Complex's List Of The 30 Worst Fall-Offs In Rap History...

stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 11,455 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited December 2012 in The Reason
complex.com/music/2012/12/the-30-worst-fall-offs-in-rap-history/
30. Charles Hamilton
Interscope Records, the most prominent rap label in the 2000s and home to Dr. Dre, Eminem, and 50 Cent, had finally found the next cornerstone to their franchise, a formerly homeless young man from Harlem named Charles Hamilton. Charles seemed to have all the pieces in order: a very interesting story and point of view, the same powerhouse lawyer as 50 and Eminem, the same A&R who was involved with Kanye and Soulja Boy, a co-sign from DJ Skee, a viral video where he held his own freestyling with Game and Ye, a rapidly growing buzz online, and what many labeled sheer genius.

After releasing two handfuls of mixtapes during the summer of 2008, and on the eve of debuting music from his first album, a series of events over the course of just a few months caused the house of cards to fall apart. Charles claimed he was dating Rihanna. Charles lost in a rap battle at Penn State. On camera. Charles made fun of his girlfriend's abortion and she punched him in the face. On camera. Charles gave J.Dilla executive producer credit on his album, having had no discussion with Dilla's family or estate, and stirred up a great deal of anger from the city of Detroit.

Charles was dropped from Interscope. Charles was arrested in Ohio. Charles took to a wheelchair and was hospitalized for mental reasons. Four years (and an Internet lifetime) later, Charles is attempting a comeback. On his own.
29. Jungle Brothers
28. Kool Keith
27. Canibus
In the mid-1990s, Canibus was heralded as THE up-and-coming rapper to watch, after a legendary cypher with members of Wu-Tang, a co-sign from Wyclef Jean, and a verse on LL Cool J's "4,3,2,1" alongside Redman, Method Man, and DMX.

LL took great exception to Canibus' opening line, "Yo LL, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that," and went in on a rapper—seemingly Canibus—during his own closing verse.

The beef escalated into vicious verbal attacks through songs, including the first single from Canibus' Wyclef-produced debut album, Can-I-Bus. A ton of critical poo-pooing, a gold-flaked spray-tan, and almost twenty years later, the very-lyrically gifted Canibus is but a footnote in LL Cool J's IMDB profile.
26. The Pharcyde
25. Boot Camp Click

24. Onyx
Onyx came out of Queens, seemingly on a tireless mission to break necks, heads and eardrums. "Slam" put them at the top of the charts, the hard-hitting hardcore grumbler somehow performing better on Billboard with pop audiences than hip-hop/R&B crowds. (Their album was called Bacdafuckup—who would've thought?)

They continued to put out minor hits throughout the 90s and early 2000s, but emcees Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr mostly stayed in the picture by acting in front of the cameras. While that might not sound so bad, just take a second to remember the short-lived TV show Dance 360, a pathetic mid-morning breakdance competition where Fredro played second banana to Kel Mitchell. Yes, of Good Burger fame.

23. Shyne
In the late 1990's Shyne was supposed to be the next in a solid line of Bad Boy success stories. Puff Daddy (Diddy) had deftly guided the careers of Craig Mack, The Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e and others to great heights, but this new young gun, Shyne, was to top them all. And he came out guns blazing, on tracks like "Bad Boyz" and "Bonnie and Shyne," with some critics, for better or worse, comparing his vocal stylings to Biggie.

But the train went off the tracks when on December 27, 1999, Shyne accompanied Puff and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez to Club New York. Three people were injured in a shooting that Shyne was charged with; Diddy and J.Lo got off. Shyne went on to spend eight years in jail, convicted of attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment.

His musical ambitions obviously never came to fruition, with a few short-lived post-Bad Boy record deals. Today, Shyne resides overseas, his rapping style is best described as "hurting," and has only gotten attention for the many figurative shots he's taken at Diddy, 50 Cent, Rick Ross, and others. Much like Biggie, Shyne's career was ended far too early.
22. House Of Pain

21. Young Buck
G-Unit started with 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo. A combination of hubris and label pressure from Interscope's Jimmy Iovine led the imprint to expand to the West for Game; the South, Young Buck. (Game clearly, uh, didn't work out.) Buck was more reliable and less prone to craziness: he stuck by the mercurial 50 through beef after beef; he made some good records that sold well (one platinum!).

