11 Rappers Who Are Too Old For Their Bars and Their Behavior
Growing up in the late nineties I remember spending my time quoting rap lyrics in the lunchroom and having daydreams that could have easily been directed by Hype Williams himself. Biggie inspired designer label delusions of grandeur regularly dropping names like Moschino, Coogi and DKNY. The Neptunes had us kick, pushing to Kelis and Busta Rhymes had my class changing the lyrics to “Dangerous” to represent the class of 2001. Back then hip-hop was filled with better music video budgets and messages that were centered around money, power and respect; what we needed in life if Lil’ Kim had anything to say.
But as I grow older and the rappers I admired get closer to middle age, it bothers me on some level to see them rapping about the same things they did almost fifteen years ago. I’m not saying any rapper over 30 should chalk it up and begin doing voice over auditions for Disney, but I feel artists just like anyone else eventually have to grow. We all can’t be socially conscious, but if you’re forty-something and still catching weed cases like sweat towels at a Trey Songz concerts and repeating the same rhymes about cash, cars and girls, I’m going to need you to discover life and go a little deeper. With that said, here are 10 rappers that feel may have outgrown their lifestyles and lyrics:
1. Jay- Z
I’ve been a die hard fan of Jay-z ever since my best friend bought me In My Lifetime Vol. 1 for Christmas in 1997. I remember my favorite song being “Lucky Me” because I’ve always felt Jay’s lyrics were most powerful when he was talking about all of the reasons he shouldn’t have been successful. Unfortunately the last time Jay made me feel like that was on “Lost Ones”. Sometime after that he started rapping about Tom Ford and a lifestyle that many of his fans couldn’t relate to. I get it. He grew. He’s a business in own right co-owning the 40/40 Club and being a certified NBA and MLB agent. Which is why it’s even harder to take him seriously when he’s running around at age 44 in fitted caps and ROC chains talking about breastuses being his breakfast.
2. P. Diddy
If he’s not stringing potential pop stars along at committed relationships and successful singing careers, he’s going through identity crises changing his name from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to Diddy and back again. In his latest video “Big Homie” with fellow past his prime rapper, Rick Ross, he’s strutting through liquor stores in a ridiculous fur. ‘m not saying all rappers over 30 have to open a J. Crew account but being a a rapper doesn’t man you’re relegated to wearing animal fur and gold chains for the rest of your adult life.
3. Busta Rhymes
There was something about a 41-year-old Busta Rhymes telling anything to “twerk it” last year that was just a little too “old man in the club” for me. liked the song, but I felt like by the time Busta’s single was the released the young whipper snappers had already been there, done that and made a Instagram collage to commemorate it. Between Nicki Minaj’s diaper donk and the abused hashtag I wanted to tell Busta he was better than this. Leave the clichéd catchphrases to someone like Tyga who doesn’t have a legacy of decent hip hop to lose.
Ludacris was never the most serious or socially conscious rapper, but I must admit I lost a little respect for him when I heard he was creating babies on breaks and blaming his child support troubles on chickens that didn’t hatch aka as the post-poning of the next Fast and Furious film. In Luda’s defense he does seem to take his growing acting career seriously appearing recently on BET’s Being Mary Jane and major movies in addition to the Fast and Furious franchise including Crash and Hustle and Flow. Unfortunately all we seem worried about is when he’s going to marry Eudoxie.
He rocks pink furs and had a girlfriend named “Juju”. You mean to tell me this doesn’t sound like a Boondocks character waiting to happen? Cam’ron made the list simply because his rhymes have always sounded more Mother Goose than MC. Lyrics like “You know I’m strapped for the drama, Afghan to Harlem, clap his Mama. Homeboy, don’t ask for the ganja. No way, hey, I relax in a sauna,” always left me like, “Huh?”. And let’s not forget the shameless PDA he and Juju constantly have to make post on Instagram. Not the most mature thing in the world.
6. 2 Chainz
I still don’t get how 2 Chainz and Lil’ Jon are two different people. I would expect the “Is This Yo Thot” shenanigans, from Tyler The Creator, not a 34-year-old for whom being charged with felony drug possession is just another Tuesday.
7. Rick Ross
I’m calling out Rozay on some rather dated beef, but I have issues with men who bicker with women like they’re auditioning for a role in Mean Girls. You may remember in 2010 the rapper threw a tantrum after the Soul Train awards after losing in the “Best Hip Hop Song” category. When songstress Chrisette Michele called him on being a sore loser he responded by saying, “Using ugly words could give off the wrong impression. That could make your hat look ugly to me now. That could make your haircut look ugly to me now.” Is that how we treat people who sing on our redundant songs of cutting coke deals and Miami beaches? Because of course Ross is without his own share of flaws.
8. Kanye West
“College Dropout” Kanye West was cool, but Mr. Kardashian toting his Armenian trophy is rather annoying. Between Jay-Z oversharing he and Beyonce’s bedroom activities and constantly hearing Mr. West drop lyrics like, “Pa rum pump um pummin” on Kim K. on the Drunk In Love remix, the whole song sounds like an immature mix of locker room talk and frat house hazing. Every time he mentions Kim he reminds me of that guy we all knew in high school who needed to desperately prove a point that he was getting some from the hot chick no one thought he’d ever have.
9. Flavor Flav
First, off I’m just getting over the fact that at Flavor Flav is not that much younger than my parents. Yet he reminds me of that one uncle we all have that just can never seem to get his life together. I appreciate Flav’s contribution to hip hop as a part of Public Enemy and paving the way for hype men everywhere, but there’s nothing grown about being a 55-year-old man running around with a clock around his neck screaming, “Yeah , boy!” that’s just a tad bit sad.
All I’m going to say is that Birdman is a 45 year-old man with tattoos on his face and head. Nonetheless in 2011, he had an estimated net worth of $150 million. Obviously he’s doing something right.
I’ve heard that those who suffer from drug addiction often stay trapped in the same age they were once they started using. This may explain DMX’s naked relay races in hotels, and clearly not giving a f**k about his finances or the 10 children he’s failing to pay child support for. If he’s not cussing out Iyanla Vanzant he’s threatening George Zimmerman. I really feel like X would fit right in on an episode of Scared Straight with a bunch of teens getting threatened by inmates with Kool Aid packs and Vaseline.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.