Metro Boomin Says He’s ‘Retired From Rap’

Metro Boomin, one of the biggest hip-hop producers in the world, has possibly just announced his retirement from rap. Having been remarkably quiet on social media the last couple of months, Metro deleted all of his Instagram posts and updated his story, writing, “Retired from rap,” from what appears to be a private jet.

It's not clear what prompted this move, but his Twitter page's most recent tweet is from late last year and his production has been sorely missed so far in 2018. He's also updated his Instagram bio to read “Retired record producer/DJ,” seemingly further confirming his claim. It should be noted that Metro is still scheduled to perform at Birkenhead, UK festival May Weekender next month, as well as The Greatest Day Ever! Music Festival & Carnival in the Bronx this July.

It's not uncommon to see rappers and producers “retire” from rap only to come back later, but right now it's looking like Metro is very much serious about it. If he's not being serious, however, it's a bit late for an April Fool's Joke. 

We've reached out to Metro Boomin's reps for comment and will update if we receive a response.

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Cardi B’s Success Proves Why She Never Needed ‘Love & Hip Hop’

In clinical terms, Love & Hip Hop is a long-running reality franchise about the personal and professional struggles of figures in the music business. In colloquial terms, it’s a ratchet-reality soap opera with around 200 interwoven characters. Many of them exist at the periphery of the music industry; others have won Grammys, gone platinum, and crafted No. 1 records at some point in their career. In nearly every episode, there is an obligatory scene of one or more of them in the studio. But with very few songs released, we need to know: What exactly are they working on?

LHH is the cornerstone of Vh1. In 2017, the network had four of the top 10 unscripted shows on cable, and the Atlanta and New York editions were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. And shows weren’t measured in “social engagement” before Love & Hip Hop started dominating Twitter each time an episode aired. All this to say, everyone is watching the show. Everyone is talking about the show. But no one is fucking with the music from the show.

In fact, for a program called Love & Hip Hop, only one featured personality from its cast is actually relevant for their current musical output: a former stripper with minimal prior rap experience named Cardi B.

And no one saw her coming.

When Cardi joined Love & Hip Hop’s New York cast in season 6 she was already a social media starlet with over a million followers on Twitter (she now has 2.8M). She was known for her personality, not any musical inclinations, and had retired from the pole two months before the season premiere on December 14, 2015. By that point Cardi had started making a whole living off club appearances. But Vh1 wanted to portray her as a silly exotic dancer languishing in a messy situationship.

“Yo, it’s so crazy, like, them motherfuckers [the producers] really doubted me. It’s like, why would y’all doubt me? Like, I have seven hundred thousand bajillion followers,” she told THE FADER in February 2016. “I’m telling them like, ‘Yo, I have a brand. I’m not even an artist and I fill out clubs. Three thousand, whatever the crap, I fill them shits out!’ But they didn’t care about that. They just wanted to make me look as the stripper, a struggling stripper.”

love & hip hop may help raise an artist’s visibility, but for all the wrong reasons when it comes to their actual artistry.

And indeed, she played her part. In her now-legendary LHH video introduction, Cardi announced, “Hey, America, washpoppin’? You might know me as that annoying dancer on social media that be talking hella crazy, with the long nails and the big ol’ titties, but I’m just a regular, degular, shmegular girl from the Bronx.” We went on to see Cardi’s frustration over Power 105 radio personality DJ Self, whom she slept with occasionally, not playing her music. In her words, he was “the hottest DJ in New York or whatever” and she was willing to deal with him seeing other women so long as he helped get her music played.

See, for most of the show’s history, that was the dynamic: The men were the legitimate figures in the industry, and the women were around to jockey for their assistance or attention. Remember how Stevie J. constantly threatened to send Joseline Hernandez back to the strip club on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta? Like no character before or after her, Cardi B. was able to flip the script.

