irrefutable evidence. BAWSE!
THE VERDICT: Guilty! Now for your sentence: having your label buy tens of thousands of copies of all your albums in order to inflate your first-week sales. *Sad trombone sound*


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