In The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, the Atlanta rap star details his numerous stints in DeKalb County Jail and how they bolstered his street cred. When the Bay Area's Mac Dre was locked up for conspiracy to commit robbery in 1992, he recorded an album over the jail phone that became legendary. This past year, Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine's various legal troubles—including a guilty plea for a child sex crime, and an arrest for firearms—propelled him into the Billboard Hot 100 and brought collaborations with Kanye West and Nicki Minaj.
But the reaction was noticeably different when Oakland rapper Qing Qi (Nikia Durgin) was booked in Nevada County Jail last week for an alleged burglary and high-speed getaway chase from police.
According to police, Qing Qi sped off at 120 miles per hour with her headlights off after officers stopped her on suspicion of burglarizing a CVS in Grass Valley. She nearly got away, but crashed in nearby Auburn, and was caught attempting to hail an Uber back to Oakland. The Union reported that officers found several thousand dollars of hair-care products and makeup in her car.
Qing Qi now faces two felony counts of second-degree burglary, one felony count of evading a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of obstructing a peace officer. Pending sentencing, she could spend up to nine years in jail.
All of which would ordinarily mean, by the rap rulebook, a surge in a rapper's career. Except when Qing Qi's mugshot appeared on the homepage of KRON4 on Nov. 17 and spread through Bay Area social media, the local rap community didn't celebrate her outlaw status. Nor was there the type of sympathy that's usually expressed for male rappers who get caught and put behind bars. Instead, the majority of the comments took jabs at Qing Qi's hair and weight.
Reactions escalated when Sacramento rapper Mozzy, who has over 828,000 Instagram followers (and, ironically, is Qing Qi's labelmate on San Francisco imprint Empire), posted her and her alleged accomplice's mugshots with the caption "Lil petty thievery n thingz" and numerous laugh-cry emojis. (The post has since been deleted.)
Following Mozzy's lead, his followers responded with taunts, many commenting that she deserved arrest after dissing Sacramento during her time as co-host of Thizzler's YouTube talk show, That's My Word. (While debating whether Sacramento is culturally part of the Bay Area, Qing Qi quipped that "Sacramento people are weird," to which her co-host DNas replied, "They're 2005 Oakland," implying that Sacramento is behind the times.)
Mozzy's manager, DavO, told KQED through a publicist that Mozzy was trying to make a point. “He just wanted to show people how things can quickly turn around for you,” he wrote in an email, adding that Mozzy had planned to post Qing Qi's bond, "just to show you that the same people who you put down, that you do not know from a can of paint, can be the same ones that you may need later in life. He deleted [his post] because he didn’t want to humiliate her." (Qing Qi's rap crew, Pu Tang Clan, posted her bond before Mozzy had the opportunity.)