To understand how disruptive Cardi was, we should rewind. The show’s earliest iteration, Keeping Up With the Joneses, centered around Dipset rapper Jim Jones, his longsuffering girlfriend Christine Lampkin, and outspoken mother, Nancy “Mama” Jones. But Jimmy became less interested after he released his most successful single, “We Fly High.” To save the show, manager Yandy Smith and her mentor, Violator Management co-founder Mona Scott-Young, bumped Jones down to supporting cast member, and elevated Chrissy and her friends to the main cast. Re-christened Love & Hip Hop, the show was now giving visibility to the women behind famous men in hip-hop.

Cardi B Couch
Image via MTV/TRL/Getty

Now, fast-forward: Cardi B. came on the show with a game plan, and it wasn’t to be behind anybody. Her cunning, singular focus is perhaps what allowed her to become the show’s unlikeliest success story. This theory makes more sense when you consider that Cardi quit after two seasons in order to pursue her music. She paused the shenanigans to go work on her craft, instead of posturing in the studio like many of the men we see every episode. Within months of leaving LHH, she released her second mixtape, signed a multimillion-dollar record deal, then released “Bodak Yellow.” And within a year of her last trip to Vh1, Cardi had a No. 1 record, two Grammy nominations, and multiple pop and hip-hop features dominating the charts.

Given her beloved personality, Cardi could’ve easily joined the likes of LHH mainstays Stevie J., Lil Scrappy, and Yung Joc, bouncing between spinoffs in reality TV purgatory. But unlike them, Cardi didn’t want chasing checks from Mona Scott-Young to be her ceiling.A lot of the n***as on that show are cornballs, but it is what it is,” clairvoyant Cardi said in an interview right before she left the LHH.

That about sums up why no one who continues to appear on the show is likely to break through on the charts any time soon. LHH may help raise an artist’s visibility, but for all the wrong reasons when it comes to their actual artistry. We all agreed amongst ourselves that the franchise was fake, but it was a juicy lie that we enjoyed pretending to believe. Cardi’s contrasting authenticity made us step into the light.

Cardi could’ve easily joined the likes of LHH mainstays Stevie J., Lil Scrappy, and Yung Joc, bouncing between spinoffs in reality TV purgatory. But Cardi didn’t want chasing checks from Mona Scott-Young to be her ceiling.

Millions of people rallied behind her as a person—she could have sold us anything she wanted after that, lip kits or weave—but she chose to sling hits. Cardi didn’t blow up the day after she left, no. But she was persistent and converted momentum into clout. Some of the credible artists remaining on LHH, like Remy Ma and Trina, haven’t been able to figure this part out yet—even though both have albums on the way and purposefully steer clear of the drama by limiting their camera time. There appears to still be an understanding of their brand equity, which is something many of their peers seem to lack, but the reality of reality TV is that it’s a means to an end.  

As we sit here in the afterglow of Cardi’s soon-to-be-crowned No. 1 debut album, her feature on Saturday Night Live, and third appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, we have to respect what she’s achieved. Cardi was an underestimated woman whose role on LHH was to orbit the “powerful” men, but yet she launched past them all. As a soon-to-be mother engaged to one of the hottest artists in the industry, she’s basically secured the love and the hip-hop without the cameras. It’s doubtful anyone else on the franchise can replicate those shmoney moves.

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Logic: ‘Tell That Boy Drake He Don’t Want It With Me in ‘Fortnite”

As more people are hopping on the Fortnite wave including rappers like Drake and Travis Scott, it only made sense for some challenges to come out of it. On a recent stop at The Ellen Show, rapper Logic took the chance to challenge Drizzy to the PC game while on stage performing his latest single “Everyday”.

It was obvious Logic was happy to be there, shouting Ellen out while bounding across the stage, so his playful warning fit right into the rest of his mic banter. “Tell that boy Drake he don't want it with me in Fortnite,” the rapper said close to the end of the performance. DJ and producer Marshmello, who the rapper collaborated with on the song, joined him on stage at the very end of the performance.

