Rapper Lunchmeat has been arrested six times on charges such as robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a bulletproof vest. His longest stint lasted five and a half years in the California Youth Authority. "But," he says, "I had no violent felonies as an adult."
Lunchmeat says his parole status puts limitations on his career.
"I can't be seen hanging around documented gang members or wearing gang replicas.... I can't go on tour. I can't go two cities over....
"I'm a well-recognized guy. When some people see a flyer with 'Lunchmeat' on it, half the people say, 'Let's support him.' Some say, 'Let's work against him.' That's the life of being an underground gangster artist: you can't call yourself a gangster and be liked by everybody. If you are liked by everybody, you're not doing your job."
But isn't gangster rap on the decline?
"Right now there's no real gangster artist who's making it besides Game. It's easy for people to think we're on the decline because real gangster artists are becoming extinct. It's one of the hardest artists to be."
Lunchmeat collaborates with rappers such as Lil B-Stone and 12 Gauge Shottie. He gets his beats from E-Low and Bat Cave Studios. He's performed at Blue Agave, Blue Tattoo, Club Antonio's, "and all the clubs in TJ and San Diego that allows hip-hop." He didn't get to perform at his last show September 29.
"We were supposed to play at this sports bar in Linda Vista, but before I could even get in, I get a call that the police shut the whole function down because somebody did a drive-by [shooting]."
Lunchmeat music is available on siccness.net. His new disc, 100 Percent Beef, will be available next month.