Keri Hilson Sheds Tears Over Hitting Rock Bottom: Other Artists Who’ve Done the Same

keri hilson steve harvey interview

Keri Hilson recently sat down with the psychic medium Reginald Lewis, who is featured many times on the “Steve Harvey Show.”

During their exchange, Lewis talked to Hilton about her singing career and eventually returning to music. Her last album was 2010’s “No Boys Allowed” and between then and now, she’s faced some harsh difficulties.

“It’s kind of a comeback because I hit rock bottom a few times,” said Hilson in tears. “I’m crawling back to walking in my purpose and using my gifts … I think I had to give up music for a while. I stepped away and thought it would just be a year. It’s been six maybe. I realize now that I’m grateful for all of those years because I’ve built myself back up.”

Earlier in the conversation, Hilson said that she had to remove certain people from her life, but it wasn’t clear if she was talking about her business team, some of her friends or former boyfriend NBA star Serge Ibaka.

At one time things couldn’t have looked more promising for the R&B songbird. She wrote for several other artists, eventually developed a loyal fan base and had a breakthrough song title “Pretty Girl Rock.”

But things would change for Hilson just one year later and her career would suffer tremendously. The general consensus, however — at least on the Internet — is that Hilson’s career suffered after she refused to hold an issue of Juicy magazine that had Beyoncé and JAY-Z on the cover. Since that time and up until this very day, Beyoncé’s fans and watchdog group the BeyHive has harassed Hilson, to the point where she sort of broke down.

“It’s too much,” she wrote after being accused of dissing the “Lemonade” singer on social media. “Please, is everything I tweet gonna be intentionally misinterpreted as a statement about someone, drama I know nothing about? You have no idea what your hateful words could do to someone’s spirit. Years of verbal abuse from strangers all day long.”

Surely, Hilson isn’t the only artist who’s admitted to hitting rock bottom after experiencing success, countless others have too. Among those, some have staged comebacks, like Hilson plans to do, while others have stayed in obscurity either through choice or by force.

Ja Rule is probably the biggest example of an artist who had little to say about leaving the limelight.

As many probably remember, 50 would drop his single “Wanksta” and that would start the musical demise of Mr. Rule, which he talked about in a 2013 interview.

“It was a roller coaster,” he told Hot 97. “Because everything was happening so fast and then it went ‘shooom.’ It was no slope. It was no dip. It was just a straight [drop] … I think a lot of people think I was angry at the fans, but I wasn’t as much angry as I was hurt.”

“Because like I said, I did a lot for my fans,” Ja added. “It was really a weird time for me and I think out of that came the anger. And then I went into a dark place. And everything was dark for me. Everything that I wanted to do was just angry. My music, the way I moved on the streets.”

These days Ja is still touring and performs a lot of his past hits with label mate Ashanti, so although his career never fully recovered one can’t say it’s completely dead and gone. But he still placed a huge hurdle in front of himself by organizing the failed Frye Festival, which he’s being sued for.

Compared to Rule, it seems the rapper Chingy experienced a harder time trying to make his glory days work for him.

In 2003, on Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace label, the St. Louis native would score a massive hit with “Right Thurr,” a hook driven, radio-friendly cut that celebrated his city’s local dialect.

But eventually, the hits slowed down, a nasty feud with Luda and Nelly followed and just like that, Chingy’s epic ride would come to a loud, screeching stop.

“I watched people in the industry who were cool turn their backs,” he said in a past interview. “I feel like my career was sabotaged … Everything took a decline.”

“I’ve always been into history and the origins of creation,” he explained. “I studied kinesis sciences and the metaphysics of religion and thought. I got a degree in astrology and cosmology. I studied astronomy and numerology and learned about words and logic and the mind. I want to expand my mind. I’ve always been that way. I want to know the real history and the origins of creation.”

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T-Pain is another artist who hit an extreme low after not only having massive chart success but introducing Auto-Tune to a whole new generation. In fact, his impact can still be heard in today’s biggest hits.

At one moment, the Florida crooner had hit records all over the radio and also created huge songs for folks like DJ Khaled and Kanye West. Then he became an industry outsider in a way, which could’ve been a result of JAY-Z calling for the end of Auto-Tune on his song “D.O.A.” or people growing tired of the studio effect.

Either way, Pain said things got so bad for him at one point, he had to borrow money just to do basic things. The singer also said he suffered from a lack of confidence and started to hit the bottle pretty heavy.

“[I] was sitting at home, drinking myself to death,” he said in November of 2017. “It was crazy, it was over the top … [My wife] was like ‘You’re great, you got this, you’re changing the game, you’re making these people uncomfortable, which is why they don’t like you’ … I had to borrow money to get Burger King. It got that bad. And I still had artists and stuff. I was paying for photo shoots, and I was borrowing money to do all that.”

While T-Pain had a pretty long run before things went south, the same can’t be said for Rich Homie Quan who’s time in the spotlight seems very short lived.

In 2013 the Atlanta native was living the rapper’s dream, and it looked like he was on his way to complete stardom. He had a popular mixtape out called “Still Going In,” a hot single titled “Type of Way” and he was touring with Gucci Mane. Quan also teamed with his best friend at the time Young Thug on several popular songs, and it looked like they were the South’s next biggest duo.

But as Thug’s career ascended, Quan’s did just the opposite and falling out with Thug and Birdman probably didn’t help things either.

Quan went through a legal battle with his former label TIG Records as well that halted his music, and at one point he thought about quitting rap altogether.

“At first, I ain’t wanna fool with it,” he said about making music again. “And I knew if I wanted to do it I’d wanna give it my all. Ain’t no point in doing it if you don’t, but I was half-assing it and you could tell … So yeah, my first situation scarred me.”

Fortunately for Quan, he had a nice comeback by signing to Motown in February 2017 and for the most part, he’s remained pretty upbeat, at least publicly.

Wale, on the other hand, has openly expressed his pain and frustration about not getting the respect he wants among fans and critics. For years now, the Washington D.C. rhymer said he’s felt underappreciated and is baffled why he’s not put in the same ranks as other notable rappers.

“I want some respect,” Wale added. “I want people to be like, “Your album’s just as good as Kendrick [Lamar]’s or Esperanza Spalding or Beck. I work just as hard as them.”

“Nobody talks about Wale like that,” he told Billboard. “So what do you do when you’re busting your ass and taking pills to stay up and be able to provide the right energy, and you’re not seeing the proper response? I gave this my all. I’m not trying to whine about being critically acclaimed or getting in the door, but it breaks my heart … I’m okay with people not liking my music but provide an intelligent reason for why you like or don’t like something or you’re a hater or a d–k rider.”

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