Of course, it all comes from a good place as Logic has said in the past how much Drizzy inspires him. “Drake doesn’t realize, in many ways, he was like the big brother I never had,” he recently explained on Beats 1 with Zane Lowe. “He set the example and paved the way for me to be myself. Now, whether I’m at the Grammys or whether I’m here or there, or whatever, he’ll show me love…People don’t realize what that’s like, what that means.”

Logic has previously challenged him before, replying to a tweet from Ninja, “Tell the boy Drizzy he don’t want it with Bobby!”

Logic might be in for more than he bargained for, since Drake's last appearance on Twitch playing the game saw him take top spot.

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Shaquille O’Neal Is Planning to Host His Own EDM Festival in Miami

Shaquille O'Neal can do pretty much anything he wants at this point in his life, moving from one project to another with almost reckless abandon. His latest venture, though, might be one of his strangest yet. Billboard reports Shaq will be starting a “carnival-style” EDM festival in Miami called Shaq's Fun House. 

Scheduled to take place on March 24, the one-night event is set to feature a multitude of EDM DJs, “over-the-top” carnival attractions, and a cabaret show. The location of the venue hosting the event has yet to be announced, but it's invite-only, anyway. Considering that Shaq has DJed in the past, it's not the most shocking of announcements, but it's still pretty out there.

“Despite all the problems that are going on in the world, there are two [things] that’ll bring people together: it’s sports and music,” Shaq told Billboard. He promises the festival will feature “flamethrowers, people swinging from ceilings, a lot of costumes. We want this to be very different than any other festival.” Shaq's Fun House is expected to run from 2 a.m. until sunrise, and he'll perform as DJ Diesel at the event.

Shaq explained to Billboard that he got the idea for the event after he performed at a previous EDM festival called TomorrowWorld, which took place in Atlanta back in 2015. “I like to read the crowd and see what they like, but I want to hit them with that base, edgy trap. I like all types of music. I’m mixture of AoB and Skrillex,” he added. “That’s my alias, the black AoB-Skrillex.”

Hopefully Shaq is a better DJ than he is a rapper.

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Trippie Redd Speaks About Not Being Included on “God’s Plan” and Hints at Future Drake Collabs

Drake's new single “God's Plan” is the No. 1 song on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for the third week in a row. Producer Boi-1da says he “instantly” knew it was going to be a smash, and Drake is now calling the accompanying music video “the most important thing I have ever done in my career.”

Basically, less than a month after its release, the song is already a massive hit and a huge success to everyone involved. It would feel horrible to miss out on an opportunity like that, right? Ask Trippie Redd. Before the song's release, most fans assumed the buzzing Ohio rapper would be on “God's Plan” when snippets of an early version played by Trippie's DJ leaked online after it was played at a New Year's party.

No one knows for sure why Trippie didn't end up on the final version of the song, but his DJ said, “Snippet was out for too long. Since last year. New Year's gained it too much traction. Trippie only finished half his verse so I'm guessing Drake wanted to capitalize off the buzz. Him and Trip got plenty shit together they good.”

On Thursday, a fan commented on Drake's Instagram post and tagged Trippie, writing, “You missed a MASSIVE opportunity.”

Seemingly unconcerned, Trippie replied, “You right I'm not gone be salty about it tho I got plenty of time to have the opportunity again.” Then, he alluded at future collaborations with Drake by adding: “1400/OVO”

Since the release of “God's Plan,” more footage of Trippie Redd in the studio with Drake and 40 has surfaced. Trippie also told Big Boy he has more songs with Drake: “They're in the works, they still need to be mixed and mastered.”

So, while it must have been a disappointment to miss out on his first No. 1 hit, it sounds like Trippie will have more opportunities for an OVO collaboration in the future—building on a wild 2017 that saw collabs with DRAM, Travis Scott, Swae Lee, and more. He also teased a song with Lil Wayne recently, which you can hear below.

