After the death of Tupac Shakur hip-hop lost its way, the Bling-Bling days, then the Mafioso days, and most recently the “How dare you pick up a microphone without having a parole officer” days.
One of the hottest rappers of the last 3 years has ‘kept it real’ without any question. He has an arrest record that has to be kept on three different hard drives; he has spent so much time behind prison bars walking down the street on a bright sunny day is his biggest fear. MC Shoot U has been signed to 8 different record deals before he ever officially released a song. He lost 5 record deals because within days of agreeing with the labels he landed back in jail and they expired before he was released. He lost 1 record deal because he liked the watch of one of the lawyers looking over his contract and said “fuck it” pulled out both of his guns and robbed the lawyer along with the other 13 people in the room. The other two record deals were lost because the Feds raided during the signing and he never got to finish writing his name.
Like most present day rap artists, Shoot U’s buzz began on the streets before record labels even had a clue to his presence. A couple of mix tapes sold out of the trunks of cars, a good YouTube following, and it is possible to become hip hop royalty. Shoot U, born Nathaniel Webster Adams, got a following from his mix tape as well… yes that is mix tape singular as in one (1). Shoot U refused to spend money to press CD’s so he made people listen to his songs at gun point and just stole the $5 dollars he would have sold his CD for from them after the tape popped off.
For The Source Magazine’s Unsigned Hype review of Shoot U they wrote:
“This is the realist artist coming today, no other rapper around today can record songs so rich in street culture and so terrifying that you forget he is actually holding the entire Source staff at gun point until we finish our positive review… Help!”
Crimes committed by Shoot U became easy to solve, when a victim made a complaint and informed a detective they were robbed to a soundtrack the cops knew who their man was. Clifton Jelks remembers the first time he heard MC Shoot U “2004, sometime in the Spring, I saw him free styling near the tracks… I had to try to make the next train to get to work. He had a gun. Now I like my music raw as anyone else, I remember hearing NWA and being afraid to go to Compton. I remember seeing Mobb Deep in concert and having to fight my way out the place to get to my car and I will never forget how hard I pee’d on myself when Shoot U held that gun to my head and rapped about it.”
Innocent bystanders came outside on the wrong day
8 at night on a Thursday
I’m gone spray
It’s they job to get outta MY way
Be it a murder or a robberay
Aint no reason for the crimes a nigga commit
Guns illegal Car Stolen
Except for the bullets
Aint nuthin I own legit
From the street anthem “You Shouldn’t Have Been Standing There”
Many rappers call themselves ‘street reporters’ and rap about crimes they saw happen or heard about. MC Shoot U rapped about things he actually did. Shoot U’s career ended because… well, he rapped about the things he actually did. His only album was released the week he was arrested for what would eventually lead to a life sentence. The album titled “I Killed Willie Banks… REALLY, I KILLED WILLIE BANKS” it produced one hit song “I Be Selling Dope At My Girlfriend’s Place (2247 S. Bishop)”. Ironically, MC Shoot U was arrested at 2247 S. Bishop on Chicago’s South Side, police said they received a tip on his whereabouts. The streets miss you Shoot U… ONE.