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Money Makin Mitch Syndrome: Why Rappers Refuse to Retire on Top

Posted by Nathan S. on 12/12/12 | Filed under Top Stories, Opinion
It’s 2012, and the last day on the Mayan calendar is quickly approaching - with that said it’s no reason you haven’t seen "Paid in Full". I would deem it the magnum opus of the Roc-A-Fella Film era (I dare you try to argue with "Paper Soldiers"). If you haven’t seen it i assume Lil Wayne is your favorite skateboarder and Wale your favorite poet.

The focus of this article isn’t the movie but one of the main protagonist, Money Makin Mitch. Mitch was the human personification of the hip-hop hustler story. He was a drug dealer that desired only the finest things life could offer. Early in the movie he says, “It ain't just about the money. It's not. You know what it's about, man? It’s about fuckin’ those skeezers like that right there, it’s about driving these fly-ass cars, and it’s definitely about never dressin’ like a nigga like you”, at first glance you would assume that was taken right out of Meek Mills rhyme book. That mentality flows through the veins of a good amount of artist and aspiring artist. A lot of rappers portray a hustler background but this character never picked up a microphone, he lived and died by the rules etched into the street corners he ran upon.

Despite Mitch being fictional, I figure he was based off a combination of "Reasonable Doubt" Jay and "Ready to Die" Biggie, the spirit of the character and what he represented occasionally shows his face in the world we live in. It’s a particular line that has been sampled by rappers numerous times, “A n*gga like me man. I love the game, I love the hustle man. I be feeling like one of them ball player n*ggas you know. Like Bird, Magic or something. Yeah you know a n*gga got dough a n*gga can leave the league. But if I leave… the fans still gone love me man?”

This very same addiction to the limelight caused his downfall. Even though it’s a reference used to describe his unwillingness to step away from selling cocaina, it’s synonymous with why I feel rappers cannot simply retire. Is there any other reason behind Nelly’s unwillingness to hang up the microphone? Or why Papoose is creating anthems for bathroom camera phone models on WSHH? It’s not the money (maybe for Papoose it is), but artist like Jay-z who had the greatest retirement of all time and still was clearly unsatisfied leaving on top. He is suffering from a severe case of Money Makin Mitch Syndrome.

Ludacris, Chingy, 50 Cent, 3 Crazy, the list of rappers who continue to look for their former prestige in folders of dub-step beats and piss-poor features is never-ending. Even Master P is about to drop a new mixtape which I partially blame Datpiff for. I’ve spoken highly of my enthusiasm toward veteran’s living amongst the new generation and creating music in harmony, various Wu-Tang members are still outputting rawness, Big Boi is just now finding his stride as a solo artist, 2 Chainz has returned from the titty completely reborned, and I can only applaud their presence in today’s music scene. Even if it’s a few aging gracefully, it’s an outstanding number of those appearing as the 50 year old playa in the club spitting game from the 1980’s.

Maybe it’s the lack of a pension plan, or even the pains of watching your old groupies gravitate toward the new talk of the town that inspire so many to get off the couch into the booth. It’s almost depressing to see someone you used to admire, hold in highest regard plummet into a dark hole of jealousy and jean jackets. Someone who’s legendary stature like Lil Kim has forever tainted her legacy with the bitterness of the beef with Nicki Minaj. Most of the new generation of hip-hop listeners won’t remember DMX for “Slippin” but his threats to beat up Drake in an elevator like it was 1996 and he only had 2 baby mama’s to deal with. Do I have to mention the viral notebook Canibus read out of during that one battle? I didn’t think so. I’m a firm believer your last dance will be the lasting memory that reflects you more so than the first impression.

This entire article is my petition to get locks put on recording booths in hopes of stopping a Saint Lunatics reunion. Regardless if my attempt is futile, it must be done. Not every artist has a Kendrick Lamar helping them sound younger every day, you’ll have to accept the cold hard facts that your peak was reached before the first titty picture was MMS’d. Even the most talented prospects reach their expiration dates.

Please, just take a seat and watch as the castle you help built is renovated by youthful forward thinkers that can carry the torch without burning everything to the ground. Money Makin Mitch didn’t die so Lil Scrappy can become relevant again because of a T.V show that has nothing to do with hip-hop.

- Yoh (aka Notice I Didn’t Shade Raekwon)

See Also: Ca$hing Out: Why Does Hip-Hop Produce So Many One-Hit Wonders?

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