 

Trippie Redd previews new song featuring Lil Wayne. How does it sound to you?

A post shared by Pigeons & Planes (@pigsandplans) on Jan 18, 2018 at 7:35am PST

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It Sounds Like Takeoff and Carnage Have a Joint Mixtape Headed Our Way

It’s no wonder Migos considers themselves the “biggest group ever.” This week alone, the Atlanta trio released their highly anticipated Culture II album, launched an apparel collection at Bloomingdale’s, and will potentially walk away with multiple Grammys on Sunday. It’s clear Migos is on top of the world right now; however, it sounds like one of its members is gearing up to release a side project. And, no, we’re not talking about Quavo again.

On the same day Culture II dropped, DJ/producer Carnage announced he and Takeoff had a collaborative mixtape in the stash. He announced the project on social media, accompanied by a screenshot of his and Takeoff’s Facetime conversation. 

Carnage linked up with Migos for his 2015 debut album Papi Gordo. The hip-hop EDM producer also released a number of collaborative projects throughout last year: one was the Young Martha mixtape with Young Thug, and the other was the Step Brothers EP with G-Eazy. Carnage is also preparing to release another studio album in the upcoming months, which he says is filled with big-name features, including Takeoff.

“I’m really excited. I put a lot of time in to it,” he said on Power 106’s The Cruz Show this month. “I have a mixture of, like, everybody. You’re going to be blown away.”

While we wait for more information about Takeoff and Carnage’s joint effort, you can check out Culture II on Apple Music and iTunes. The album has already received plenty of love from a wide range of fans as well as the restaurant chain Wingstop. (LOL.)

Gucci Mane also appeared to enjoy Culture II, as he referred to Takeoff as his favorite rapper shortly after the album dropped. 

 

Culture 2 out @yrntakeoff my fav rapper now!!!

A post shared by Gucci Mane (@laflare1017) on Jan 26, 2018 at 8:34am PST

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Erykah Badu Faces Major Backlash After Talking Positively About Hitler

During her Everyday Struggle visit back in November of 2017, the world got to see the free-spirited Erykah Badu in all of her glory. And while she references the public's perception of her relationship with rappers (“That I take rappers to the sunken place” is how she describes it) in a new conversation with Vulture, heads are reacting to her comments on Adolf Hitler and Bill Cosby more than anything.

The interview is fascinating in its flow. The conversation that brought up Cosby, and later Hitler, started out as Badu speaking on her appreciation for XXXTentacion's work, and the idea of separating the person from the art they are making. “I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he’s done for the world. But if he’s sick, why would I be angry with him? The people who got hurt, I feel so bad for them. I want them to feel better, too. But sick people do evil things; hurt people hurt people.”

Badu follows up, acknowledging that, “I know I could be crucified for saying that, because I’m supposed to be on the purple team or the green team. I’m not trying to rebel against what everybody’s saying, but maybe I want to measure it.” That's definitely ruffling feathers, but as the conversation shifted, the interviewer asked her about Badu's perceived anti-Semitism based on an Israeli article quoting Badu's thoughts on Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

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“I’m not an anti-Semitic person,” Badu stated. “I don’t even know what anti-Semitic was before I was called it. I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.” After being asked to clarify what she was saying, Badu said that Hitler was “a wonderful painter.”

When asked point blank what Hitler being a good painter (even if he wasn't) had to do with him being a “good person,” Badu explained “Okay, he was a terrible painter. Poor thing. He had a terrible childhood. That means that when I’m looking at my daughter, Mars, I could imagine her being in someone else’s home and being treated so poorly, and what that could spawn. I see things like that. I guess it’s just the Pisces in me.”

Which, as she said before, “Hurt people hurt people,” and while Badu chalked much of her comments up to her independent thinking, where she'd rather examine each case individually than align with the mentality of the many, that didn't stop Twitter from going ham about her comments.

What's interesting is that Badu might have given herself the best advice ever during the interview: “You asked me a question. I could’ve chosen not to answer.” Maybe some answers are best left unsaid.

