No this is not a post about Joaquin Phoenix and his mocumentary rap career making a come back. Ma$e still doesn’t know whether he wants to lead an international ministry or join in with Maybach Music Group. And last time I checked my hip hop fantasy lineup Too $hort is still giving us mixed signals a la Brett Favre. (Editors note: The $ signs are just a coincidence)
Recently Lil Wayne came on an Atlanta’s premier hip hop radio station Hot 107.9 to discuss his boredom with hip hop. Not to take anything out of context but that proposes two questions. Is Lil Wayne himself bored with hip hop or does the state of hip hop bore him? Prior to his collabo with Eminem, I do remember him having a list of artists he wanted to work with(most notably Eminem). I also remember him stating how big of a fan he was of Nirvana when he was younger.
Some critics as well as myself, are not terribly surprised by Lil Wayne’s decision to put rap on the backburner. His rock inspired album, while not innovative, was a great concept album. Putting all rap and hip hop stereotypes into play you could even see it with the change of his wardrobe. It was an act that simply was coming to a close or out of ideas to keep the people’s short attention spanned focused on him. In my own opinion Lil Wayne very slowly started falling off the trendsetter list which he held for such a long time and was pretty damn good at it.
One thing I do commend on Lil Wayne is not actually saying the words “retirement.” Artists like Kid Cudi and Nicki Minaj, have thrown the words around recklessly in my opinion. The irony of it all is that some artists forget how much power fans have especially in this technology driven world. If you leave for a couple years and decide to make music again, people are very easy to forget about you. At least in the context very few artists have holding power like a Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, or Eminem.
This leads me to my next and final question as to what will Lil Wayne’s strategy be for his inevitable re-entrance into hip hop? Will he come back like Jay-Z circa 2006 and save hip hop from the “Laffy Taffy?” Or will tease the audience with guests appearances much like Andre 3000 where you skip 3 minutes of the song just to hear his verse? Do not mistake my opinions as condemning other artists from wanting to take a break or pursue other interests. It’s merely the arrogance that they’re 100MPH fastball will always be in their backpocket. There is simply too much talent out in the world and mixtape circuit for one too ignore the threats to their throne.