Rappers come and go. Some stay for awhile, while others burn hot for a minute and then go dark. When they first came out, these five seemed destined to fall into the latter category. Who knew we would still be caring about them years later? In no particular order:
Goodie Mob’s 1st album was pretty good, even spawning the hit single “Cell Therapy.” But it paled beside the brilliance of labelmates Outkast. So when Cee-Lo rolled out to go solo, many might have figured his 15 minutes was coming to an end. But the hits didn’t stop. It took awhile though; Cee-Lo dropped two critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful solo albums. Cee-Lo Green and his Perfect Imperfections and Cee-Lo Green. . . is the Soul Machine. But the little big man hit it huge partnering with producer Danger Mouse to form the group Gnarls Barkley and recording the smash single “Crazy.”
From the slums of Shaolin, The RZA. The GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U God, Ghostface Killer and the Method Man. Hold up..rewind that. When the Wu came bustin,’ through way back in ‘93 (dammmmn its been awhile), if somebody asked who would STILL be holding it down 15 years later, don’t front: NOBODY , none of y’all would have picked Ghostface. Well, take a look at him now. While Meth is still the biggest star in the Wu, thanks to Redman and The Wire, almost everybody agrees that GFK is reppin’ hardest on the music side. Since his debut, the Iron Man has dropped more gems than a one-armed thief and is still goin’ strong.
Who woulda thunk? Sure, he’s all big time now and has a pretty good catalogue (bout time for a greatest hits). But when Chris Luva Luva broke out his 1st single, “What’s Your Fantasy” had novelty hit written all over it. Now, eight years later the Ludameister is still rollin strong with his 6th platinum album.
If you lived in New York in the late ‘80’s, the group that had the street hummin’ was a group from the Bronx, Ultra Magnetic MC’s. Critical Beatdown, depending on who you talk to, is considered a Hip Hop Classic. The albums cover is straight ’88. They’re all sporting their Dapper Dan hook-ups and the super tight high top fades (which may have still been called cameo cuts when the picture was taken). Anyway, did I say ’88? Janet ain’t the only one who can celebrate 20 years. Kool Keith been in it foe a minute. If the Wu popularized rappers having aliases, Keith elevated it to art. Dr. Octagon. Dr. Dooom. Black Elvis, Rhythm X and so on. Keith has blazed an underground trail like no other. Independent releases, major labels, limited editions, mix tapes, whateva. Kool Keith is proof that if a rapper is willing to take chances musically, conceptually, and lyrically somebody out there just might buy it.
With a name like Trick Daddy, how far can you go? Very far, apparently. When “Nannn” dropped in 2000, it looked like another novelty hit from the South (the other was some guy named Ludacris, see above). He even let another one-hit-wonder (or so we thought) rapper named Trina get a verse on it. Although the hits have slowed a little, Trick has put out bangers such as “Shut Up,” “I’m a Thug” and most recently “Bet That.”
Honorable Mention – Trina
“Nann” brought us more than just Trick Daddy. The diamond princess herself began her reign in 2000. Its eight years later and she’s still hittin,’ and this time she’s “Single Again”