7 Mixtape Stars That Faded Into Obscurity

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 03-07-2013, 11:34 AM         #1
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s7venwords 
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7 Mixtape Stars That Faded Into Obscurity
 

 

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Written by TSSCrew / 03.06.13
Words By Preezy Da Kid | @PreezyDaKid

The 2000s, in particular the early aughts, will forever be remembered as the Golden Era for the mixtape. Although mixtapes have been around in one form or another since the early days of Hip-Hop, the platform would go on to become a big staple in the genre, fueling the careers of superstars such as 50 Cent, Fabolous, Drake, as well as a who's who of the current crop of up-and-comers. And after 50's G-Unit crew and The Diplomats revolutionized the artist-driven mixtape, giving away album's worth of material to the streets and cutting out the middle man, all bets were off and it felt like even your grandma had a tape dropping.

But while the mixtape era produced many artists and still does to this day, it has inevitably churned out its share of duds as well. Here, we take a look at seven of the top busts of the period who garnered hype but failed to capitalize on it with a major label debut--or a viable career for that matter. Hopefully no freestyles from said artists will be aimed in my direction after this list is published. For all of our sakes.


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1. Charles Hamilton

Record Label: Interscope Records

Prime Buzz Years: 2008-2010

Last Seen: At a Digiwaxx music conference explaining where it all went wrong/failing to make a comeback

Back in the days when the now almost-irrelevant XXL Freshman cover held heavy significance, Charles Hamilton was one of the first artists pegged by said publication as 'The Next Generation Of Hip Hop' and touted as one to keep an eye out for, as many believed great things would come from the Harlem upstart.

Even though his love for pink and Sonic The Hedgehog already kept some potential fans at bay, The Punch Heard Around The World kind of sealed the deal for dude. And to make matters worse, he drew the ire of longtime J Dilla collaborator House Shoes over a certain executive producer credit, and EVERYBODY knows how cold it is in the D so I wouldn't note that as much of a positive either. Things got so bad that homie had to go into seclusion after making an a.ss out of himself for the umpteenth time. When all was said and done, he was without a record deal and left trying to make sense of it all.


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2. J-Hood

Record Label: D-Block Entertainment

Prime Buzz Year(s): 2001-2005

Last Seen: In an abandoned building with gang members

Even as one of the main catalysts in the vastly overlooked D-Block/State Property rhyme wars, J Hood was one of the youngest stars in the golden age of the mixtape era, dropping freestyles for the likes of Clue and Whoo Kidd while building a buzz as one of the youngest in charge. While earning his stripes via a memorable showing in the aforementioned Roc/Block battle and a slew of mixtapes, Hood was touted as the next generation of The Lox and the face of their D-Block imprint.

After years pf pushbacks and a realistic release date never materializing, Hood did what many frustrated artists do: he lashed out at his label heads, which in this case were The Lox. He even released a series of disses and videos aimed towards his former mentors. While these actions did nothing much for his career, Jadakiss did show some concern during one radio interview, stating that the former Prodigy was now camped out "In abandoned buildings with gang members." In his defense, I figured he was doing some method acting for his Tales From The Hood album, slated for Nevuary, 31st.


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3.Grafh

Record Label: Blackhand Entertainment/Epic

Prime Buzz Year: 2002-2003

Last Seen: Releasing a project you probably won't care about

Around the year of 2002 when a certain bullet-riddled rapper from Jamaica Queens was putting the mixtape world on its ear, another Jamaica resident by the name of Grafh was raising a few eyebrows as well by quickly becoming a hot commodity in a budding mixtape scene. With strong street credentials via his a.ssociation with Chaz Williams in a time when street cred was still somewhat important to go along with the music, Grafh eventually signed with Epic. And we all know that's exactly the place to go if you're looking to build a credible rap career.

When that situation predictably went sour, Grafh took matters into his own hands, hitting the streets hard with various mixtapes and street singles in attempts to stay afloat. He even gained a little traction with his novelty record "Myspace Jumpoff," dedicated to those late night creepers a few of you may have learned to love along the line. But after the trend passed, there was nothing to keep our attention really.

While he still continues to push his music and has a few fans still pulling for him in the wings, the bandwagon seats are all but empty and the crowd is awfully quiet.


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4. J.R Writer

Record Label: Dipset Records/Koch

Prime Buzz Years: 2003-2008

Last Seen: Trying to squeeze another punchline into a verse

When it comes to mixtapes, few are more familiar with the platform than J.R. Writer. A fruit of mixtape pioneer Dipset family tree, J.R. Writer capitalized off of the Harlem collective's cult-like popularity by making a big splash with his impressive Writer's Block series and becoming one of the most renowned punchline artists on the circuit.

But after major airtime on a few Diplomat compilations and more mixtapes, there was still no word of a proper retail offering. And after releasing a few buzz singles that failed to stick, it was obvious that Writer wouldn't be walking in the footsteps of his elder Dipset brethren. To make matters worse, the Dips all but dissolved, leaving him a man alone on a ship that wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

So while Cam is somewhere in Ohio getting it, Juelz is prepping a comeback and Jim Jones is dealing with the duties of being a reality star *cough*, J.R. is STILL stuck in mixtape purgatory after all these years, even becoming the victim of a Worldstar-fame inspired robbery.

But even with all of that being said, I'm sure he'll be able to find a punchline out of all of this, so things could always be worse.


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5. Papoose

Record Label: Jive

Prime Buzz Years: 2004-2008

Last Seen: Being the resident laughingstock of the Hip-Hop community

Papoose...Pa-Poose...SMH, I don't even know where to start. With a NYC scene hungry for another homegrown star post-50 Cent and the labels looking to cash in on that thirst, a bidding war ensued with Jive leaving the winner (if you want to call it that), signing Pap to a reported $1.5 million deal, which Pap alleges to this day he and Kay Slay pocketed most of.

Things were actually looking up for dude...well, until we found out he couldn't come up with a respectable single if his life depended on it. With his debut album Nacirema Dream on the table for almost a decade, Pap launched a series of single attempts that failed to garner interest, putting him in major label purgatory. The album is actually seeing the light of day on March 26th...riase your hand if you care.

After finally splitting with Jive, Pap went back to the mixtape circuit, where he would languish in obscurity and become a poster child of the failed mixtape rapper era. Luckily, Remy Ma should be home soon to help lift his spirits. The one thing I hope is that he invested that $1.5M in more than 8 Ball jackets.


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6. Peedi Crakk

Prime Buzz Years: 2003-2008

Record Label: Roc-A-Fella Records/Def Jam

Last Seen: Sabotaging his career with "Camel-Face Hunting Season"

While getting a late pass to the State Property tour de force, it didn't take long for Peedi to make his presence felt, regularly stealing the show and making a name for himself with his frenetic Spanglish flow and overall charisma. But after The Roc pretty much crumbled, Crakk's career laid in limbo.

hings started to look up a little when Hov tapped him for his new reincarnation of The Roc (remember that one?), but as that situation soured, Peedi began to turn on Hov and made his displeasure known via his "Camel Face Hunting Season" campaign. And while I respect Peedi's bravado, I wouldn't suggest going against the guy who was essentially the lifeline to your career.

After that attack failed to garner widespread interest, Peedi linked up with the Roots for a few joints, then basically dropped off the face of the earth. While he still pops up with an appearance on some random track/project here and there, he's mostly known as a relic from a squad that could've went on to do great things. The label still could've at least let homie be in that Ne-Yo video though.


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7. Jae Millz

Record Label: Jive Records/Young Money

Prime Buzz Year: 2002-2009

Last Seen: Doing laundry and other chores for Lil Wayne and company

Back when Smack and other various battle oriented DVDs were the rave, Jae Millz was making a name for himself with notable appearances on the mixtape and battle circuit, even parlaying his buzz into an appearance on MTV's Making The Band series, battling against Da Band's E-Ness of cheesecake-walking fame.

Millz linked up with Warner Bros. but eventually severed ties failing after to capitalize on the momentum of his debut single, "No,No,No." Then he ended up at Universal where he was again put on the back burner, eventually splitting with them due to what he considered lack of promotion. From there he does what many desperate artists hoping for a safety net does: sign to another more successful artists imprint, where they will most likely rot on the pine.

After aligning himself with then man of the moment Lil Wayne's Young Money collective, he finally got some burn via an actual album, contributing to the Young Money compilation and riding the coattails of Nicki, Drake, Wayne, and even the likes of Lil Chuckee to a plaque. But five years after that milestone, there's still no sign of an album and bets are there won't be anytime soon.

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 7 Mixtape Stars Who Faded Into Obscurity

112 comments for "7 Mixtape Stars That Faded Into Obscurity"

 5 years ago '05        #2
WCIB 111 heat pts111
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All east coast rappers. 6 NY rappers
 5 years ago '04        #3
justinjones 307 heat pts307
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was peedi crakk really out there though?

i don't even remember him having mixtapes. other than neyo's first single when was he out there?

and for once i agree with gametheory. mickey factz haven't been seen since joey got punched
 03-07-2013, 11:45 AM         #4
Trill Lord J  OP
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 WCIB said:
All east coast rappers. 6 NY rappers
 5 years ago '04        #5
Propel Water 20 heat pts20
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Well we all know what happened to hood, hamilton, and millz...
 5 years ago '04        #6
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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 J Rob said:
Mickey Factz, Donnis, Fashawn, Ali Vegas, Laws, Nino Bless.....
Fashawn just dropped 2 dope projects in 2012.


Side note I knew my n*gga j-hood was gonna be on there... In HS that n*gga was the illest.
 5 years ago '04        #7
justinjones 307 heat pts307
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 J Rob said:
Mickey Factz, Donnis, Fashawn, Ali Vegas, Laws, Nino Bless.....
donnis is trying to go the flo-rida route with no chance
 5 years ago '05        #8
Rockstar718 69 heat pts69
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 WCIB said:
All east coast rappers. 6 NY rappers
of course, when mixtapes we're buzzin it was all about the east coast, that was the last time we really held the throne, then the south came along with snap music and the age of one hit wonders and gimmick rappers came about (not the souths fault, we got plenty of gimmicks up here also)

j hood was that dude, i still quote that bullet proof hoodies freestyle

graph never wanted to be an industry bi*ch, he put on a lot of dudes from queens and give n*ggas job working at black hand, taught a lot of young artists a lot about music and what it can do, he made more of a difference then the rest of this list by far
 5 years ago '04        #9
justinjones 307 heat pts307
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 C.R.I.P. said:
Fashawn just dropped 2 dope projects in 2012.
but failed to capitalize on it with a major label debut--or a viable career for that matter. Hopefully no freestyles from said artists will be aimed in my direction after this list is published. For all of our sakes.
yea but his buzz from being on the cover and boys meet world is completely gone. not saying he doesn't have a career but i honestly forget that he exists

you can add blu to this too. did he get dropped from warner yet or does that album he laked on his own counts as his major?

but im just naming artists that never capitalized in general


Last edited by justinjones; 03-07-2013 at 11:54 AM..
 03-07-2013, 11:52 AM         #10
s7venwords  OP
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Grafh could never get a foot hold, decent mc too.


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 5 years ago '09        #11
TraV 77 heat pts77
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7. Jae Millz

Record Label: Jive Records/Young Money

Prime Buzz Year: 2002-2009

Last Seen: Doing laundry and other chores for Lil Wayne and company

 5 years ago '10        #12
shawntitan 
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Ali Vegas? Maino? Saigon?
 5 years ago '05        #13
Garnet & Gold 42 heat pts42
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I don't care what anyone says, the Hamiltonization Process Charles did with DJ Skee was one of the greatest streaks of good/great tapes ever. Too bad dude is fu*king crazy, and now releases literally every song he's ever done.

Agree with the rest of the list except Peedi Crakk, he wasn't really big on mixtapes like that. Mickey Factz though Used to listen to him crazy when his first few tapes dropped, now can't be bothered to correctly tag his new tapes to add them to iTunes
 5 years ago '04        #14
polorsport2345 8 heat pts
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 shawntitan said:
Ali Vegas? Maino? Saigon?
Maino had a hit, definitely Saigon tho
 03-07-2013, 12:05 PM         #15
s7venwords  OP
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 shawntitan said:
Ali Vegas? Maino? Saigon?
All have projects that dropped ( either to fanfare or scorned ) the past year or 2.
 5 years ago '05        #16
Rockstar718 69 heat pts69
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half of everyone kay slay worked with period

about 40 of the MCs Kay Slay had on rollin 25 deep pts 1 n 2
 5 years ago '11        #17
Blue Dream 8 heat pts
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Get that n*gga next to Papoose the fu*k outta here
 5 years ago '07        #18
KeepinItTrill 30 heat pts30
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you can throw most of Dipset on that list
 5 years ago '04        #19
dubious76 2 heat pts
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I lived through that entire period, mixtape awards, getting at bootleggers, etc...
It was an experience that I can't trade for anything. You actually had to build with artists to get that relationship going and get drops and freestyles. I personally had tapes hosted by Pap, Grafh, Hood because THAT was the big deal back then.

I think Grafh had the best alley-oop with Dame Dash & the ultimate hustler series but some rappers don't know how to capitalize. Just look at Corey Gunz, a show on MTV? Man, that is a DREAM for cats. Sometimes, people just don't know how to make a transition to ACTUALLY make money from the streets and their fans. It's a sad situation when i hear about dudes working at UPS that I used to listen to but time goes on.
 03-07-2013, 01:29 PM         #20
Tyrant Noir  OP
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 Lord Lovely said:
They faded into obscurity because every n*gga on that list is wack except for Peedi Crack.


JR was alright for a min
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