From selling coffee to khakis, these rappers have been on their grind.
Not loving your summer job? Is it not how you envisioned it? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there and that includes your favorite rappers.
These MCs might be on top of the music game nowadays, but things weren’t always so glamorous. We decided to take a trip down memory lane to see what your favorite MCs were doing before the fame. And some of these gigs might just surprise you:
- Nicki Minaj
Before slayings mics as a musical “Monster” and your weekly #WCW, Nicki was a Red Lobster waitress. And if you were in New York at the time, she might’ve served you.
- Kanye West
Before bridging musical gaps, Yeezy worked at the actual Gap. And he didn’t seem to enjoy it too much. Just listen to his first verse on “Spaceship” for proof.
- Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar worked as a security guard for a short time. He ended up leaving after a month. Well, in fact, he was fired after helping some friends stage a robbery on the third Saturday he clocked in. At least that’s what he said on “m.A.A.d. city.”
- Rick Ross
Everyone knows about Rozay’s past as a correctional officer, but he was also doing maintenance work on rooftops at one point in time. He even rapped about it on “Mafia Music.”
- Method Man
Mr. Meth was working at The Statue of Liberty before making a name for himself as a Wu-Tang Killa Bee. “Everybody from the block just started working at the Statue of Liberty,” he spoke to 64HIPHOP. “One dude got in and brought everybody from the ’hood in that bitch. [We did] concessions and sold food… We talking like five years of my life up there. I was a working n—a!”
- Kid Cudi
Before being a WZRD, Cudder worked at a Dean & Luca (gourmet food) store…and he didn’t like it. Maybe that’s an understatement. Let him tell it: “This place sucked. It was the worst job,” Cudi told Fuse. “I’m not trying to diss the establishment of Dean & Deluca, but this store specifically was just not run the way that it was supposed to be run…It was the worst experience, I hated it.”
- Tyler, The Creator
The Odd Future member’s past includes a short stint at Fed Ex and more than two years of employment at Starbucks. He recently spoke about this gig, explaining why he got fired…and it might have had something to do with stolen danishes.
What street did me & Mr. Porter live on together in Detroit when we were working as cooks at Gilbert’s Lodge? Em (and fellow D-12 member Mr. Porter) were both cooking food before they were heating up mics. They worked at Gilbert’s Lodge in Michigan. Thankfully, Slim made it out of the kitchen to, oh, you know, become one of the most successful rappers of all time. NBD.
MGK really hated his Chipotle job. Why? Well, it included something he called “rat city” during the above interview with MTV News. Yeah, that’s bad.
The rapper had a few jobs that weren’t as glamorous as his current gig as a world-traveling MC. The Maryland rap star once was ‘Under Pressure’ while working at “Joe’s Crab Shack, Jiffy Lube, and a daycare.”
Soulo may be a TDE spitter now, but he was once just selling records out of the family-owned Magic Disc. His “Tree Of Life” verse above proves it. Guess he’s always worked around music.
- Big Boi
Listen to Big Boi’s “Slump” verse carefully and you’ll hear about how the OutKast MC once worked at a Steak And Ale. That was before he had “the whole rap world fascinated” as one half of a legendary duo.
Yes, even Diddy has had to work his way up. Before running Bad Boy, Puffy was an intern for Andre Harrell, who once told Billboard about what a great impression he made.
“Puff had just started as an intern and I gave him a tape to take to Unique Studios, about 10 blocks away,” Harrell said. “By the time I finished the phone call I was on, he came back — his tie was sideways and behind his back — and I asked, ’How did you get there so fast?’
“He said, ’I ran there and I ran back,’” he continued. “And I thought to myself, ’Oh, this kid is going to be a problem right here. He’s eager to go.’ And I don’t mean a bad problem — a force to be reckoned with.”
So, even if you hate your current job, just think about the goals you’ll accomplish in the future. It may not happen overnight, but these rappers prove you won’t have to work at a gig you hate your whole life. You may just be living your dream one day, too.
We shall be profiling Kenyan rappers in our next edition …