Later Wednesday, Badu addressed the backlash on Twitter:

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UK Rapper/Singer Dylan Cartlidge Delivers a Much-Needed Message With the “Love Spoons” Video

UK rapper, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Dylan Cartlidge was inspired by all the negative in the world, but instead of reacting with anger or disappointment, he responded with a message of hope. “Love Spoons” is an uplifting song with a sense of urgency, and it's exactly what we need right now. Watch the new Katia Ganfield-directed video above, and read a short interview with Dylan below.

“Love Spoons” has a really positive message. What inspired that, and why is it important for you to share right now?​

I believe so strongly in hope above adversity, and this song was written in part as a response to all these horrific attacks that were happening around the globe, one after another. It was awful. The Orlando attack in particular really struck me, as I couldn't believe those people had been targeted for the way in which they express their love. So I combined the feelings and thoughts from this period with my own feelings on individuality and hope above adversity. Regardless of age, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, or background, being you is a key to truly finding happiness. I think now more than ever there's somebody somewhere that could do with hearing that.

Musically, this isn't like a lot of the current styles making the rounds right now. What music influences you?

Kid Cudi is basically my idol, being a rapper by trade I grew up listening to a lot of rap, R&B, soul, and mainstream chart music mainly but lived in a household as a child with a trance DJ and '80s pop fanatic for a good while but typically, Lupe Fiasco, Stromae, Olu, Kanye West, Cage, Mac Miller, The Cool Kids. I then joined a band when I was 16, and for the first time had openly experienced music with live instruments, guitars and riffs, bands like The Black Keys, The White Stripes. I've never looked back since, totally blew my mind, my musical horizons had been broadened.

What can you tell us about the music video for “Love Spoons”? Where was it shot, who are the people featured in it? Any stories from the shoot that you remember?

The video was shot by a wonderfully talented lady named Katia Garfield who's done videos for the likes of Childhood, Demob Happy, and loads of others. It was all shot on her super cool VHS camera in the seaside town I live in named Redcar. I'd gotten many friends, family, and people I knew involved to try and showcase as many forms of love as I could find, in all different relationships and people. I even roped my girlfriend Holly into it!

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Wiz Khalifa on Cam’ron, Cigarettes, and ‘Laugh Now, Fly Later’

Wiz Khalifa's new project Laugh Now, Fly Later dropped earlier this month, and he came by for a new episode of Trending Topics to speak about his favorite rapper in the world (Cam'ron), why people should smoke weed instead of cigarettes, and his close relationship with Curren$y.

Having come up during the peak of the blog era, Wiz also took a moment to share his thoughts on the current relevance of blogs: “I just think blogs definitely still matter as much as they did before, I just think the content is different. People have come up so many other ways, like SoundCloud. And now if you, like, piss on your homeboy while he's sleeping, you'll get popular on Instagram.”

During his visit, Khalifa also had a chance to make good on his promise (eight years later) to reward every blog and DJ for their support of Burn After Rolling with white papers:

 

8 years later, @wizkhalifa delivers. Thank u Wiz

A post shared by Pigeons & Planes (@pigsandplans) on Nov 16, 2017 at 4:43pm PST

Thanks, Wiz.

You can watch the episode above and hear his new project Laugh Now, Fly Later below.

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A-Trak: The ComplexCon Interview

Ten years after its founding, Fool's Gold Records is stronger than ever. With a roster that balances household names like Danny Brown with new talent like Leaf and G-Worthy, what started as a label has grown into something much more.  

That much became clear when founder and legendary DJ A-Trak took over the P&P stage at ComplexCon. A parade of new voices graced the stage, and Jinx caught up with A-Trak backstage after the performance. Watch A-Trak's ComplexCon interview above to learn what it takes to run a successful label, where he earned his reputation as a DJ, and how festival culture changed everything. Catch up on the rest of our ComplexCon coverage below:

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