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Play Your Position

Everyone can’t be a leader. Someone has to be a follower. In Hip-Hop, when you’ve got money flashing in your face, fast cars at your disposal and beautiful women adoring you, sometimes this thought process can get blurred. From there, egos are formed. Robin starts thinking he can do Batman’s job, and chances are, Robin’s career is never the same again.

Let’s run through a list of (in)famous sidekicks who chucked the deuces from their respective groups. Whether it be bad timing or lack of a strong work ethic, these guys were probably better off playing wing-man.

1. J-Hood–  He had everyone hyped about D-Block in the early 2000’s. His “I’m the first nigga you seen with a bulletproof skully” line is still ill to me and to his credit, he had a mean flow to him. Over time, his music became bland even as the other D-Block members achieved respectable levels of success. He finally got tired of it, signed his two week notice and before we know it he was dissing Jadakiss…in auto tune.

Last Seen: I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen him, but according to his MySpace page (people still use that?),  he has an album dropping April 27. It’s called I’m Sorry I Made You Wait. Realest. Title. Ever. Only thing is, I don’t think anyone’s waiting anymore.

2. Crunchy Black– In Crunchy’s defense, I’ve always heard Juicy J and DJ Paul were funny with the money. But C.B.’s role in the group was simple, just provide some ignorant bridges and even more ignorant verses and we’ll call it a day. After they received acclaim from their hit single, “Stay Fly,” Black left not too long after. This is a case of being between a rock and a hard place. Do you stick with the guys whose money practices have (allegedly) been worse than Bernie Madoff’s? Or do you just leave and never come back?

Last Seen: Attempting to get his Hard Hittin Entertainment off the ground. It’s sad because all stories point to C.B. having no choice but to leave (everyone else from Three 6 has). That said, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to prove his value as a solo artist wasn’t high.

3. Kidd Kidd– What people may or may not remember is this guy was down with Wayne for a few years. First with Sqad Up, then during the Young Money days. He was even on the original version of “Forever.” His most famous stamp, however, was being featured on Weezy’s 2008 hit, “Mrs. Officer.” Depending how the story is told, from there Kidd Kidd (aka “Nutt Da Kidd”) bounced after getting his money and ventured off on his lonesome. And Young Money eventually became the most popular group in the game. Talk about bad timing.

Last Seen: He linked up with Sha Money XL last year and also released his debut solo mixtape, New Kidd On The Block, in October of 2009. Good luck with that solo career, buddy.

4. Young Buck– During G-Unit’s heyday, Buck had a good thing going. His first album sold like crazy and he was one of the more respected dudes from the South. Then, like I said before, the women, cash and cars (and drugs) became too much for Buck and next thing you know he’s crying on the phone to 50 to let him back in the group. In his words, he was just “confursed.” Yes, with the “R.” There’s three things in life you just don’t do. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind and you do NOT, under any circumstances, cry on the phone to Curtis. He will record it and will attempt to ruin anything close to a career you may have.

Last Seen: Still trying to be released from the Vulcan Death Grip otherwise known as his contract from G-Unit Records.

In an industry that’s more shady than it is upfront, remaining loyal is a battle by itself. That’s why you have to give credit to people like Tony Yayo, Memphis Bleek and Big Kuntry. They’ll never accomplish more (at least professionally) than their superstar buddies, but they were loyal. And that’s something you don’t see too often, not only in music, but life period. I’m sure Yayo, Memph and Big Kuntry all wanted to their thing at one point. But it all boils down to what I said in the beginning. Everyone can’t be Batman. Someone has to be Robin. As crude as it sounds,  being a follower isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you just have to play your position. The quicker that’s understood, the smoother than transition and the easier it is to work as a collective unit.

In reality, the list could have kept going, but hopefully you get the drift by now. This industry is a cold, cold business and not for the weak at heart. It can destroy a lifelong friendship in a matter of seconds if you let it. While it may have been in the best interest for each of these artists to leave, look what it cost them. Money, fame and their own legacy in the big picture of Hip-Hop.

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