When it comes to hip hop culture (I'm still one of the few that refers to it as such), I usually have a lot of things to say and I take it quite seriously. I want to touch on a few items in this post, and I'll try (keyword: try) to make things brief, but if it's extended, please bear with me!
Retirement in hip hop
This has been a trend over the years and in my opinion, it's not a good one. Of all the artists who have said they would retire at some point (Jay-Z, Too Short, 50 Cent, just to name a few), most of them have returned at some point. Some were successful, some weren't, and it just leads me to believe that it's simply a marketing ploy in a sense. The way I see it, if you need to take some time away from hip hop, an extended hiatus, whatever the case may be, announce it as such. Don't mislead the fans and the industry into thinking you're retiring permanently, only to return at some point, when it was clear you never were going to retire in the first place. Remember these lines from Jay-Z's "Encore":
As fate would have it, Jay's status appears to be at an all-time high, perfect time to say goodbye /When I come back like Jordan, wearin the 4-5 It ain't to play games witchu
Now, I bought "The Black Album" when it first came out, and when I first heard that "wearin the 4-5" line, that right there confirmed to me that he would return to hip hop, and he certainly did with 2006's "Kingdom Come". Make no mistake about it, had "The Black Album" been his last album, it would've been a hell of a way to retire.
This retirement subject was inspired by recent comments from one Lupe Fiasco, who has been talking A LOT this year (especially since his 4th album is on the way). According to comments on xxlmag.com, he stated that "The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1" will "probably" be his last, before he pursues literature. I have no problem with someone wanting to do different things, but is anyone really buying for a minute that this will be his last album? Has he given us any reason to believe that this will be it? I don't believe it one bit, honestly.
I'm not sure how true it is, but I recently read that Lil Wayne said he was "joking" when he mentioned that he would
retire from hip hop to, ah, pursue skating, smh. Even though I'm no fan of this guy, my first reaction was "so what".
Bottom line is, when it comes to hip hop, if you don't want to be a part of it, just leave, quite frankly. Don't take a
spot that can be given to someone else who really wants to contribute and enjoy what they do.