The music business is cruel, and many careers don't survive that initial brush with fame.
Brand Nubian's "Don't Let it Go To Your Head" perhaps best summarized the chewed-up-and-spit-out nature of the rap game just as the biz went into overdrive. Now, commercial hip-hop only includes a small handful of successful artists. But at one point, it seemed like the pop charts were dominated by rappers from all regions and affiliations. Many of them were discovered, many were developed by talented A&Rs. Some came up with superproducers, and acted as a vehicle for new sounds that battered dance clubs. There are many more forgotten artists than this list could even hope to cover.
Today, many of those careers might as well not exist. In some cases, it's the artists' fault. But for the most part, it's due to much larger forces than any individual could hope to overcome. Of course, it's cheaper than ever to have a "career" in 2013. Going by the present standard of releasing YouTube videos to maintain a career, a few of these acts are still recording artists. But for all intents and purposes, when compared with their commercial peaks, their careers are done for.
This might seem disrespectful, but it's not intended to be. A lot of it is about the nature of the business. Many talented people never even make it in the first place. If anything, we want this post, in true Memorial Day fashion, to celebrate the life that was these artists' careers, rather than to mock them for the flatline at the end. Everyone dies one day. RIP to the many careers that once flourished and have since fallen.