But then, in 2007, Buck made some statements that led 50 to think he wasn't being loyal, giving Fif the reason he needed to kick the Tennessean out of the group. Egad! So, then there was a flurry of diss records between ex-employee and onetime boss, which wasn't that interesting until 50 released an audio recording of Young Buck crying on the phone, begging to be let into G-Unit again. Buck claimed the recording was doctored, but it didn't matter: people had long before tuned out.
20. Lil Kim
19. Black Sheep
18. Foxy Brown
17. EPMD

16. Slick Rick
Throughout the mid-80s, Slick Rick—eyepatched and accented—appeared all over MTV's airwaves, rapping "La Di Da Di" and "The Show." He dripped gold and fur, an opulent man in a time of extravagance. In 1990, though, it all ended. Rick the Ruler shot two men (one of them his cousin-slash-bodyguard) in revenge for an attempted shooting on his own life.

Prison can stop a career arc real quick, though not in this case: four years after his release, he put out his fourth album—1999's The Art of Storytelling—which quickly went gold. No, it wasn't the shooting or jail that did him in, but rather the deportation issues that stemmed from it. For years, Slick Rick battled the feds over whether he could live and work in this country, biding his time in Rikers while it was all figured out. (In 2008, New York's governor David Paterson pardoned his murder, which has allowed him to stay.)
15. Vanilla Ice
14. Cypress Hill

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genocidecutterStoneColdMikey*~queenbee~*
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  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 11,455 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    13. KRS One
    KRS-One, one-half of the famed Boogie Down Productions, is celebrated as one of the keepers of hip-hop, the embodiment of each of the four elements of the culture. Remembered for cutting down MC Shan with his song "South Bronx," as well as the seminal album Criminal Minded, KRS went on to lead the Stop the Violence Movement and continue to preach the gospel of hip-hop.

    Commercially though, KRS' relevance took a dip in the early-to-mid 1990s, as he explored different musical collaborations and spoke more openly about religion and politics. In 2008, BET presented KRS-One with a Lifetime Achievement Award—an honor typically is given at the end of one's career.

    12. Raekwon
    How do you follow up one of the most celebrated solo debuts ever? How can you top a classic album? Where do you go from the critical apex? In Raekwon's case, the Wu-Tang member took 15 years after Only Built For Cuban Linx... to put out a proper sequel. Let's just say that the music Rae produced in that decade and a half may have happened, but it definitely wasn't remembered.
    11. A Tribe Called Quest

    10. Eazy E
    Eazy-E originally just owned the label; his rhymes were largely written for him by Ice Cube and MC Ren. And yet he grew into one of the most compelling rappers of the 1980s, his high-pitched voice somehow able to sell both humor and reckless menace. On his Eazy-Duz-It and NWA's Straight Outta Compton, Eazy and his friends portrayed gangland L.A. as an exaggerated wonderland, where women were playthings as much as guns and 40s. They found quick success, their gritty street tales crossing over to the suburbs.

    But with money came problems. Ice Cube left the group; his "No Vaseline" is a withering diss track, in which he calls out the remaining members of NWA—and Eazy especially—for being frauds. (A sample line? "I kept on stomping while y'all m************ moved straight outta Compton.") The rest of the group escaped Eazy's grip soon after, aided by Suge Knight and company, and his fortunes dropped quicker than a 6-4. Eazy never got the chance to rebuild, as he died soon after, in 1995.

    9. LL Cool J
    It's especially sad to watch LL Cool J fall off, considering he built what so many stand upon. That was him in the Kangol and adidas; that was him screaming "Don't call it a comeback/I been here for years!" in 1991. "Doin It" and "Loungin" still sound fresh today, but that was over a decade and a half ago; somehow, LL's still aiming for middle school girls' ears like a wet willy. (He also appeals to moms, though no one in between. Might have something to do with the lip-licking.) Now he's got one foot in corny and the other in irrelevant: he recorded a song based around the CBS show NCIS, and recently put out another called "Ratchet." Someone tell this old man to grow up.
    8. Big Daddy Kane

    7. Ice Cube
    Ice Cube, known for his deadly rhymes and vicious scowl (literally the face of gangsta rap), was the meanest of the N.W.A. bunch, and a further force to be reckoned with once he went solo in December 1989. His albumsAmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Death Certificate, and The Predator were as stylized as they were controversial, and his multi-platinum sales set him on a course to dominate the musical world...until his audience moved on in 1994.

