Kenny Mack, an Oregon-based hip-hop performer whose real name is Nathan Paul Burke, is suffering through just about the worst possible fate for an up-and-coming rapper that has yet to find a big national audience. He has been sentenced to more than seven years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to being in possession of an illegal firearm. Burke admitted his guilt to the federal court back in October 2010 and received his sentence earlier today (Jan. 11).

Mack was truly on his way up before a series of crimes derailed his career. The rapper was voted as Artist of the Year at the West Coast Hip-Hop Awards in 2009 and had the potential to be a rare breakout MC from the Pacific Northwest. Yet later that year he was arrested outside a Portland bar called the Spare Room Tavern with a loaded .45 caliber handgun that officers watched him toss in an attempt to flee the scene. Police were responding to reports that the bar was experiencing some sort of gang activity and nabbed Burke as he was on the run.

Burke's sentence of seven years was prolonged because he had also earned a previous conviction for the unlawful use of a weapon as well as the delivery of a controlled substance.

Watch footage of Kenny Mack