By Rachel Samples
Retirement for most people involves extensive planning and financial consultation for life after the age of 55. For others, it can be declared at the spur of the moment, in 140 characters or less. Chris Brown tweeted on August 6, “Don’t worry mainstream America. After this X album, it’ll probably be my last album. ” Even with the word “probably” thrown in there, Breezy isn’t the first artist in the hip-hop world to announce a premature departure from music. Many other artists have threatened early retirement in order to pursue other endeavors or leave on a high note–only to return later. So, is using the word “retirement” just a publicity stunt nowadays?
Retirement must not be as fun as working in the studio since so many artists have returned from the low key life and bounced back into the spotlight. Check out a list of “retirees” below and see where they eventually ended up.
1. Jay Z
The Black Album in 2003 was supposed to be his last, and his retirement from 2004 through 2006 was filled with work as the president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. If that wasn’t enough, he also went on a world tour and was featured on several hit records. Jay-Z came out of his faux retirement in 2006 with the album Kingdom Come, and hasn’t looked back ever since. Ever heard of Watch the Throne? Or maybe Magna Carta Holy Grail? He even does performance art now.
2. Lupe Fiasco
This outspoken rapper announced his retirement in September 2012 following a Twitter feud with Chief Keef saying, “This album will probably be my last…its been a pleasure to have all my fans provide so much love an inspiration for me and my family. But my heart is broken and I see no comfort further along this path only more pain. I cannot participate any longer in this..” Lupe later clarified that he will “eventually” retire from music. He currently has two projects in the works for 2013: Tetsuo & Youth and Peace of Paper/Cup of Jayzus.
2. 50 Cent
Or should we say, the king of “maybe”? If he’s not feeling something or is tired of anything, it seems like 50 Cent is always floating around the idea of retirement. He’s been working on his fifth album Street King Immortal since 2010 and doesn’t seem to be too worried about the hiatus. “I want the record to be right. I’m not doing it without a plan,” he told MTV News recently.
4. Waka Flocka Flame
I’m gonna retire from the industry,” Waka said on an episode of “RapFix Live” in August 2011. Waka Flocka announced his retirement, saying that he “wants to sidestep the politics of the rap game and focus on his artistic pursuits.” Frustrated with how he was being treated in the game, Flocka added that he’d “rather work at Walmart than rap.” His post-retirement plans centered around “using his music to help the youth” but less than a year later, he changed his mind and released his sophomore album Triple F Life in June 2012 saying, “ I don’t see myself quitting no more.”
5. Kid Cudi
Similar to Waka Flocka, Cudi was upset with how he was being treated in the industry as an emerging artist back in 2009. In an interview with MTV News he shared, “”I’m a human being, you know what I’m saying? Things stress me out. Like fame, this whole Kid Cudi thing. It’s hard to make that transition, because I’m just a regular guy.” Cudi set out to pursue his acting career and make music for his “real fans.” It seems like he was pursuing a comedy career because his retirement, like many other artists, was a joke. Cudder released Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager in 2010 and 2013’s Indicud in April.