    Perhaps seeing the winds changing, Cube shifted into the world of film, where slowly but surely, his starring roles became family friendly and family friendlier in flicks like "Are We There Yet?" Associated today way more with his acting than his rapping, it's like new Cube killed old Cube—most likely with kindness.

    6. DMX
    If rap sheets were Billboard lists, then DMX would be running the game today. Alas. DMX's journey from the top to crack rock bottom began in 2004, when he showed up at JFK airport pretending to be a federal agent in order to get through security. (Unsurprisingly, he was in possession of drugs and guns, though not his marbles.) X had legal problems going back as far as 1998, but somehow his rape and assault charges got dismissed; this was when the tide turned.

    After that, every month there seemed to be another news item about DMX doing something wrong. For a time, the only constant was that DMX was in jail, somewhere. Finally out of prison, it's too bad that his music isn't connecting with anyone. He's more likely to be on the radio to make fun of Drake than to have his songs played.
    5. No Limit

    4. Nelly
    Nelly (born Cornell Haynes, Jr) single-handedly put the Midwest on the map in 2000, with the single "Country Grammar," off the album of the same name. That first single (which peaked at No. 7 on the charts), along with "E.I.," "Ride Wit Me," and "Batter Up," shot the album past 9 million records sold. His next album, Nellyville, debuted at number one and has gone over 10 times platinum, thanks to "Hot in Herre," "Air Force Ones," and "Dilemma feat. Kelly Rowland."

    Nelly won Grammys, started dating Ashanti (who at the time was on fire), designed a women's jeans line, had an energy drink, and put his hometown people, The St. Lunatics, on. But as is the case for those generally used to the top, it's a long fall. Sweat and Suit still managed to debut at No. 1 and No. 2, but Brass Knuckles, and 5.0 came and went, and by nearly a decade after he ran the music world, it seemed as if Nelly lost his Pimp Juice. Today, people know Nelly as the first Flo Rida.

    3. Death Row
    Death Row's downfall happened in three shifts. First, Sam Sneed was jumped in a meeting with Suge and Pac, since he had too many East Coast rappers in his "Lady Heroin" video; sensing something wrong, some (including The D.O.C.) ripped up their contracts and fled the label. After an argument over credits with 2Pac, Dr. Dre left to form Aftermath Entertainment. And then Tupac got murdered. No longer wanting to be associated with a sociopath like Suge Knight, everyone else rightfully got out of there.

    2. Ja Rule
    In the early 2000s, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing Ja Rule sing-rapping. The rapper born Jeffery Atkins, who at one time was spitting alongside Jay-Z and DMX, shifted lanes and just-about single-handledly took hip-hop pop, thanks to his collaborations with Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez, and Christina Milian. But it honestly wasn't the lightweight fare that took its toll on Ja, it was the emergence of his real-life enemy, 50 Cent.

    50 emerged like a buzz saw in 2003, with two goals: to become the biggest artist in the world, and to destroy Ja Rule, and not necessarily in that order. Ja, who 50 blamed partly for the shooting that almost killed him, went from karaoke favorite to perpetually mocked, and never recovered artistically. He's currently serving jail time for tax evasion.


    1. MC Hammer
    Everyone knows this story: MC Hammer danced his way to the top of the charts, made a ton of money and then pissed it all away by attempting to employ half of Oakland while on tour. (Who would've thought that the backlash would come so quickly?) MC Hammer's brand of swishy-Pepsi-rap was no match for the gun-toting hyper-realism that soon assaulted the airwaves, so he had to change his image and sound.

