As a rapper, it’s one thing to create a quality work that gains a lot of attention and signifies you as a talent to watch. It’s another thing entirely to continually live up to those expectations time and time again. Some are able to rise to the challenge, some stumble but recover their footing later on, and some completely fall off the face of the Earth. Here’s a list of 11 rappers who haven’t stood the test of time.
Previously a member of hip-hop group the Fugees, Ms. Hill struck it big with her debut studio album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1998 – a masterpiece of neo-soul that’s been certified eight times platinum and is widely considered to be one of the best of all time. Even with her newfound success and accolades, Hill’s problems with the music industry and idiosyncratic behavior led to her dropping out of the public eye for a while. The lukewarm reception of her live album “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0,” failed touring dates both solo and with the Fugees, and prison time for tax evasion just last year have put her musical career on hold for the time being. She still tours, but no one knows if we’ll ever see a proper follow-up to “Miseducation.”
Sigel has a talent for visceral lyricism that was able to back up his original popularity in the early 2000s, with hit records like “The Reason” and “The B. Coming” under his belt by 2005. Unfortunately, various prison stints have consistently held him back from etching his name on the list of all-time greats.
Back when the Dipset hype machine was at critical mass, Juelz Santana had the game on lock with albums like “From Me 2 U” And “What The Game’s Been Missing!” (remember “The Whistle Song”?) But when the hype machine deflated, it deflated big time, taking the whole collective down with it. There are talks of Santana releasing a long-awaited fourth album at the end of this year, but it looks like his glory days are far behind him.
Sovereign, a UK grime rap artist, briefly took the world by storm with a flurry of singles, particularly “Love Me or Hate Me,” from her album “Public Warning” back in 2006. Her second album “Jigsaw” wasn’t greeted with the same open arms three years later, and after an appearance on “Celebrity Big Brother,” her spotlight quietly faded.
New York-based rapper Mims gained a lot of attention for his ear-grabbing platinum single “This Is Why I’m Hot” and his subsequent debut album “Music Is My Savior” in 2007. Whatever notoriety he’d gained from his debut had dissipated once his second album “Guilt” came around in 2009. Not even a song with KRS-One and Redman called “How To Be An Emcee 2010” could help pull him back from the brink.
The influential Chicago group’s single “Hay” helped them poke their heads through the mainstream ceiling briefly in 1996. Even though the group kept recording albums up until 2008 and “Hay” has influenced a number of Chicago MCs including Chance The Rapper, they never saw the same level of success again.
Like many of the groups on this list, N2Deep had a hit single in the song “Back to the Hotel” but failed to capitalize on the success they saw a second time.
“Bust A Move” is one of the most timeless hip-hop songs of all time, but Young MC, real name Marvin Young, has had a hard time tracking that same amount of success. Aside from a bizarre cameo in the George Clooney movie “Up In The Air” and a handful of independent releases, Young MC hasn’t found a way to break through the ceiling again.
As a member of G-Unit, Yayo had a hit single in “So Seductive” and a solo album, “Thoughts Of A Predicate Felon.” His success was largely tied to the Unit’s and has been in limbo for a while. With the very recent resurgence of G-Unit this past summer, who knows what the future holds? Maybe another Tony Yayo solo album?
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