News: Rakim Discusses Rappers Retiring, "I Think We Should Stretch Our Age Limit" [Video]
Monday, Oct 19, 2009 12:40PM
With the recent announcement of Lil Wayne planning to retire by age 35, rap pioneer Rakim spoke with SOHH about his views on hanging up the microphone for good.
From Rakim's perspective, rappers should aim to stretch their careers out much like an R&B artist.
"Yeah, I think what's happening is, rappers are becoming, especially for people that love a rapper, rap and hip-hop come to party," Rakim explained. "You can't just put it down. It's not like sports where you know, you lose a step. You can lose skills in rapping of course, but it's a little different man and I think sitting back and watching the R&B genre, you got, at any awards show and you see brothers like Al Green come out and tear it down. It's longevity in R&B and I think if it's done right, to an extent, I think we can have a little longer gevity in hip-hop, it don't just have to be a young music anymore. You got people like myself, I'm in my 40's now, early, early early like real early. I just touched 40, but still, I don't plan on stop listening to rap anytime soon and I don't plan stop rhyming no time soon and it's that tug-of-war with the fans. Every time you see the fans or go to a show, they're like 'Yo, do another album,' so it's like that love between the two, the fans and your music. I think we should stretch out our age limit as far as hip-hop 'cause if that's the case, I think when brothers grow up they just want to leave rap entirely and listen to other genres of music so I think there is room for a little mature sound of hip-hop, for the older, grown and sexy, whatever you wanna call it." (SOHH)
The possibility of owning a sports team has caught Lil Wayne's attention and would be his next venture after rap.
"I always said I ain't wanna do this no more after 35, I ain't wanna do it no more," Wayne revealed in an interview with radio personality Tim Westwood. "So any time before 30 and 35, I might give it up. [But now] I gotta work as hard as I can so I ain't gotta look back. [When I retire, I'll] do something else, I'm gonna retire from this and probably jump into some ownership of some sports team or you know, I'm very heavy into sports. Any sport. [I'd want ownership] of the team. It doesn't matter, it could be basketball, it could be baseball, of course it wouldn't be baseball, there's too much money to own that, but it could be basketball or football, it wouldn't matter. I could buy into a baseball team with someone." (Tim Westwood TV)
Ghostface Killah also spoke on his perception of age within the rap game earlier this year.
"I'ma definitely be old in hip-hop," he said in an interview. "I'm not gonna be on the road. But this is a mental thing. You can write music till you 70. This is a hobby, B. Muthaf*ckas always act like they retiring and don't go nowhere. You know what it is, man. You can't get away from it, B. You don't think Michael Jordan wants to pick up the ball sometimes? But that's what it is. That's why a boxer always keep coming back, like Muhammad Ali, until he just kept getting his a** beat. Until you realize, I just ain't got it no more...I mean, yeah, you always worry about it. But that's what makes you great. It keeps you on your toes. The muthf*cka that thinks that he's not falling off, his darts start coming more weaker. Once you worry about it, and hope that this don't happen, then you're guaranteed to be around for a long time. Cause you're always trying to be on point." (New York Magazine)
Jay-Z, who turns 40 in December, recently addressed his stance on the age-factor within hip-hop and why he is unwilling to give up his spot for younger emcees.
"I hear it all the time -- 'Yo, he should let the young guys, the new generation of guys come in,'" Jay explained in an interview. "But you don't become the front-runner in music because someone lets you. You have to claim your shoes...If you grow up listening to hip-hop, you love hip-hop and that's the end of it. But if you're a 30 year-old rapper still trying to make music like you're 15, then you're making it narrow. At my age, I can't relate to a 15 year-old. I deal with mature and relevant topics for my age group -- it has to all be based on true emotions. The more diversity and the more mature we make hip-hop, the bigger the net you cast." (Reuters)
Check out Rakim's SOHH interview below: