Aging rappers such as Rick Ross and Jay-Z are still on top

Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke says hip-hop artists are never too old to stop rapping.

Rick Ross recently celebrated his 36th birthday. Some folks might think the Boss is getting too old to make rap music. But Ross is just starting to hit his peak as a hip-hop entertainer. When pop music fans think of artists with longevity, they usually come up with rock bands like U2 and the Rolling Stones. However, why should hip-hop artists who are getting up in age ebb any differently? Rappers have shown they can stand the test of time even when people have written off hip-hop as dead.

Just look at the top performers in the game. Jay-Z and Eminem are 43 and 40. Neither dude is showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. Jay-Z just did a wildly popular album with Kanye West, Watch the Throne. And Eminem received two Grammy nominations this year after getting ten nods, more than anyone else, in 2011.

The Beastie Boys are no spring chickens, but they're still going strong. The same can be said of rappers Snoop Dogg and Nas, both of whom first experienced success when they were in their 20s and 30s during the '90s, the golden era of hip-hop. Collectively, the original members of the Wu-Tang Clan are older than the real Shaolin monks who inspired them. Yet those cats are still touring and packing stadiums. Doug E. Fresh, at 46, is still killing it onstage too.

Hip-Hop is not some kiddie fad music anymore. The fans who got hooked on rap in the '80s are now inching closer to their 40s too. Does that mean the doctors and lawyers who as teens used to listen to 2 Live Crew and Uncle Luke are chilled-out now? Hell, nah. You'll see them at one of my concerts alongside their teenage children getting down to booty music just like those families that used to follow the Grateful Dead around the country.

As long as Jay-Z, Eminem, the Beastie Boys, and the Wu-Tang Clan can continue performing at a high level, there is no reason they should hang up the microphone. You don't see the NFL telling Madonna or Prince that they are too old to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show. A great entertainer, regardless of age, will always draw fans.

People think you have to be a young buck like Drake to have a great career in hip-hop. But we older artists perform better all the time.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

 
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11 comments
zapatica
zapatica

IT 'S NEVER TO OLD!!!!!!!!!!!

Boris Vengo
Boris Vengo

Just wondering, how can you make your personal advertising on NewTimes?

Anyway, back to subject; the music business got two important factors.

- One called the mass following; age, culture, and fashion. - Second; the quality and innovation.

So how do you expect yourself to fit in it; Grandpa singing? vulgarity fashion? or, want to be an artist?

Please, let me express myself, and my sorrow for you; Luther you are not representing the African/American community, neither a music industry leader, no one seems to understand your personal advertising, and equally forgot your past.

I remember what you are calling “a successful club business on 5th Street”, unfortunately lasting only one season due to tax or police reports, but still recall the gunfire and sirens at that period, the identical shootings, where promoting with your team events thru the “urban weekend” outside Cameo on Washington Avenue and your participation to the “Urban” weekend...

-How can people forget -Your contribution to a plague you created and left? -The Loss of thousand tourists, business, and probably life’s, for more than 10 years?

How do you know about new urban, hip-hop, or music business?

Do you really expect us to truth someone who tell CBS4 “I’m not going to south beach for 2 or 3 year on the “urban weekend”? Should I remind you the view from the VIP of LIV (AKA Fontainebleau Hotel) where your “friends” 5 VIP table seat’s do not prevent to tips the increased security around it?Do you really know who the 15.000 peoples are on this weekend? Are you looking to get profit from them as before, sponsored by the city..., or, prove our ego again?

I think; It is time for us to decide about the image of South Beach or Miami, and this time crush the undesirable.

PS; A real Memorial Day’s event should respect the full meaning of commemorating the fallen US soldiers, whatever color, religion, men and women who died while serving in the United States, a real family event, with veterans, music and firework. not your return as you expect...

Bigtrav1978
Bigtrav1978

Luke, you are so right about saying the 90's were the golden era of Hip Hop. I tell my kids this all the time. Just think about all the rappers who were Hot in the 90's: Luke, 2 Live Crew, J.T. Money, Poison Clan, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Wu Tang Clan, Scarface, Geto Boys, Eightball & MJG, Bust Down, Disco Rick, Snoop Doggy Dogg, NWA, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Nas, Jay-Z, Trick Daddy, Kool G. Rap, Redman, Spice 1, Too Short, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Tha Dogg Pound, Method Man, Eazy E, OutKast, Goodie Mobb, Coolio, Lil Kim, Bun B, Pimp C and the list goes on. The 90's were the best decade of my life. There are only a handful of rappers who are Hot now. There was a wide variety of rappers to choose from back then unlike now. Rappers today only glorify wealth as if success is only measured by wealth. Luke, this is why i read your column faithfully every week. Your the only journalist in the country that people like me can relate to. I used to go to the Pac Jam when you owned it when it was located on N.W. 54 St. and 12 ave. When i traveled to places like New Orleans when I was young, you were so popular and it was because of you that i was so proud to tell people i was from Miami. I think our city has been invaded by people Like Khalid, Lil Wayne, Baby and the rest of the CMB bullshit. We have to take back our city. To all the true native Miamians out there, we need to unite and take our city back from the infiltrators who are now occupying our city. Thanks Luke for another great article.

APeopleShouldKnow
APeopleShouldKnow

Eminem is not 40, he's 39. He'll turn 40 in October of this year. And Jay-Z is not 43, he's 42. He'll turn 43 in December of this year. Better fact checking.

Anon305
Anon305

Really dude, WTH are you trying to say? Did you sit and read or are you just a hater? If you're not a fan then why are you reading it and taking the time to respond with some long random jibberish post - possibly seeking attention and fame for yourself? Your post reads jibberish and one can hardly figure out what you're trying to say. Get a life, if you don't like Luke, then DON'T read his column. Troll.

AndrewG
AndrewG

The 90's was the best decade PERIOD.

Boris Vengo
Boris Vengo

Dude,thdagis idagis hodagow tdago wrdagite idagin JIBBERISH - My best friend and I are always TALKING and WRITING in jibberish and no one can understand us.And, if you don’t like to read comments, then DON'T read his column…

 
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