Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Cordrick Ramey
Greetings world. I was out with the family earlier today and of course we were listening to the radio. The new K-Camp song “Comfortable” came on and I was thinking to myself “Damn this dude blew up out of nowhere.” But that is not true at all. Most artists had to take lesser positions in order to gain their current status. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with paying dues.
But this article isn’t about that.
This article is about the artists whose dues were paid, but are no longer with us. Artists who literally aren’t here anymore to even consider.
Case in point, I just mentioned K-Camp. Nice string of hits, guest features, he’s doing his thing. But that’s now. Do you remember the first time you heard K-Camp? Well this was my first time.
Mykko Montana featuring K Camp- Do It
What in thee Hell happened to this Mykko guy? If you lived in Atlanta in 2012, you are familiar with this song. K Camp only did the hook. Mykko Montana had this song and…… Now I’m not here to clown on guys who didn’t see the success they expected, it’s just a general observation. So where is he now? I searched the internet for features, shows, new music….anything. I found him hosting a few open mic events in the metro Atlanta area. Still a far cry from what he wanted I’m sure. But I did find this posted on Twitter as of that day.
Now, do you remember this tune?
YC featuring Future- Racks
Holy shit! 2011, if you were not putting your hands over another climbing towards the ceiling, what the fuck were you doing? The potential for his career was huge. This song was in strip clubs, on the radio and on every popular mixtape during this time. Only problem is, the other guy capitalized off of it the most. Some dude named Nayvadius, literally and figuratively, stole the fuckin show. His name is Future now. This may not be the first time you heard him, but that second generation Dungeon Family album doesn’t count. He was destined to win, Rico Wade is his cousin. But just for extra measure, I have a Future song from when his name was Meathead. He stayed across the street from my cousin, still in high school. He rapped then too.
Lower Dec- Don’t Impress Me
I actually helped them to get this song on a Ghetto Mafia album.
Meathead Future raps first just in case you needed to know. For the surviving members of this group, they now work regular jobs. Nothing wrong with that. Let’s continue.
This next one is a no brainer and quite difficult to dispute.
Jaz-O featuring Jay-Z- Hawaiian Sophie
Damn, talk about paying dues. But to his credit, it was 1989 and a lot of music had horribly corny themes. Jay-Z was actually Jaz’s protégé for awhile. Taking him on tours, allowing him to feature on songs, basically showing him the ropes of the industry. This was a simple situation of student not only becoming better than, but far surpassing anything the teacher could even imagine. I don’t have to run down the list of Jay-Z’s accomplishments, while Jaz’s greatest accomplishment was giving us Jay-Z.
Boyz N Da Hood – Dem Boyz
Now this wasn’t actually a feature, as Young Jeezy was apart of this group. You DO know he used to be in a group right? Kinda hard to tell I’m sure. Unfortunately, the careers of Jody Breeze, Big Gee and Big Duke never took off. Jeezy immediately followed up their first album with his own mixtape, Trap or Die hosted by DJ Drama, and the rest is history.
This is the way I see things for certain rappers: some have more talent, grind, and hustle than others. Some have other abilities, like networking skills, enabling them to make the proper connections. Either way, some thrive and survive. Others don’t.