When Hip Hop Stars Threaten to Retire

No, not Tunechi again!

Vince Staples

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A Familiar Tune - If we’ve learned anything from Jay Z’s attempted retirement back in 2003, it’s that you've got to take rapper retirement announcements with a grain of salt. The latest to join the procession of rappers that have threatened to gracefully bow out of the rap game is Lil Wayne. Weezy tweeted on September 3 "I AM NOW DEFENSELESS AND mentally DEFEATED & I leave gracefully and thankful I luh my fanz but I'm dun." The news rocked everyone, from fans to celebrities alike. While this wasn't Wayne's first time threatening to exit the game, it sounds serious. Check out other artists who have made a similar announcement. – BET Staff (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

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Bow Wow - On August 7, Bow Wow sent out this announcement: “Over 10 million sold, 6 arena tours, 10 top 10’s, a few number 4 platinum albums, 2 gold albums. I’M DONE.” Ironically enough, the proclamation comes weeks after the rapper claimed that he’s not Black but “mixed” — which resulted in us reminding him what’s up — and that his final project will also be executive produced by Snoop Dogg. Bow Wow simply just doesn’t picture himself rapping at 30 years old.(Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images for CSE)

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Chief Keef - When Chief Keef was asked about the whereabouts of his new material in March 2016, he swiftly replied, “I'm retired you didn't know? To many n****s sound just like me or saying s**t like almighty would.” Obviously he wasn’t being all the way serious since he’s released some material in the form of snippets. Plus, he’s been in the studio with Mike WiLL Made It. He’s not going anywhere just yet.(Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images) 

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iLoveMakonnen - The Atlanta rapper split from Drake’s OVO this year. He was very vocal about his unhappiness with Drake and his label by tweeting, “f**k @drake: and @ovo for getting on @fettywap remix and leaving me in the #cold.” He then announced his intentions to retire, “It's like for me to stay, I have to diss all these rappers and be negative, I don't wanna do that, so I'll move on. How positive is that.” Not sure what happened after, but that same day the rapper released a song that lists all the rappers that sound like him. And just like that, he was back.(Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) 

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Vince Staples - He's only 22, but Vince Staples is already preparing to get out of the game. The Cali native told the California Sunday Magazine that it would be crazy for him to continue rapping. "You’re out of your godd**n mind if you think I’m going to be doing this music s**t for more than two more years," he said. Not in love with the rap culture, he continued, "Health-wise it’s not good for me, and I have other things I’d rather do. But it’s not about you at this point; you’re doing it for the fans; you’re performing the songs."(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for BET)

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Childish Gambino - Promoting his latest movie, The Lazarus Effect, on The Today Show, Donald Glover revealed his days as an MC may be coming to an end. The two-time Grammy-nominated Because the Internet creator said, ?I always want to do music because I love music" but "I feel like Childish Gambino is a period that should come to a close.?(Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for Relativity Media)

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Childish Gambino - Promoting his latest movie, The Lazarus Effect, on The Today Show, Donald Glover revealed his days as an MC may be coming to an end. The two-time Grammy-nominated Because the Internet creator said, “I always want to do music because I love music" but "I feel like Childish Gambino is a period that should come to a close.”(Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for Relativity Media)

Hopsin - L.A. emcee Hopsin hit up Instagram with a photo of him at the airport with packed bags and wrote, ?Unfortunately, tonight is the night that I am actually moving away to Australia. Over the past couple years I have come to conclusion that this profession just isn't for me, so I?m going to venture out into new areas of life.?(Photo: John Ricard / BET)

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Hopsin - L.A. emcee Hopsin hit up Instagram with a photo of him at the airport with packed bags and wrote, “Unfortunately, tonight is the night that I am actually moving away to Australia. Over the past couple years I have come to conclusion that this profession just isn't for me, so I’m going to venture out into new areas of life.”(Photo: John Ricard / BET)

Hit-Boy - Hit-Boy made a startling announcement that he was stepping away from behind the boards permanently. The Cali MC/producer tweeted, "I retired from music industry production last night."(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch)

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Hit-Boy - Hit-Boy made a startling announcement that he was stepping away from behind the boards permanently. The Cali MC/producer tweeted, "I retired from music industry production last night."(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch)

