When you’re coming up in the rap game, the word “young” hints that you’re just getting started. But it kinda loses its luster later. Turns out even rappers aren’t immune to time, with the result that many “Young” MCs are no longer so young. (And yes, this does include Young MC.) In ascending order of age, here are nine surprisingly mature men on the mic.
Young Greatness, 32: Considering the name, the career of the artist formerly known as Theodore Jones has built rather slowly. He was already 31 when he finally cracked the Hot 100 for the first (and so far only) time, topping out at #85 with “Moolah.”
Young Buck, 36: This member of G-Unit performed on their double-platinum debut, got the boot from leader 50 Cent in 2008, and rejoined the Unit in 2014, showing just how long a rapper can stay in the game. (Oh, and fellow rapper The Game has made peace with G-Unit too.)
Young Maylay, 38: The voice of Carl “CJ” Johnson in 2004’s blockbuster Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has experienced the frustrations of endless album delays and knowing he may always be best known as a character from a game released when we were still using PS2s.
Young Noble, 39: This gent is quite a bit younger than you’d expect, considering he was in Tupac’s group Outlawz. (Shakur died in 1996.) Noble has teamed up for two collaborative albums with a pair of fellow not-so-young industry members, first Layzie and then Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
Young Jeezy, 39: With all seven of his solo albums reaching the Top Five, Jay Wayne Jenkins has actually stood up to time pretty effectively as he continues to make hits and occasionally get arrested.
Young MC, 50: “Bust a Move” (a jam for all the fellas) came out over 28 years ago. Indeed, Marvin Young's later album Return of the 1 Hit Wonder is now two decades old itself. So don’t just stand there carefully stretch and, with your doctor’s permission, bust a move.