Longevity in the rap game can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you have the potential to gain a fan base that can only grow with you over time, your music evolves and you make more money than most people do in their lifetime. But on the other hand, there's rap industry politics, hierarchy headaches, public scrutiny and debt. This is why so many of rap's talented MCs decide to bow out at times.

Sometimes, when a rapper like Jay Z or Lupe Fiasco claims that they are retiring at the height of their careers, it comes as a shock to the fans. But when a rapper hasn't even dropped their debut LP yet, the case for contemporaries like Kid Cudi or iLoveMakonnen, the claims are rarely taken seriously.

Business savvy wordsmiths have even used the claim that they're retiring as marketing for their upcoming album. Master P said he would end his rap career with his 1998 LP, MP Da Last Don, which went on to go 4 times platinum in record sales. 50 Cent announced he would hang up his mic forever if his Curtis album was outsold by Kanye West's Graduation. Jay Z even held a star-studded farewell concert for himself at Madison Square Garden to commemorate his moment.

Whether it was a temporary hiatus, a temporary lapse in judgement or a step back from rap in the name of religion, check out the rappers who've claimed to retire from the art form over the years.