    In 1994, his "Pumps N a Bump" video came out, and—while Hammer was more...aggressive—he was wearing a Speedo and thrusting and yuck. Not the best way to win over hardcore fans! He dissed A Tribe Called Quest, Run–D.M.C. and Redman; his more-mainstream followers deserted him. So, he signed to Death Row Records. Once again, it read inauthentic. He wasn't even on the ropes; he was on the floor. He became a punchline for The Simpsons, a sob story on Behind the Music. He only became 'a thing' more recently once Twitter suggested that people follow him, for some indiscernable reason.
    *~queenbee~*
  • LincolnLincoln Posts: 1,457 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I stopped reading at 'Boot Camp Clik.'
    satyronenillerthekidSneakDZAits....JOHN B
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 11,455 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Muhannad X wrote: »
    Raekwon fell off? Slick Rick fell off? Who wrote this?

    Eric Rosenthal and Jeff Rosenthal...
    And_So_It_Burns
  • CirocObamaCirocObama Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Muhannad X wrote: »
    Muhannad X wrote: »
    Raekwon fell off? Slick Rick fell off? Who wrote this?

    Prolly some lame hipster. Complex be having some of the worst writers and dumbest articles ever. The only good thing with that site is those favorite albums lists by different rappers. Other than that it's obvious that they're really tryna appeal to them hipster kids. They love making those lists too cuz they get paid whenever you click on the shit by the ad reveneus.
    killaguwop
  • fuc_i_look_likefuc_i_look_like Posts: 8,055 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That list has almost no credibility.
    genocidecutterThe Recipeidoitforhiphop10grumpycat
  • Bawse D.LoxBawse D.Lox Posts: 3,946 ✭✭✭✭✭
    eazy never got the chance to rebuild????

    bonethugs was outselling snoop n dre.

    #5a7ut3
    The Recipe
  • Cube still putting out solid records
    MuhannadKingJamaldwade206
  • KingJamalKingJamal Posts: 20,667 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    WTF at this shit

    Cube???

    Rae???

    And how is Ja Rule on here but not 50
    b@squ1@t reduxsapp08_2001King Lee
  • goldenjagoldenja Posts: 5,602 ✭✭✭✭✭
    *scrolls down to see #1*








    yep, seen that coming
  • BlackAX410BlackAX410 JEFF AXEL DA GREAT Posts: 28,268 ✭✭✭✭✭
    most of da list is accurate but people are in da wrong position. LL nd Cube dont belong on da list at all they had hits from da 80's all da way thru da 2000's dats not easy to do nd they're still relevant in da actin world. Hammer belongs at number 1 for sure nd Charles Hamilton nd Lil Kim shoulda both been higher
    Wild SelfKingJamalsapp08_2001
  • can'tyoutellcan'tyoutell Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    mmmmm, this better have you know who on the list. i know some of yall heart skipped a beat when this thread was made lol. you know who you are.
  • Reggie80Reggie80 Posts: 2,402 ✭✭✭✭✭
    When was Charles Hamilton ever really on?Never geard a lbum from this dude Easy e didn't that nigga die why isn't 50 on this list? Bullshit list
    Ghostdenithegawd
  • KingJamal wrote: »
    And how is Ja Rule on here but not 50

    Quoted for emphasis
    King Lee
  • Trollio Trollio Trollololololololololol Posts: 21,826 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Eazy e didn't fall off...he died
    LincolnStoneColdMikeychiyosuke
  • can'tyoutellcan'tyoutell Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭✭✭
    mmmmm, this better have you know who on the list. i know some of yall heart skipped a beat when this thread was made lol. you know who you are.

    Lets play a guessing game of "who's that man talking about."
  • Black_SamsonBlack_Samson I drive a fast car... Posts: 49,364 Regulator
    hammer aint get hung over a balcony by his ankles tho... so i dont know how he's number 1.

    that spot should belong to Vanilla Ice forever and a day.
    mike06
  • RichPorterOfTheICRichPorterOfTheIC Posts: 1,864 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I though Nas would be in the top 5.
    StoneColdMikeyMdizzle9000chiyosuke
  • NothingButTheTruthNothingButTheTruth Posts: 9,632 ✭✭✭✭✭
    dixinormus wrote: »
    I though Nas would be in the top 5.

    After releasing a grammy nominated gem, 18 years later?
    Wild SelfKalecrunch
  • Melanin_Enriched Melanin_Enriched Your favorite basketball-american gentleman Posts: 20,692 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I stopped reading at raekwon. Raekwon has not fallen off. Matter of fact i'm gonng go listen to obfcl2.
    NothingButTheTruthBobOblahohhhla
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