Just one of them days, everyone has them. Regular folk, superstar, aspiring star, it doesn’t matter. Hip-Hop is chock full of stories of coulda beens and shoulda beens. Everyone is human and makes mistakes but sometimes you have to look at history and learn from others’ bad decisions. Two constantly recurring problems that won’t seem to leave rappers alone:
1. Bad Beats
Sometimes you have to wonder what these rappers are thinking. Are they wearing earplugs when they pick beats? Are they in the back interviewing video models? Are some of our favorite rappers deaf?
Two classic examples of how bad beats can hold you back or ruin you are Canibus and Nas. Canibus came out of the gate swinging, “2nd Round Knockout,” one of the best diss records ever, put this man in prime position to come out and be a top notch rapper. A few weeks with Wyclef and there goes his career. I can still recite “2nd Round KO” line by line (including the Mike Tyson intro) but I don’t remember one song off the Can-I-Bus album. Nas is one of my favorite rappers which is why it is all the more painful when he drops an album that is so dope lyrically over the wackest beats you ever heard. Who is executive producing this shit? Somebody call Primo, Kanye, Pete Rock, Large Pro or someone to come in the studio and just give him a hand (pause yourself).
2. Bad Business Associations
This is a broader topic and cannot always be blamed on an aspiring rapper who is just trying to get on. But especially in this day of doing it yourself and all that Hip-Hop History has to offer, rappers on the come-up should know better. One of the best examples today is Slaughterhouse, four incredible rappers who just caught bad deals. Just listen to their music, they map it out for you up-and-coming rappers: don’t trust anyone else with your career, take control and look out for number 1 always. It’s good to see them making noise as a group now. Joell and Crooked I could be top 10 alive right now because of their lyrical skills, hopefully they continue putting out quality material (Crooked’s Hip Hop Weekly #52 is an insta-classic).
But it’s not just the superlyrical who make bad connects, Young Buck’s ethered his career by going in debt to 50, allegedly doing mad drugs and then running his mouth. Snoop would have done well to avoid the pen and pixel world of Master P. Everyone should have stayed away from Suge and now looking back everyone probably should have stayed away from Puffy (except Biggie and DylanDylanDylan).
And because pointing out other people’s mistakes is more fun than looking at our own, what do you think are the worst mistakes in Hip-Hop History?