Signs That Your Favorite Rapper Is Falling Off

They're trying a new style (and it's not working).

The rap audience is surprisingly conservative, and historically unkind to rappers who too dramatically change styles. When rap fans complain about rappers who aren't "real," they're not looking for authenticity as much as they are consistency. We know that much of art is artifice (especially now, in the era of Rick Ross). We don't necessarily mind. But once a character has been established, he or she can't just slip into a new persona like a change of clothes. The examples are glaring: MC Hammer's "gangster" album, Vanilla Ice transforming into the long lost member of Cypress Hill. In a less extreme example, Ludacris' shift to suit-and-tie rap might have won him a Grammy award, but it presaged his fall from relevance.

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