7 Sure Signs You Know Your Hip-Hop Group Is Breaking Up
Das Racist in the good old days... 2011.
Photo by Allison Wagoner
This past weekend, Das Racist announced that they have broken up and, according to member Kool A.D., that they have been split up for two months now.
As an avid fan, I wasn't surprised at the news. I've been watching their demise on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks, Internet. In the past few months, Kool A.D. didn't even seem interested in anything Das Racist-related anymore. Then, after one of their songs was featured in a K-Mart commercial, A.D. seemed as apathetic as ever while bandmate Heems exalted in the royalties.
Hip-hop groups --duos, specifically -- are like relationships. Once someone gets bored or thinks they can do better, the perfect union crumbles. One person makes a name for himself and the other is left to get fat and end up a has-been. It's inevitable, especially when some heifers are saying, "Do your own thing, go solo!" Yea, those haters exist in the music industry, too.
Here are some signs that your group might be headed to Splitsville.
7. One member Is Bored We've all seen at least one concert where a performer is standing around, barely participating. Imagine playing the same song every night for a different crowd and having to muscle through it like it's still hot to you.
Most musicians don't moonlight as stage actors; suffice it to say that the first show on a new band's tour won't be anything like their last. They're more excited about their latest endeavors than their huge radio hit that scored them a tour. Once a bandmate is "over it," they're usually out, and the band follows. Case in point: Das Racist.
6. Ominous Subtweets/Deleted Twitter Accounts These are the most obvious, although they're intended to be ambiguous. And they're just as annoying as single girls' subtweets aimed at their friends. The tweets won't directly address any bandmates, but tend to be negative, snarky or vague. When artists delete their Twitter account entirely, expect some kind of public breakdown.
5. Solo Mixtapes/Shows In my opinion, the "solo syndrome" is a surefire way to setup a great breakup. The ego is a powerful thing, and it's the reason for so many entertaining breakups and breakdowns in pop culture. Case in point: Every hip-hop group ever.
4. Cancelled Shows These don't always indicate problems within a group, but frequent no-shows are no bueno. Fans don't like it, booking agents don't like it, and it gives artists a bad reputation in the city. Usually, it means the end of a band's career...people just stop showing up to gigs.
3. Promises of a New Album, but No New Releases Hip-hop artists keep their audience listening by releasing new music as often as possible through their respective blogs. If they're not in touch with the blogs to preview singles and new releases, they're probably not working on anything. Upon announcement of a breakup, however, they reveal that they've recorded a few songs for a final album. Right.
2. Artistic Differences Take hip-hop duo Clipse, for example. Brothers Pusha T and Malice were extremely successful in the early 2000s. Then Malice suddenly decided to take a more "spiritual" approach to hip-hop. He changed his name to No Malice and penned a book about his transformation; talk about a total 180. Give it a few years, though, and he'll return to the dark side just like former rapper-turned-preacher-turned-rapper Mase.
1. Guap Most of the time it's the lack of money that causes a group's demise, but sometimes it's the concept of "selling out" that does it. It's easy for artists to become conflicted with the music industry-they sign contracts that they can't get out of; they might feel "owned" by the people who pay them. It's interesting that Das Racist's breakup happened when their song "Girl" was chosen for a K-Mart commercial.
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