saw this online and thought I would share… its amazing how some have fell off while others have stayed strong….
10 Most Popular Artists of 1999
THEN: After dropping Hard Core in 1996, an album that would go platinum three times over, Lil Kim then hit us with The Notorious Kim and La Bella Mafia, both of which were platinum-certified. Kim solidified her status as one of the most successful femcees ever.
NOW: After being released from prison for lying to a grand jury about a shooting that took place outside Hot 97 (it’s always outside Hot 97), Lil Kim remained quiet until her recent appearance on Dancing With The Stars. Despite She has an album she’s working on, Vintage, that she plans on releasing sometimes in 2009.
THEN: After establishing herself as one of the two (out of three) significant members of The Fugees, Hill was on top of the world. Due to incredible sales of both Blunted On Reality and The Score, the trio were launched into orbit. After going solo, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill further propelled her career, selling over 20 million copies worldwide since its 1998 release date.
NOW: Since going into self-imposed exile due to her categorical dissatisfaction with the music industry and infuriating the Vatican with comments regarding the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church, Hill has been seen very rarely both socially as well as in the music scene.
THEN: He started as a kid from Brooklyn who went to school with AZ, Biggie and Busta Rhymes and dropped out before his high school graduation to go full-time into selling drugs. He found that he had a flow, and through free styles and connections found himself replacing drugs with CD’s.
NOW: A kid who hustled drugs from the Marcy projects grows up to be one of the most influential and powerful artists to have graced the rap-game. Hova created a label, saw it grow step-by-step with his career, went platinum 24 times over in his 13 year career and now owns sports teams, clothing lines and his own music. A true entrepreneur.
THEN: At the age of 19, Terius Gray, better known as Juvenile, started rapping in New Orleans. He released his first album, Being Myself, in 1995 and two years later he dropped Solja Rags – both of which were commercial failures. 400 Degreez, however, his third album went four times platinum off of the song “Back That Azz Up,” which in my book is the grandfather off all club bangers.
NOW: Juve released five albums since 400 Degreez with mixed response but Juvenile has been off the radar since 2006 and though he does have an album slated for release this year his relevance as a rapper has declined so greatly that the release will probably end up disappointing.
THEN: After catching a break in The Source’s “Unsigned Hype” column, DMX was finally able to get signed to Def Jam in 1998, when his first album came out. DMX strung a line of five albums together from 1998 to 2003, each of which went at least platinum once over. DMX was able to hold down dark, grimy rap in an age where artists were moving away from the sub-genre.
NOW: The man has been arrested for animal cruelty, reckless driving, unlicensed driving, drug possession and identity falsification. He was implicated in the alleged rape of a stripper in the Bronx, and WAS cleared, but the man has a rap sheet hairier than Freeway’s beard. Now he’s got a gospel album in post-production and two albums coming out this year and/or 2010.
THEN: Master P made his debut in the rap-game in 1991 with his release, Get Away Clean. Five years later his fifth release, Ice Cream Man, would go platinum and be the first in a chain of five albums to chart and either go platinum or gold for the New Orleans rapper in a row. His albums have failed to chart since 2001.
NOW: Despite lackluster numbers, Master P parlayed his success as a rapper into success in multiple business ventures including a record company, a clothing line, a film company, a sports managment company, real estate holdings and a travel company. Miller saw much more money outside of rap. He hasn’t released an album in three years and has kept his music career very quiet.
THEN: From Leaders of the New School to “Woo Hah!! (Got You All In Check)” off of his platinum release The Coming, Busta Rhymes has proven to be a dynamic rapper with a machine gun flow mirroring his on-stage persona. He had 5 records go platinum from 1996 to 2001.
NOW: Busta’s commercial releases began to slump in 2001 with the release of Genesis. Since then the Brooklyn emcee incurred a few legal issues but remained in the rap-game as a minor player. His recent release, Back On My BS, though commercially unsuccessful, has marked a resurgence of Busta in rap and through a slew of singles featuring artists new and old, Rhymes seems to be staging a comeback.
THEN: Missy Elliott began her musical career in a group called Sista, alongside her childhood friend and producer, Timothy Mosely aka Timbaland. After moving to New York and the larger group she had joined dispersed, Elliott and Mosely did a majority of their work writing and producing for other acts. Elliott released Supa Dupa Fly in 1997 to critical acclaim and her follow up album two years later, Da Real World, also went platinum.
NOW: With five studio albums that have gone, at the very least platinum once over, Elliott is considered a pioneer for blazing a trail for women in rap as well as for her sound. The Cookbook, which came out in 2005 went gold and her 2009 release, Block Party has yet to be released.
THEN: After moving around Michigan with his mother, then Marshall Mathers landed in a Detroit suburb. Inspired by the Beastie Boys’ License To Ill, Mathers decided he wanted to pursue rapping. In 1997 Jimmy Iovine, CEO of Interscope Records, requested a demo tape from Mathers after he won the Rap Olympics and set Mathers up with legendary producer Dr. Dre.
NOW: Eminem grew into a rap legend from his first release, The Slim Shady LP, which shifted four million units in the U.S. and over 9 million worldwide. In his career Mathers has sold 58 million records and odds are his latest release, Relapse, will only add to that staggering number.
THEN: Snoop linked with West coast producer and rapper, Dr. Dre after Dre heard the rookie emcee freestyle over an En Vogue track. By the time 2000 was over, Snoop Dogg had gone platinum 10 times over with five albums in seven years.
NOW: Snoop has expanded his “brand” to multiple business ventures. Once the braided-up rapper from the streets of Long Beach, Snoop has parlayed his commercial success into product endorsements, television shows, peewee football teams and more. Snoop has legitimized himself into more of a branding tool than a rapper. __________________