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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43 comments
Seth Kuttner
Seth Kuttner

This seems to be the case with most Westword articles.

Andrew Carrillo
Andrew Carrillo

haters are gonna hate but legends will always be legends

Nick Najdowski
Nick Najdowski

the author sucks and doesn't know shit about music.

Gary Lawrence
Gary Lawrence

all of them should retire and learn how to sing !

Brandon Charles Haug
Brandon Charles Haug

Snoop Dizzle did retire.. he's snoop lion now. Also.. I didn't know LL, Ice cube & 50 cent were still rapping.

Kate Steak
Kate Steak

Shutup hipsters, nobody asked you!

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

Obviously, you seemed to care enough to put forth your comment. Derp!

Brittany Mariah
Brittany Mariah

fuck you. Ice Cube is legendary and continues to put out good music

jcolky
jcolky

You thought bad meets evil was bad?

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

all of them. this is stupid music for stupid people.

Jenny Castaneda
Jenny Castaneda

I agree w/ you!!! I wasn't a fan of Ice Cube before seen him perform last year and he is great!! Love Lil Wayne

Jenny Castaneda
Jenny Castaneda

Coming from a magazine that lets you sell your prostitute/ massage services in their magazine.. Who cares what you have to say =]

JJ Reynolds
JJ Reynolds

YALL DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT RAP!! Em, Dre, Snoop, Wayne retire, FOR WHAT?!?! So drake can take over. GTFOH

Jason Dickason
Jason Dickason

You know, rather than demanding rappers quit, it'd actually be a lot easier just to not listen to them. Really. It solves both problems. These sorts of articles drive me crazy. As if these artists continuing to perform posed some sort of threat to the present day hip-hop or some listener. And more importantly, if you think they are so bad to begin with, WHY ARE YOU STILL CHECKING THEM OUT. And let's not forget that every artist goes through phases of good and bad, often times coming back to deliver great material after bad streaks. So as a music afficianado, you're willing to give that up based on the fact you don't wanna hear any more snoop dog? "That's right, Bob Dylan should have just retired in the 70s. All that 80s stuff was shit. Who cares if he again gave us great material in the 90s." And there is nothing, nothing in rap today that really even comes close to Dr. Octagon. Let's be honest here. But hey, it does reveal an important fact about our own present day culture. 20-30 something year old cynical ass writers certainly do feel that they should retire artists rather than, you know, those stupid asshole authors just not listening. Cause it's totally the rappers fault YOU don't find them hip anymore. I guess YOU must really be hip hop.

DocDee
DocDee

I got a few disputes with some of these, but not like FULL ON opposite-end-of-the-argument disputes


1.) Leave Kool Keith alone. 
2.) Fuck you talking about, Bad Meets Evil was terrible? Come on, b, two of Detroit's finest that AREN'T affiliated with Dilla. 
3.) Prodigy just dropped "Albert Einstein" with Alchemist not too long ago, I haven't heard all of it yet but I've liked what I've heard enough to maybe check out the rest.   But he is still kind of a crybaby, plus I've preferred what I've heard off of Havoc's "13" than what I've heard of "Albert Einstein", anyway.
4.)FIRST THREE DA CARTERS AND DA DROUGHT?! Try the original Carter and that's about it. 
5.) You're entirely overlooking LL's biggest travesty, "Accidental Racist" with Brad Paisley.

Anthony Perry
Anthony Perry

I disagree with this. Not completely but Eminem, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, 50Cent are all beast! Lil' Wayne do need to quit. And Seth probably don't know what real rap is. Oh well.

Cody Countryman
Cody Countryman

That's an interesting list, pretty much every rap legend of the 90's &00s. I bet they would have put biggie and pac if they were still alive. Unfortunately the game has changed and music needs to evolve but sadly i don't think there are really any new people out there that will become legends like these guys. Everyone does their top 40 club hit or two and they bounce.

Ben Jammin
Ben Jammin

Jay-Z does not belong on this list.

Mike Knopping
Mike Knopping

I don't agree with most of this list guys.. Cool Keith, LL Cool J and Lil Wayne can go.. let's not toss the rest aside just yet. Snoop will be back ;)

David Prouza
David Prouza

Niceĺy written I guess. I can't imagine world of rap without Dre and Slim though.. But if they all just retired, who else would be here? Where is the new wave of rap? :)

Stephanie Simons
Stephanie Simons

Snoop Lion is busy shilling for Overstock.com! (How lame is that, BTW?) When does he rap? ;)

noah.hubbell
noah.hubbell

@DocDee You're right that I should have mentioned "Accidental Racist." I think I've just repressed any memory of that song. And I havent heard Albert Einstein. But I stand by the rest of my picks.

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