Over the years, hip-hop has taken huge leaps. At one point, the genre, which turned 50 years old on Aug. 11, was the hardest thing around. Rough and touch content was actually the standard, and if an artist did otherwise, the criticism was swift. But as time has passed, more rappers are spilling their secrets and revealing personal experiences than ever before.
When artists new or old get in the booth, they spit whatever is on their mind or in their heart at the moment. Oftentimes, that makes for the best music. Fans want to know what their favorite rapper is going through because they may be feeling the same. Though it makes for lyrics that resonate, sometimes those lyrics don’t stand the test of time, which is why some thoughts or feelings probably shouldn’t make it out of the studio.
Look back at The Game‘s 2006 song, “It’s Okay (One Blood)” featuring Junior Reid. On the track, he raps, “You 38 and you still rappin’? Ugh/I’m 26, n***a, so is the dubs.” Seventeen years later, The Game is still rapping at the age of 43. He just released his 11th studio album, DRILLMATIC Heart vs. Mind, last year. Perhaps, the West Coast rapper didn’t think he would still be rapping at this age, but it’s likely he probably regrets saying this line today. Then, there’s Eminem‘s 2004 track “Encore/Curtains Down” featuring Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. “Yeah, haha! Still Aftermath, 2006!/And don’t worry about that Detox album, it’s coming/We gon’ make Dre do it,” Em delivers. To this day, Dr. Dre has never released his infamous Detox album.
There are plenty of other examples throughout hip-hop’s 50-year existence in which lyrics did not age well. Some lyrics are hard not to forget. Remember when Lil Wayne said, “And I’d rather be pushin’ flowers/Than to be in the pen sharin’ showers” on his 2008 hit, “A Milli”? Shortly after that, he was sent to prison on gun charges. There’s plenty more where that came from Drake, Kanye West, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, Latto, Kendrick Lamar and more rappers. Check out the gallery below for 20 surprising hip-hop lyrics that didn’t age well.—Brandon Simmons