Seven rappers whose career peaked too early

In Hip Hop by Alasdair Kennedy

Seven rappers whose career peaked too early

Rappers – Overnight successes don’t come around too often, and when they do it doesn’t tend to last too long! Some musicians are quicker to rise to fame than others, and these seven rappers quickly achieved recognition and had promising careers ahead of them, but their time in the limelight was short-lived. Let’s take a look back at the glory days and remind ourselves of what happened! 

Young MC

We’ll start off with something old-skool. Young MC was the bomb back in 1989, his first single “Bust a Move” reaching #2 in the US charts and winning him a Grammy. However, after 1990 the London born rapper’s popularity dwindled. In 1997 he released ‘Return of the 1 Hit Wonder’ and in 2000 he released ‘Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That’, two albums that failed to rise him back to fame. He has since released several more albums, won two reality TV shows and scored a number of acting cameos.

Craig Mack

Craig Mack was a similar one hit wonder in the nineties. After being the first rapper signed to Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs’ newly formed label Bad Boy Entertainment in 1994, he released the seminal hit, ‘Flava in your Ear’, which went platinum. Soon after, Mack’s career began to fade as Diddy began spending more time promoting other rappers signed under the label such as Biggie, who definitely out performed Mack on the F.I.Y.A remix. Mack released another album in 1997, but it failed to grab the public’s attention.


Canibus’s 1998 killer diss track against LL Cool J, ‘Second Round K.O.’, remains his earliest and most popular hit and ‘2000BC’ is one of the most slept on albums out there. The Jamaican-American rapper blamed his less than satisfactory career on poor direction from producer Wyclef and was subject to the Eminem diss ‘Canibitch’. He released a fair few singles since, none of which succeeded in charting. He joined the army briefly at one point to take a break from music, but was discharged after living up to his name when caught smoking pot! His recent King Of The Dot MC battle where he read his lyrics off a clipboard was the nail in his career coffin. Let’s hope to hear some more stuff from the masterful lyricst soon tho.


A lot of us know Khia’s famously explicit track ‘My neck, My back (Lick it)’, a guaranteed way to get the dancefloor moving! The Philadelphia rapper has released a four album since then and a fair few diss tracks to other artists in the game but nothing’s ever been quite as popular as her explicit 2002 classic.

Black Rob

Black Rob is another rapper signed to Bad Boy Entertainment who faded away shortly after the release of his debut album. His club certified single ‘Woah!’ remains one of most successful works, but his seven year jail sentence in 2006 following a hotel robbery definitely didn’t help his cause. He now owns his own record label, Box and One.


First brought through by Swizz Beatz with a couple of bangers under his belt (check out ‘Blood Pressure‘) , he rose to worldwide fame with the 2003 single ‘Hotel’. What seemed like an encouraging start to the Philly rapper’s career, with the debut album ‘Split Personality’ going gold. However follow up albums failed to be quite as popular. Time in hospital following a car crash and time in prison following a murder charge have both effected the rapper’s musical output.


Bursting thru as the biggest mixtape rapper since 50 Cent, Brooklyn rapper Papoose was the subject of a major label bidding war and gained mass attention in 2005 with his impressively alliterative track, Alphabetical Slaughter. His highly-anticipated debut album The Nacirema Dream’ was put on the back burner for several years finally seeing its release last year in 2013.