Ten rappers who should just retire already

Categories: Lists

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The following rappers have all been, at one point, among the best in the game. They were each considered to be the cream of the crop, but even the finest cream goes bad eventually. Sadly, these MCs are all arguably well past their prime, and although we love them and it pains us to say it, they need to hang it up. Continue on to see which rappers we think need to put the mic down.

See also: The ten weirdest hip-hop releases of all time

10. Kool Keith
If you're not surprised that Kool Keith is still around and making music, you probably have no idea who he is. Well, at one point, he was one of the most influential and forward thinking MCs around, but while others have carried his torch into the new century, he seems contented dicking around as if he was still in the '90s. Yes, he remains weird and unconventional, but the boundaries of rap have expanded well beyond where he's operating, and if he's not pushing boundaries, then he's not doing what he does best.

9. Ice Cube
Ice Cube is talented enough to have been hugely successful in both the arenas of music and film, and he has been stubborn enough to more than wear out his welcome in both fields. To be fair, he's actually made some pretty good music into the 21st Century, but 2010's I Am the West wasn't very good at all. And we could forgive the bad music if he showed some god damned acting range. Seriously, Ice Cube, how many Fridays must there be?!

8. Dr. Dre
You're probably saying, "What? Dr. Dre hasn't put out an album since 1999. He's long past retired." No! Until Dre releases a P.S.A. declaring that Detox is never coming out, he owes us that goddamned album. It's like the infinite jest for Christ's sake. Just admit that the project is dead so that we can all move on with our lives! And Schoolboy Q? You're not helping. "Detox is like a mix away," my ass.

7. Eminem
Sure, he's still insanely popular, and he can definitely still rhyme, but his album game is waaay off. If you think the pulled punchlines of Recovery were a crowning anything, then you don't remember The Eminem Show well enough. If the frustratingly overwrought Relapse was your shit, you're probably just pining for the long lost days of the Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers LPs. It's barely even worth mentioning the forgettable Bad Meets Evil project. Even Encore puts these new entries to shame.


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104 comments
Jim Anthony Arnoldi
Jim Anthony Arnoldi

This clown calls white people everything in the book but yet he's not called a racist he's a rapper bullshit

Taye Davis
Taye Davis

You clearly don't know wth you are talking about...

realeyez81
realeyez81

Who the hell is going to be left that has even an iota of talent that these godfathers have? This article sucked.

Colorado Jones
Colorado Jones

See that's that BS right there...y'all kidding right? Wow

Rizz Da Royal
Rizz Da Royal

Paul N Campos u know this he sucks always has lol

Oscar Dozal
Oscar Dozal

This article is garbage. Noah Hubble, you are out of your element sir.

Jason Wagner
Jason Wagner

Careful now Noah, I've seen what happens to people that diss LL Cool J. You never hear from them again.

Haven Holmes
Haven Holmes

Buddy Guy has a song that goes, "And I'm still out having my fun, because I'm 74 years young." Should he quit too? Nah.

Marisol Villagomez
Marisol Villagomez

Paul A. Swydan what are you thoughts on this list? I LOLd with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.

Tylr Tre
Tylr Tre

Jay Z Just sold out his entire upcoming tour, with tix starting at $175 resell starts atv $500..I think he's still got it, you hipster idiots.

Kellie Rainey Campbell
Kellie Rainey Campbell

DISAGREE. My only beef with most of these rappers is that they don't tour nearly enough.

Monique Nelson
Monique Nelson

Westword is really falling off... article is trash. I use to long for Thursday's.. now I may not even pick up a paper for week's... boo oooo

Joel Hhillman
Joel Hhillman

Peter Reyes and Billy Joe Marrero thoughts ?

Mark Leiby
Mark Leiby

Rap is like Country, same artists year after year...

Matthew Watson
Matthew Watson

Blood in, blood out....skeet, skeet, mother fuckers!

Nathan J Soren
Nathan J Soren

I know of only one, the Westword's editorial staff.

Sarah Schenck
Sarah Schenck

Noah Hubbell, who are your 10 rappers who should be rapping? You clearly don't know any kind of history of hip hop, putting down Kool Keith, LL, Snoop, etc.. Every person on your list has influenced rap/ hip hop music in a VERY strong way! I'd really like to know what your top 10 is??

Eric Trockman
Eric Trockman

Denver Westword is super good at trolling. Used to make me angry but now I kind of like it. If pissing off people in order to get clicks is the future, then count me in.

Christine Girimonti
Christine Girimonti

This list sucks. Don't discount old school. Best concert I saw last year was Snoop Dog.

Adamus Prime Ramirez
Adamus Prime Ramirez

Eminem?! WHAT A JOKE, dude!!! You lost me from word one, but dude this list sucks. You should keep your unconstructive opinions to yourself.

Brian Caldwell
Brian Caldwell

Shouldn't have expected a good hip hop article from the guy who wrote "I Love Lil B And Why You Should Too" back in January...

J.d. Andrews
J.d. Andrews

Always gotta give haters their forum. Then ignore.

Brian Caldwell
Brian Caldwell

Did this asshole really say Encore was better than Recovery and the Bad Meets Evil album????? GTFOH. I hope Westward doesn't pay this guy for his articles... Let me know when you guys hire someone who knows wtf they're talking about.

Andrew Brock
Andrew Brock

Ivan Arellano, don't hate playa.. ill make ya a mix tape if ya want. I'm a little disappointed Keith Sweat isn't in the mix though..

Haven Holmes
Haven Holmes

"How fucking old are you LL Cool J?" Not comparing the two, but that's kind of like telling me that I didn't enjoy Earth, Wind, and Fire when I saw them at Red Rocks last September. If someone's enjoying what they're doing and are not harming anyone, who's cares? I don't know anyone that sits around listening to musicians they think are pathetic.

Eric Valles
Eric Valles

I think Noah Hubbell should retire from opinionated articles in westword....waste of space of the westword server5

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

40 years later they still play Led Zeppelin on the radio will be no Eminem on the radio and forty years No Dr Dre Jay Z

Ben Beeby
Ben Beeby

The entire article was worth it for the LL Cool J Punchline

Ivan Arellano
Ivan Arellano

Andrew Brock: OMG! Like...why do you totally have these guys on your cassette player to this day? As if!

Saul Segura
Saul Segura

Do you agree with them about the list Noel Gutierrez ?

Mike Carr
Mike Carr

Apparently someone has not listened to Legacy, Headlights, Wicked Ways... just to name a few... the best song aren't the ones played on the radio (although Headlights is on the radio)

Jakob Wyldkat
Jakob Wyldkat

Lil Wayne is the only one that deserves to be on that

Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones

Anything to drive page hits eh? Noah, time to go apply for buzzfeed dog, its your dream job judging by the content of your posts.

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