Rob Jay On Finding Success In Rap After Age 30
The idea that a rapper can find his creative zen past the age of 30 has been dolled around for quite a while now. We’ve placed age on a weird pedestal in hip-hop, slinging shots towards those who’ve paved the way that are now in their forties and fifties.
Rob Jay, always one to be outspoken about anything when you find him, took the time to pen this essay about age in hip-hop. The recent release of his Millionaire Before 30 EP only makes this an additive to that. Either that or an excerpt from his recent book, How To Get Your Music Posted In Hip Hop Blogs (purchase here) Catch Rob’s thoughts after the jump.
I recently put out an EP called Millionaire Before 30, aside from it being a slick title, being set by 30 has been kind of an obsession growing up.
All through college we always talked about where we wanted to be “by 30″. It’s almost as if 30 is some type of arbitrary cut off point where your life as a young person is evaluated and judged. If your 30 and you own a home, drive a decent car and make good money your a success. If your 30 and still trying to find your way your a loser. To be fair before I was staring at 30 face to face I thought the same way. I remember back in college being in the studio some older guys would be recording and me and my friends would say stuff like “man isn’t that dude like 28 if they haven’t made it by now they minus well move on”.
Now that I’m 28 I can’t help but wonder, how long am I gonna chase this? I mean I love music and it is something that I will do forever, I’m more talking about actually trying to be recognized. Sending music off to blogs, going to local mixers, performing at the local shows etc. I will say a ray of hope has been Danny Brown, Yelawolf, 2 Chainz etc. There’s a new crop of artists that are just breaking through at 30 and I feel like Jay Electronica, similar to Jay-Z, redefined what it meant to be older than many of your contemporaries.
It’s funny because now whenever I flip through XXL or The Source and read about new acts the first thing I look for is the age. It’s weird, I remember 1 publicist tried to get me to lie about my age as if being 28 is pre-historic, but I couldn’t go out like that. That’s real weak to me for a man to lie about his age, even though I know it is prevalent in hip hop. Plus with the internet you will get caught up, how you gonna be 25 and you graduated high school in 99, what were you Doogie Howser?
Anyway, I’m gone out of this peace shout out to the 30 year olds.