Azealia Banks - Azealia Banks barely has her foot in the door, but the Harlem MC says she may not stick around much longer. "I?d eventually like to stop rapping," she said in 2013. "That?s just the honest truth. One day I don?t want to rap anymore. Just because I think it's easy, but I think it?s kind of tacky. I think it?s very unladylike. I like it. But I think I?m going to get tired of it."With the recent release of her critically acclaimed debut, Broke With Expensive Taste, she'll be around for a minute, at least. (Photo: Jim Dyson/Redferns via Getty Images)

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Azealia Banks - Azealia Banks barely has her foot in the door, but the Harlem MC says she may not stick around much longer. "I’d eventually like to stop rapping," she said in 2013. "That’s just the honest truth. One day I don’t want to rap anymore. Just because I think it's easy, but I think it’s kind of tacky. I think it’s very unladylike. I like it. But I think I’m going to get tired of it."With the recent release of her critically acclaimed debut, Broke With Expensive Taste, she'll be around for a minute, at least. (Photo: Jim Dyson/Redferns via Getty Images)

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Lil Wayne - Lil Wayne is making a swan dive out of this swan song. "I know y'all want me around for a little bit, [but] Tha Carter V is my last album," he said, before eventually suing Cash Money for holding the album hostage, allegedly. (Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

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4. Lil Wayne, $15 million (tie) - 50 Cent once said that being in jail is the only excuse for being broke, but that didn?t stop Weezy. His new album I Am Not a Human Being debuted at No. 1?the first time since Tupac a rapper topped the charts while incarcerated. Wayne hit the ground running when he got out, rocking 24 cities with his I Am Music II tour and leading his Young Money label to benchmark year with the successes of Drake and Nicki Minaj.\r \r(Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

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Lil Wayne (Again) - Weezy’s been thinking retirement for years now. "I always said I ain't wanna do this no more after 35,” Wayne told U.K. radio personality Tim Westwood in March 2011. "So any time before 30 and 35, I might give it up… I'm gonna retire from this and probably jump into some ownership of some sports team.”(Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

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Lupe Fiasco - Lupe Fiasco considered unplugging his mic back in 2012 in a series of tweets, seemingly written in response to a threat from fellow Chicago rapper Chief Keef. "This album will probably be my last," he wrote. He said something similar back in 2007, that he was “85 percent sure” he was retiring "soon." "My whole energy for making hip hop music is slowing down," he said. Four years later, he had his first #1 album, Lasers. (Photo: Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)

Nicki Minaj - In April 2012, Nicki Minaj hinted at retiring from rap. "People aren't even giving the kid props for taking it back to the essence," Nicki told U.K. radio host Tim Westwood, referring to her album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. "The kid did like that so she could feed her fans. But really, now the kid is thinking maybe she should leave the game."(Photo: Danny Martindale/Getty Images)

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Nicki Minaj - In April 2012, Nicki Minaj hinted at retiring from rap. "People aren't even giving the kid props for taking it back to the essence," Nicki told U.K. radio host Tim Westwood, referring to her album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. "The kid did like that so she could feed her fans. But really, now the kid is thinking maybe she should leave the game."(Photo: Danny Martindale/Getty Images)

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Too Short - Too Short is the king of rap retirement. The Bay Area pioneer almost-retired most recently in a 2011 interview, saying, "Hip hop is very addictiv,... The last time I said [that I would retire], I was at 10 albums, and I was 30 years old." Now, "I feel 20's a good number. But who knows? 25 might be. Twenty-two's my lucky number." (Photo: Adrian Sidney/PictureGroup)

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Too Short (Again) - As we said, Bay Area don Too Short was way ahead of these other faux-retiring MCs, first saying his good-byes in 1996 after he dropped Getting It. But a few years later he released Can’t Stay Away and confessed that his retirement threat was a tool to gain leverage in contract talks with Jive Records.(Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/PictureGroup)

