Yesterday Lil Wayne told Angie Martinez that he's working with a very rigid seven-year plan that ends with his retirement at the young age of 35. I don't believe that for a second. When it comes to retirement talk, rappers are like a group of tattooed Brett Favres: They make a big deal about it and then when the time finally comes to hang up the mic, they can never make it happen. I don't expect Weezy to be any different from any of these other rappers who said they'd retire and still haven't:
'Hova is the most famous unretired rapper in the game. His first retirement came in 2003 and was quickly followed by a bunch of guest verses and collaborations on other people's albums. "Kingdom Come" in 2006 marked his official return from Boca. Since then he's put out two more albums, played hundreds of shows and even admitted that his whole "retirement" ploy was stupid. "I think I pulled the retirement rip cord too many times," he told XXL. "People looking at me like, 'Please shut up.'" Yes, they do.
After putting out the airport-honoring album "L.A.X." in 2008, Game announced that he was going to retire. Naturally, it didn't last. "Yea, I tried. That s*** ain't last too long, because you gotta keep the lights on, so you gotta get back out there and do your thing," he said in an interview. Though Game has kept working post-retirement, he hasn't yet put out an album. "The R.E.D. Album," due sometime this year, should change that.
Unlike Jay and Game, Lupe never actually retired, he just talked about it all the time. Lupe first mentioned retirement in the winter of 2007. Then in January 2008 he said he was 85 percent sure he'd retire. "It was 96 percent about a week ago," he said. "I just get tired you know? I get tired. It's a tiring pace that I keep." The retirement never came and Lupe went on to release the enormous "Lasers" earlier this month. Nothing like a spot on top of the Billboard charts to make you forget about retiring.
No rapper has gone into retirement and come out as quickly as Saigon. Only a month after calling it quits because of his concerns about the state of hip-hop, Saigon took to MySpace (ha!) to announce that he was back. "After all the messages from ya'll, the phone calls from the 'real' industry people and just the thinking I did, I decided that right now quitting is not an option for me," he wrote. This all went down in 2007 and last month he finally put out his first album.
In 1996, after dropping his 10th album, Gettin' It, Oakland's favorite MC decided to announce his retirement. Unlike today, there were no Twitters or Facebooks to disseminate this info, so he called up The Source and did it that way. Like today, though, the retirement didn't last. He's put out eight albums since then.
If Too Short had to retire the old-school way, Kid Cudi did it completely new-school. After signing his first deal with Universal, Cudi wrote on his blog that he would never make another solo album after his first. "I AM FALLIN BACK ON BEING A ARTIST. THE DRAMA THAT COMES WITH IT IS MORE OVERWHELMING THAN THE S**T I WAS DEALING WIT WHEN I WAS PISS POOR BROKE," he wrote on his blog. A week later at SXSW, he told a crowd, "I understand that I need y'all and y'all need me. So I can't stop."