Editor’s Note: Hip-Hop has been referred to as a sport for the young. Even a rap legend or two will tell you that Hip-Hop – the music and the culture – are rooted in the trends, slang, and follies of street-oriented youth.
Make no mistake. “Generation Next’s” influence can be seen all over rap music. From A$AP Rocky to Chief Keef to Pac D## in Cali, the 18 to 30 crowd (and sometimes younger) is driving Hip-Hop and Pop culture today. But what’s old is new, and rappers are great at every age. Continuing this week, AllHipHop.com ponders the “Age Effect” on Hip-Hop, both then and now.
A quarter of a decade. What does that mean to the average youth? You got two dimes and nickel, you’ve made it a quarter of a century, so you’re too old not to know, but just young enough that you’re probably still going to make a bunch of mistakes. You’re not quite 30, you may or may not have kids, and there’s not too much of an excuse for being a virgin at this age. You definitely don’t want to hit 40 like the one movie, 40 Year Old Virgin – that was messy.
Either way – you may have even finished college at this point, you may have a career underway, or you may still live at home with your mom (don’t worry, we won’t judge). But all jokes aside, 25 is an age that’s well-rounded and has a lot of potential.
As we take a look at rappers at 25, it’s interesting to note where exactly they were in their careers at that particular age. Some rappers may be well into their prime; some may be just getting started and releasing their debut project. The rap game is crazy, and you never know when or what time you are gonna get a break, but these rappers here stick out at 25 for having wrecked the game at that age and left an indelible mark on Hip-Hop music forever:
This Canadian raised crooner/rapper got his big jump into the game with a few underground mixtapes that had the Internet going crazy. The buzz peaked with a trip down to Houston via J Prince Jr. and the Young Money Entertainment camp, and the rest was history. Now, Drake is platinum multiple times over and he’s, yes…. only 25. How many envious 30-year-olds are out there today wishing they gave singing melancholy rap a go before they threw in the towel?
All by himself, his career is illustrious, but alongside his Young Money team with Lil’ Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, Birdman, and others, his movement is almost unprecedented in rap. Has there ever been a rapper at a greater peak at 25? Aside from the tabloid talk with Rihanna, Chris Breezy, and Meek Milly, Drake’s career was virtually blemish-free until the bottle incident. Well, not completely. Let’s not forget about Common’s “Canada Dry” diss…. Eh, we take that back, but maybe we will “Thank Him [Me] Later”. It’s been a good run for Drizzy thus far. #HYFR.
Drake – “HYFR” ft. Lil Wayne
At 25, Cam was a menace to the game. He had already achieved a respectable level of popularity with the hit songs, “What Means the World to You” and “Horse and Carriage”, off his first two projects, but he was just on the verge of doing some real damage to the charts with “Hey Ma,” and “Oh Boy”.
By his quarter-century mark, Cam had just inked a deal with Roc-A-Fella, and it reportedly came with a huge advance, one that would eventually help fund the whole Dipset movement. At that time, for all you young buggers out there, Dipset was the most popular street movement of that era, and it was just starting to take shape as Cam was leaving Epic Records and his former A&R, Lance “Un” Riviera of UnTertainment Ltd. What would follow next is history – from the beefs with Jay-Z and his charcletas, to the “Stop Snitching” campaign, Cam’ron at 25 was a PROBLEM.
Cam’Ron – “What The World Means To You”
What more really even needs to be said? ‘Pac died and became an instant icon. Already a mega figurehead in Hip-Hop at the time of his death at the age of…25, the murder of Tupac Shakur to this day is still unsolved. Some say Suge did it; some say it was gangs tied in with Death Row; and some say the LAPD had something to do with it. Just recently, we found out that Jimmy Henchman was behind the Quad City Studios shootout with ‘Pac in New York, that eventually led to all the beef that started the East Coast vs. West Coast saga.
We know where we are without him. It’s just amazing to think about where we would be with him, and what he would have accomplished to this very day. In the end, he was passionate about acting, invigorated by the life of Hip-Hop, and in general, a person making self-changes to better the community. 2Pac had a lot planned; it’s just too bad he didn’t ever get to see his dreams completely come to fruition. 25 is far too young to die – especially when your greatness was apparent already. Hologram Tupac at Coachella this year was a glimpse of what might have been, but we will never know. #RIP2PAC
2Pac ft Danny Boy – “I Ain’t Mad at Ya”
Old Schoolers, have no fear. We’re not done considering “The Age Affect.” Like fine wine, some just get better with time – check back this week for more!