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Waka Flocka Flame - Waka Flocka Flame threatened to retire from the rap game in 2011. ?I?d rather work at Wal-Mart than rap, and that?s my word on God,? he said. Naturally, he just dropped a new single and video, "Round of Applause."(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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Waka Flocka Flame - Waka Flocka Flame threatened to retire from the rap game in 2011. “I’d rather work at Wal-Mart than rap, and that’s my word on God,” he said. Naturally, he just dropped a new single and video, "Round of Applause."(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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Kid Cudi - Cudi was relatively new to the game when he went for Jay Z’s retirement crown. In 2009, before his debut LP, Man on the Moon, had even dropped, Kid Cudi wrote a lengthy blog saying he was calling it quits. "After the release of my first LP this summer, I am not making any more solo albums,” he wrote. “The drama that comes with it is more overwhelming than [what] I was dealing with when I was piss-poor broke.” He walked it back a few weeks later, but in the wake of his sophomore LP he talked retirement again. “I think four albums will do it,” he told New York magazine last year. “Once the story is told, there's nothing else to say."(Photo: Flashpoint / WENN.com)

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Soulja Boy - Thanks to the magic of Twitter, we were all privy to an impulsive series of retirement threats courtesy of Soulja Boy back in 2009. “F**k all of y’all,” he wrote. “I’m taking my money and leaving. Gonna go blow kush and live my 2nd dream. This rap s**t lame now.” Since then, he’s released his third album, The DeAndre Way, and a few mixtapes.(Photo: Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup)

Ma$e - Once known as Murda Mase, this former Bad Boy shiny-suit rapper had a vision while high on weed and abandoned platinum hits for his own ministry down in Atlanta.   (Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

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Ma$e - With two chart-topping albums under his belt, Bad Boy rapper Ma$e announced in 1999 that he was leaving rap for religion. After five years as a minister in Atlanta, he returned with the gold-selling Welcome Back, and was down with G-Unit for a spell. He then went back to the church, and then back to the booth again. This time he says he's retired from the pulpit.(Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

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Game - Game repeatedly vowed that this third album, LAX, would be his last back in 2008. His pseudo-retirement didn’t last long, however, as the Compton MC released several mixtapes and albums since then. “I tried,” he later said of retiring. “That s**t ain't last too long because you gotta keep the lights on.”(Photo: Terrence Jennings/PictureGroup)

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50 Cent - Back in 2007, Fiddy vowed that he’d turn off his mic for good if Kanye West's Graduation outsold his Curtis, both released on the same day. 50 lost, but didn’t make good on his promise. Later he attempted to retire again, saying, "[My next album] could very well be my last studio album if it doesn't make sense for me to continue and actually do it." He's since reunited G-Unit and dropped several independent projects.(Photo: Brad Barket/PictureGroup) 

Saigon  - Saying he was fed up with the music biz, New York spitter Saigon said he was hanging up his mic in a blog tirade in 2007. The retirement lasted all of a month.(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

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Saigon - Saying he was fed up with the music biz, New York spitter Saigon said he was hanging up his mic in a blog tirade in 2007. The retirement lasted all of a month.(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Jean Grae - The South African?born Jean Grae is one of hip-hop's most notable underground females. She has released six albums and an EP, all of which have garnered her critical praise. (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Belvedere)

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Jean Grae - Revered underground emcee Jean Grae took to (where else?) her blog in 2008 to announce she was calling it quits due to industry frustrations and a desire to start a family. She never made good on her threat and continued to tour and record.(Photo: Donald Bowers/Getty Images)

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Scarface - Scarface said he was hanging it up after his 2007 album, Made, and then again after 2008’s Emeritus (which, by the way, means retired professor). “This is it for me,” he told XXL. “That should end it right here.” The Houston vet picked the mic back up two years later, releasing his first mixtape in 2010. (Photo: Brad Barket/PictureGroup)

Jay-Z - Seeking his independence, Jay-Z stepped to Universal boss, Doug Morris, and demanded to be released from Def Jam. Word is the deal was decided by a coin toss. In the end, Jay had to pay $5 million to get out of his deal.  (Photo: Fafotos / Picturegroup)

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Jay Z - Jay may be the best rapper alive, but he’s the worst at retiring. Back in 1996, he vowed that Reasonable Doubt would be his first and only album. But the following year he was back on record shelves with In My Lifetime… Vol. 1. Hov said goodbye to the game again in 2003, this time with much fanfare: The Black Album, his “last” concert at Madison Square Garden and the aptly titled documentary Fade to Black.Three years later he was back at it with Kingdom Come, and he hasn’t looked back — except to regret that he ever threatened retirement in the first place. "I think I pulled the retirement ripcord too many times,” he said in 2007. “People looking at me like, 'Please shut up.’”(Photo: fafotos/picturegroup)