Over the years, celebrities have increasingly shown an interest in taking part in gaming tournaments, with the majority of these being rap and hip hop artists. It’s easy to see the cross-over between casinos and musicians. Pro casino players have long relied on the music of rap artists to get them pumped up for big tournaments and rap artists have long used casinos as a way to relax in between tours and festivals. Both can boast to be obsessed with money and winning and with rappers having more expendable income than most of us, why wouldn’t they play and take their chances with the hope of earning more money?
Gaining success in the casino playing field certainly isn’t easy and you can’t always rely on luck alone. With the majority of their time being taken up writing, releasing and promoting music, it’s surprising that the likes of Nelly and T.I are able to take the time to practice the skills involved in playing poker or blackjack. Pro gamblers have often mentioned the importance of practicing their live game skills online when they aren’t able to play in real life. However, the differences between playing casino games online as opposed offline has long been under scrutiny. It seems likely that while there are obvious differences associated with playing casino games online versus playing offline, rappers could well be taking the opportunity to refine their skills on online casino platforms.
Rapper Soulja Boy has also been found to be funding and promoting a celebrity owned gaming site which will be used as an in-flight gaming system. Making casino games available to play whilst rap artists are in the sky will enable them to practice and perfect their gaming without the need to rely on internet connections and will revolutionize the industry. The idea is to be able to connect to live users rather than a computer which will enhance the gaming experience as rappers will be able to play and create a true-to-life player experience. While many rappers reap the rewards of their gambling habits, the same cannot be said for everyone. 50 cent famously suffered after being crippled by debt from his alleged addiction.
Ja Rule, one of the biggest names in hip-hop has also conquered the poker world and his love for gambling also led him to open up his own poker site. Despite it being shut down, he continues to host poker parties for him and his friends to enjoy. Interestingly, although rappers have welcomed casinos into their daily life, the same cannot be said the other way around. In 2006, Las Vegas sheriff Bill Young declared a war on gangster rap in casinos and their nightclubs in what can be described as being ‘a crusade against hip hop and rap’. This would have given rappers a key reason to start looking at playing games online, as there was a great deal of resistance to them playing live.