Columns: Nas Admits He Considered Leaving Rap: When Is It Definitely Time For An MC To Quit? [Click Here & Speak]
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011 12:10AM
Yo this rap sh*t is not like a normal gig. Most careers, you give dedicate a good chunk of your life (let's say 40 years or so), build a nice nest egg to retire on then retire somewhere quiet or sunny. At least that's how it goes for many. But nah, in this here thing we call Hip Hop, you can be the hottest n*gga on Mars one second, then the next you're on a reality show dancing next to a basketball wife.
[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH]
Point is, there's no clear-cut career path for musicians, especially rappers. We all know MCing is one of those things where it's hard to keep the registers ringing once you become a man of a certain age. In fact, it ain't even all about age: Let's say you bringing a super-trendy style to the game and your sh*t is hot ... styles change, music changes and suddenly you're forced into early retirement. Hope you kept that reciept for that nice a** watch, dunny.
My man Esco arguably one of the most influential artists of our time, recently admitted that at one point, he considered calling it a wrap to be more of a family man.
"It's crazy, because when she was young, she was a baby, I thought, Aw, man, I'm gonna quit this rap sh*t before she becomes old enough to even know what I'm doing, what I did for a living. I never thought that I'd be still doing it while she's a teen, growing up. And I'm still in the game. It kind of f*cks me up," Nas explained. "It's weird as f*ck sometimes. But then, other times, it's, like, perfect. It's, like, I'm glad it worked out this way. 'Cause then I would have to be telling her, "No, I really was a somebody in rap. Like, you got to believe me!" (XXL Magazine)
Now, to be in the game as long as Nas has is definitely a blessing, alotta rap cats become irrelevant after their second disc, but at what point is it in an MC's best interest to gracefully bow out? It hurts a true sports fan to see their favorite athlete remain on the field years after their glory days are behind them, and its sorta the same with rappers: Seeing a cat that hasn't put together a tight bar in years, yet continues to try to rock out can somewhat tarnish their legacy. So what do you do: Say f*ck a legacy and remain in the game, scrapin' up all the cash you can 'til the only shows you can book are in a mal food court, or do you leave at the top of the game like Seinfeld leavin' n*ggas with a hunger for more?
Rappers retire, come back and retire again. I call it the Marlo (from The Wire syndrome: They need the game more than it may necessarily need them, but as true fans of the art of Hip Hop, our question today to you is this: At what point is it in an MC's best interest to unplug the mic?
Speaking of MC's that've been in the game for a minute, check out this new joint by Common: