Hip-Hop music is a young man’s game, and it’s getting younger and younger every year. These days, the majority of rappers bursting out on the scene are either in their teens or early 20’s. The same goes for the fans who buy the music. Due to this trend, a large generational gap is starting to become more and more pronounced within the realm of rap music. Even some artists in their early 30’s are now finding it hard to connect with younger rappers and fans, and a lot of rappers over their 40’s are already considered to be over the hill – so to speak. In the following article, we have listed 10 artists who are well into the twilight of their careers. This of course excludes the few who are well over 30 and are among the biggest names in the game. The rest were extremely successful at a certain point in their career, but it’s looking like they have fallen by the wayside of the endless march of time. Without further ado, here is the list below:
10 10. Big Daddy Kane
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Brooklyn rapper Big Daddy Kane was undeniably one of the major forces in Hip-Hop. He was extremely skilled on the microphone and he was a proven “ladies man” as well. However between that era and now, Hip-Hop has changed drastically. It’s now more mainstream than ever before, and there is a fresh new batch of rappers including Tyga, Drake and A$AP Rocky running the scene. Kane recently debuted a new single but no one seemed to really care. Sadly, it might be time for him to move on.
9 9. Too $hort
Oakland rapper Too $hort is close to pushing 50-yrs-old, and he has had quite a ride in the Hip-Hop industry. He has been putting out music since 1982, and since the beginning, he has stuck to the inner-city themes of “pimping, drugs, women and partying.” He even caught some heavy controversy in 2012 when a video surfaced of him giving fatherly advice to young boys that included some derogatory comments about the treatment of women. Perhaps every genre of music needs a dirty old man, but it might be high time for Too Short to put his pimping ways aside and move on to something else.
8 8. LL Cool J
Before anything else is said, it has to be firmly stated that LL Cool J is a legend in Hip-Hop. He was one of the first rappers signed to the now monumental rap label Def Jam, and he has enjoyed extreme success in his career. Who can forget some of his major hit singles like “Mama Said Knock You Out,” “I Need Love” and “Hey Lover”? He has been able to make the successful transition into acting and now stars on the hit TV show NCIS: Los Angeles. He has released 13 studio albums and a new album titled G.O.A.T. 2 is slated to drop in 2015. He’s had an amazing run in music, and after his next album, he should probably hang up the microphone. He’s done enough, don’t you agree?
7 7. Master P
At the age of 44, New Orleans rapper and entrepreneur Master P has enjoyed quite a run in the Hip-Hop industry. From his origins in the 1990’s with the rap clique called TRU to founding an entire empire around his No Limit Records label, he has made many millions from the industry. He also launched the careers of his younger brother Silkk the Shocker and his own son, Lil’ Romeo. In the last few years, he’s been trying to revive his career after being on a long hiatus. One can’t blame him for trying but his approach to music sounds so dated when compared to today’s contemporary rap scene. Perhaps it’s time for him to take the back seat and play the executive role in developing the next breed of talented rap stars.
6 6. Jermaine Dupri
5 5. Tone Loc
West Coast rapper Tone Loc is an artist that experienced a lot of success in the late 80’s with his hit songs “Wild Thang” and “Funky Cold Medina.” Both tracks sold over a million companies and are still listened to even till this day. However he hasn’t had any hits in more than a decade. In the last five years, there have been several reports of him collapsing during concerts from exhaustion and other medical reasons. He’ll probably love rap music till the very end, but at the age of 48 and with his less than perfect health condition, this might be the time for him to bid adieu to the rapping stage for good.
4 4. MC Ren
One of the most influential rapping crew of all time is Compton’s N.W.A. The founding members were Dr. Dre (of Beats Headphones fame), Eazy-E, MC Ren, Ice Cube and DJ Yella. The group was active from 1987 to 1991, and presently, most of the members have moved on to bigger things. Ice Cube is a big time Hollywood actor and Dre is most likely going to Hip-Hop’s first billionaire. However MC Ren, at the age of 45 is still putting out hardcore gangsta music. Our question to MC Ren is this – after making gangster rap songs for close to 3 decades, isn’t it time to probably move on? Just asking ….
3 3. MC Lyte
Before rappers like Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill or Nicki Minaj, there was the pioneering Brooklyn femcee known as MC Lyte. In the late 80’s, she released hit albums like Lyte As A Rock and All Eyes On This. In 1993, she put out an album that had one of the biggest hits of her career titled “Ruffneck.” Because of her unmistakable voice, she has been doing a lot of voiceover work lately and she also lends her celebrity to women empowerment causes. She is still putting out new music to this day, but with names like Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj on the scene, it’s hard for new rap fans to really notice her. At the age of 44, maybe it’s time for her to switch lanes and try something new. She’s a bright and intelligent lady, and she’ll probably be successful at anything she does.
2 2. Salt-N-Pepa
Another group that will forever be remembered when it comes to old school hip-hop is Salt-N-Pepa. The female rapping trio is responsible for huge “back in the day” rap jams like “Push It,” “Let’s Talk About Sex,” and “Shoop.” However recently, the company Geico made a hilarious commercial using their hit song “Push It” to promote their car insurance services and it was both funny and sad to watch it. On one hand, it was an entertaining ad spot, but then it was a little disappointing to see such an important, Grammy-winning rap group reduced to shilling car insurance. Geico probably offered them a decent check for their services, and as you know, when money talks, everything else moves.
1 Erick Sermon
Rap music is a young man’s game, and when you start to edge toward the age of 50 (which is by no means old), it really is advisable to try to attempt a new avenue of making money. The rapper and producer Erick Sermon will forever be remembered as a legend in the game for his excellent albums with the group EPMD and his sterling solo career as well. He was also very influential in breaking new rap acts like Das Efx, Keith Murray and Redman. But he’s 46-yrs-old now, and the rap terrain has changed drastically since he debuted in the late 80’s. He could probably still make a great living by putting the mic down and producing for some of the top acts currently running the scene.