Hip-Hop, Interrupted: 7 Rappers That Should Be More Active
Hip-hop is a genre full of guys who put out a new album or mixtape seemingly every single month. They just can't stop, even when they're incarcerated in some cases (see: Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, and TI). It's as if rapping really is as much of a competition as they make it out to be and they're in a race to see who can drop the most flows in a single year. This often leads to sub-par releases far below the standards of the artists. These albums can seem sloppy and quickly thrown together. You can tell they aren't bringing their A-game.
Photo via Gizmodo Dr. Dre - the poster child for eternally delayed hip-hop albums, but he's not alone.
Then there's a whole other sub-section of guys who kill it every single time -- when they feel like doing anything that is. My personal hip-hop collection may not be as vast as many people's, but the absolute cream of the crop seem to be, fittingly, the ones who release albums the least frequently. As great as their works are though, it always leaves me wanting; wondering when the next album will drop and having to wait years and years before anything sees the light of day. Here are some of the best rappers who I wish could be just a little bit more active.
Photo via definitivejux.com
Last Album: I'll Sleep When You're Dead (2007)
The Definitive Jux founder has a habit of focusing more on production work for others and creating mixtapes of instrumental beats, only emerging as an MC when the urge strikes him. His albums show a great deal of effort and pain-staking attention to detail, which is perhaps why it takes him so long to get around to doing them. I'll Sleep When You're Dead was, in my opinion, a perfect hip-hop album, but as my appreciation for that album grows through the years, so does my hunger for El-P to get behind the mic again.
Last Album: OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
Back when OutKast was around, Big Boi was known in mainstream circles as the other guy from OutKast and Andre 3000 was the major celebrity to emerge. But after a series of hits with their last release, Andre disappeared. Now Big Boi is emerging as a solo artist with a critically acclaimed solo album under his belt and a performance at Houston's Free Press Summerfest, but where is Andre? He's been popping up to do production for Big Boi and guest verses for Lloyd, Beyonce, Young Jeezy, and Lil Wayne, but one longs to hear a new full-length album of his own devising.
Photo by Mark C. Austin Saul performing at Lollapalooza 2008
Last Album: Volcanic Sunlight (2011)
Ok, Saul put out an album last year, but it had been since 2007's The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! that he had done a full-length so he's not particularly active. Volcanic Sunlight also seemed like a non-event when it dropped. It came and went out of nowhere and most of Saul's fans were probably none the wiser of it unless they were on his mailing list. Saul is an incredible poet and a fantastic rapper and he deserves better than that. He needs to hit the scene in a big way again with a new, better promoted album and hopefully renewed activity.