Mobb Deep‘s Havoc recently shared his thoughts on rappers trying to break into the music industry past the age of 30.
From Hav’s perspective, 30-year old emcees should consider the difficulty they would encounter fighting rap’s age factor.
“Here’s my problem, now Jay-Z killed it, killed the game, he could do that and if somebody was in that same position, I feel they could do it,” Hav explained in an interview with DJ Vlad. “But if you haven’t already gotten on and you past 30, then I think you should [stop]. That’s my opinion and not to kill anybody’s dreams that’s trying because it’s just my opinion — it’s in my strong opinion that if you haven’t gotten on by the time that you’re 30 and you’re past your 30’s, try something else. And especially if you don’t have any money. Because then you’re wasting time. And there’s probably a million motherf*ckers 30 and past it that could prove me wrong, but I’m just saying in my strong opinion.” (Vlad TV)
Last year, Jay-Z talked about nearing 40 and still wanting to have a long-run in hip-hop.
“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)
Rap pioneer Rakim also discussed the age issue with SOHH last fall.
“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 likesports 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…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)
50 Cent, already in his mid-30’s, recently said he would likely never hang up the microphone.
“I don’t think I’ll retire – I think you should look forward to me going behind the scenes more, I still have passion for music,” he said in an interview. “The music business itself has changed. If you can’t figure out how to develop the brand extension and opportunities that allow you to build up the marketing dollar, I don’t see how you can continue to be a superstar.” (The Independent)
Check out Havoc’s interview below: