Edd’s MANtra: Retirement plan

These new rappers make me chuckle.

If you haven’t heard, Kid Cudi is supposed to be the next big thing in hip hop. Cudi – whose name is supposed to be spelled KiD CuDi, but I refuse to type that – was all over Kanye’s horrible album. His current single, “Day N Night” is actually doing pretty well. I must admit, the song is catchy and different (sorta like how Missy Elliott came out of left field with “The Rain” back in 1997), but I hesitate to call him the next big thing.

I’m a hater like that.

But apparently, a lot of people are checking for this guy and last week he broke their hearts when he made this announcement. From xxlmag.com:

Rap longevity apparently isn’t on Kid Cudi’s 10-year plan. Per a blog entry written on kidcudi.com, the New York-based rapper (by way of Cleveland) will call it quits after his first album drops.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Who’s to say his album will even drop in the first place? Wu-Tang veteran Raekwon has been talking about dropping an album for years and I haven’t seen that yet. I’ll put my money on Wu-Tang before some guy who carries Kanye’s Gucci purses.

But I digress. Late last week, Cudi decided that he WON’T retire after his first album. If I wouldn’t have dragged my feet on writing this post he wouldn’t have had time to change his mind.

Anyway, this talk made me think of all the rappers who have become obsessed with retiring in the past few years. To name a few:

- Timbaland planned to retire around 2004, claiming a lack of inspiration.
- Eminem was rumored to be hanging it up a couple of years ago.
- 50 Cent was supposed to go away after losing a sales battle to Kanye in 2007. Sadly, he lied.
- Lupe Fiasco claims to be leaving after his next album is released. Whenever that is.
- Jay-Z, of course, came crawling back in 2006 after bowing out in ’04. Luckily, he has redeemed himself since then.

So why do all these guys want to call it quits? Here’s more insight from Cudi:

But Cudi’s current success has apparently taken as toll on him. “After the release of my first LP this summer, I am not making any more solo albums,” he wrote in all caps. “I am falling back on being an artist. The drama that comes with it is more overwhelming than the s*** I was dealing with when I was piss poor broke.”

Do I sense doubt?

Despite all the bragging about how great they are, these artists are really pressured to put out stellar material, and I think they’re really worried about being able to measure up. In my opinion, instead of trying to outsell Lil Wayne on their first go-round, they’d be better off compiling the best music they can, releasing an album and letting things fall into place. I know these days there’s a lot of pressure, but I still believe hard work can pay off.

Look at Jay-Z. It’s a little-known fact that he had planned to retire after his first album. Despite what you young’ns out there might have heard, the album didn’t sell well at all initially (me and a friend of mine were the only ones who had it in our neighborhood). Over time, and through word of mouth, it picked up steam, and look where Jay is now. The man worked hard and it paid off. I know the industry is a very different place these , but I still think it’s a model blueprint for emerging artists.

Of course, if Kid Cudi’s album just flat-out sucks, retirement might not be a choice.

2 Comments

  1. I kind of understand where some of these artists are coming from, like more money, more problems, but ‘retiring’ is like the thing to do these days in hip hop. Not enough people even know who Kid Cudi is for him to talk about retiring, let alone his first album has even dropped yet. Who cares dude! The one person who broke my heart with this retirement business is Lupe Fiasco, but even he was probably talking out the side of his neck. He’ll be back.

  2. i love the rain.

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