Love Letters: Is Age 38 Too Old To Pursue A Hip-Hop Career?

age ain't nothing

Got a relationship question for your boy? You know I’ve got an answer. Here’s how you can hit me up.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on Twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

I’m a 36-year-old woman that’s been dating a 38-year-old man. He’s a nice guy but he’s living on this dream that he will be the next Pharrell Williams or Swizz Beatz. I care a great deal for him but what do I do about this dream he’s living? Not trying to dog him but if he hasn’t made it by now I just don’t think he’s going to make it. What do I do?


We all know that for better or worse, hip-hop is a young man’s game. It’s pretty annoying, actually. Genres like rock revere their elder statesmen. In rap, though, we’re ready to send you off to the glue factory once you hit 35.

So I can understand KS’s concern that her man might be too long in the tooth for today’s fickle rap fans. But there is precedent for stardom after the big Three-Oh. This guy:

2 chainz cover

Yes, mark this day on your calendars, playas. For once in his natural life, Edd is giving 2 Chainz props.

crazy eyes

Don’t look at me like that.

2 Chainz had been lurking around the rap scene for at least a decade before hitting it big — y’all remember (sigh) Tity Boi from Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace, right?

Well, maybe not. That’s because he didn’t gain traction until 2011 or so, when he (thankfully) adopted a new name, gave himself a makeover and created his signature style. 2 Chainz was well into his 30s when he became a star.

Despite the murmurings of children in tight pants and ugly haircuts, youth isn’t always the secret to success. It’s relevance that wins. That could especially ring true for KS’s guy, who even at 40 can hide behind production boards and let his music speak for itself. As long as his beats are current, no one will know the mastermind behind them has to get up three times at night to pee.

Still, she has a right to be concerned.

It’s one thing to pursue a dream, it’s another to neglect responsibilities. And I’m guessing at age 38, dude has more on his plate than playing around on Soundcloud all afternoon. If he’s ignoring the important things — your relationship, work, kids, whatever — to chase this elusive goal, then yeah, I’d be worried.

But if he’s handling business while still trying to craft that one perfect beat, give him all the support he needs. What might seem like a silly hobby to you means the world to him. Sure, the road will be a bit rockier because of his age, but success isn’t impossible.

As long as he works as hard behind the boards as he does to keep his relationship strong. I don’t see any problem.

Plus, you’ll be the first person he thanks at the Grammys. Or the old folks’ home. Whichever comes first.


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