[In honor of today being one of the wackiest days of the year, SOHH reminisces on the craziest career moves hip-hop has seen.]
1. Snoop Dogg Signs W/ No Limit Records
Snoop signed with Master P’s No Limit Records (distributed by Priority/EMI Records) in 1998 and debuted on the label with Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told that year. His other albums from No Limit were No Limit Top Dogg in 1999 (selling over 1,503,865 copies) and Tha Last Meal in 2000 (selling over 1,000,000). In 2001, his autobiography, Tha Doggfather, was published. (Wikipedia)
The Los Angeles dog takes a detour after his Death Row run and found a home with a new “Master”? Ugggghhhhh, ughhhhh, na, na, na naaaaa! H*LL NAW! This mid/late 1990’s move had us scratching our ears over whether Snoop Dogg was really ’bout it, ’bout it or just going with a label that threw him a bone. Surely enough, after a couple albums, the D-O-Double-Gizzle was out the dizzle, fo’ shizzle.
2. Waka Flocka Flame Drops His Pants For PETA
Wearing nothing but strategically placed teddy bear and camera necklaces, Waka Flocka Flame is the first rapper to star in PETA’s Ink, Not Mink ad campaign. He shows off his tattoos, and a lot of skin, in the new ad, which urges, “Ink, Not Mink. Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin and Let Animals Keep Theirs. (USA Today)
It’s one thing to protest and fire back at rappers on tracks but Waka Flocka Flame holding it down for…animals? Pretty odd since he was featured in that “Hard in the Streets” music video with Diddy and Rick Ross rocking a mink, and last time we checked, you can’t sew a fur coat from shed dreadlock hair. Nonetheless, who would have thought that Waka not only goes hard for his dogs– literally– but a vegetarian as well? Guess we won’t see a Cam’ron and Waka Flocka Flame “Popeyes” remix music video any time soon.
3. DMX Goes From Top Dog To Jail Bird
Rapper DMX, real name Earl Simmons, made a brief appearance Wednesday morning in Maricopa County Superior Court. Simmons, 39, denied violating his probation on drug charges, failing to submit to a drug test and driving with a suspended license. Court Commissioner Christine Mulleneaux ordered Simmons to remain in jail without bond. Simmons ended up behind bars in Arizona — for the sixth time in 10 years — last week. He was three months short of completing an 18-month substance abuse program. (KTAR News)
From putting out platinum-selling albums within a single year to helping make the Ruff Ryders movement fierce as the group’s leader, DMX had it all: money, power, and respect. However, every dog eventually goes astray at some point. After the death of his grandmother in the early 2000’s, X’s got caught up in one criminal offense after another: getting busted on weapons charges, drug charges, driving violation charges and more. Will the dog have his day once again, or will keep on “Slippin'”? We’ll see.
4. Common’s Content Goes From Killer Bees To Butterflies
Breaking away from the norm in 2002 (this time more than usual), Common stepped out on faith and released Electric Circus, his fifth and most eclectic album yet. While it received an A for creativity, it failed in record sales, causing him to have a dip in his career. The following year, however, did show some promise. With the aid of singer and then girlfriend Erykah Badu, Common received music’s highest honor–a Grammy. The Pisces combo teamed up to collaborate on the hit Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop), from the Brown Sugar movie soundtrack. In 2003 the tune won a Grammy for Best R&B Song. (Jet)
We love the “new” Common but if you do your Wikipedia searching, you’ll realize Mr. “Sense” used to go really hard on wax. Remember Can I Borrow A Dollar? or even One Day It’ll All Make Sense? He even engaged in a beef with West Side Connection! But after his late 1990’s romance with Erykah Badu, Common took a slight turn toward more peaceful things, like love and vegetarian diets. While we’re glad he’s feeling “G.O.O.D.” these days, we’re still shocked that Com switched up his style and content.
5. The Bad Boys Become Holy Sons
“Loon is working his way out of my system,” Loon said in an interview. “I’m just happy to be accepting Islam and finding the peace of mind that I was always searching for in the music business and it was very difficult to find this place in my life now but thanks to Islam I’ve been able to complete my search and I’m very much at peace. Bad Boy days are over, now I’m what you would call a good boy. [laughs] Right now I’m very much focused on studying Islam…being in the position of influence, I have to be able to protect myself in ways the media sometimes tries to use these transitions that artists make and try to make an opportunity to mock Islam or whatever faith somebody might choose…With me, I very much love the music but it’s the lifestyle that’s really the bad influence. The music, sometimes, can be geared towards people to do positive things but the actual part that detours people from practicing their faith is really the lifestyle.” (Al Jazeera)
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but could Diddy hold the key to the Pearly Gates? Bad Boy has seen some of its artists hit rock bottom, but also seen a choice few reach a plateau higher than any Billboard top spot: Mase became Christian, Loon found Islam and Shyne delved headfirst into Judaism following his jail stint. We’re still boggled over the coincidence, but guess it’s safe to say that those rhyme books were permanently traded in for holy books.
Happy April Fool’s Day!