Lately, I've been getting back into some of the rap songs I loved in my early college days. See, those days were only about six years ago, but in the world of rap - it was as well have been a lifetime.
It may just be my perception of the business, but mainstream rap (even moreso than pop) has so little staying power for most of its artists. Every week there's a new young rapper "guest-starring" on a song or out with a hit single on urban radio - only to be little more than a memory just a year or two later. Sure, they might have three or four big hits on one album...but then what? It's as if they fall off the face of the planet.
Take Juvenile for instance, Smilez & Southstar, Baby, Clipse, BG, Birdman, Scarface...etc. etc. If you aren't Snoop, Jay-Z, Eminem or Ludacris...good luck, kid.
So I did a bit of research (thank you Wiki!) to find out what happened to some of the singers I remembered from the late 90s/early 2000s.The Cash Money Millionaires, creators of the most offensive song ever written as a tribute to women (but I love it). Now they are mostly trying to revive their single-driven careers - solo.
Q-Tip, member of A Tribe Called Quest and solo artist I fondly recall from 2000. Now he's guesting all over the place (including "Chappelle's Show" - Season 2)
Jermaine Dupri, made "Welcome to Atlanta" my airport staple. Now he's better known behind the mike producing albums and being Janet Jackson's ho.
Smilez and Southstar made a song I still catch myself getting misty-eyed about ("Tell Me") and now seem to have virtually disappeared from the Internet. They even lost their web address. Sad.
Same goes for the very short-lived Harlem World. I guess after Mase found Jesus then ditched him, the rest of the crew got lost.
Foxy Brown (aka hottest female rapper ever) seems to have lost almost all of her hearing and (surprise surprise) is in a spot of legal trouble - keeping her from getting a new record out.
BG is making a comeback with G-Unit, supposedly.
Murphy Lee and the rest of Nelly's St. Lunatics seem to be disappeared for awhile (and its a shame as I liked Leee far more than Nelly). Nelly, thankfully, seems to have shut up and now is busy owning the Charlotte Bobcats and banging Ashanti.
City High? Remember them? Created by Wyclef to mimic the Fugees...and it took roughly the same path.
...and there's tons more I'd love to know about. But we'll do that later. Have any to add?