Archive for October, 2008

On the heels of my latest post, Another ENCORE, Please, I came across an article on Yahoo’s featured news page, written by their Hip-Hop writer, Billy Johnson Jr.,  that reported, Last week Vibe magazine announced that Eminem had won its Best Rapper Alive competition.” Although I am a fan of Em’s, I don’t agree with the ruling. There was a catch though, the self proclaimed, “voice of urban culture” didn’t choose the person who would own the title of this highly argued topic, but they polled their readers using a bracket system similar to those used during playoff time in different sports. In the first round of a basketball playoff scenario, eight teams are ranked by their record in their respective conferences, East and West. Out of the eight teams the #1 team plays the #8 team, the #2 team plays the #7 team, and so on and so forth. That way the “best” teams, in terms of standings in their conferences, are the most “likely” to move on to later rounds. VIBE had four different brackets (conferences),  and it seemed, for the most part, that the 15-year-old publication attempted to do the same with the whole ranking system, bringing the victor from each bracket together to determine the overall winner. Amidst my browsing, I caught, what I consider, a few slip ups in different areas and have listed them below for your to openly scrutinize, if you’d like. 

Lil’ Kim (#9) vs. Lauryn Hill #8Lauren Hill is, without a doubt, one of the top female lyricists of ALL TIME. There should be no discussion concerning this matchup. Fortunately, the best woman did win. 

Nelly’s ranking – Nelly was ranked #5 in his bracket above Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Beanie Sigel, and even Joe Budden. I think a recount is in order. As a matter of fact, I DEMAND A RECOUNT!!!

A few of the slip ups, VIBE had nothing to do with. They were all a result of the uninformed voters. Here they are…

Ludacris(#3) beats T.I.(#2) with 58% of the votes– I agree with the rankings in their bracket but this race shouldn’t have been this close. The title of “King of the South” was rightfully bestowed upon Mr. T.I. long, long ago, Luda. Sorry…

The Game(#3) wins over Andre 3000(#1) – Most people can’t really get with Mr. 3G’s style but his creativity is what stands out for me. He is a genius at story telling, his quirky choice of words, and the mind churning metaphors he spits, all give him the “W” in this head-to-head, in my mind anyway.

In the fourth round of voting the M.C. that I think is the Best Rapper Alive, suffered a close defeat by Eminem, the eventual winner of it all. Who, you say? Mr. Nasir Jones. The voting was extremely close though, Slim Shady taking the victory with 57% of the votes compared to Nas’s 43%. Now, I was going to dedicate a much deserved post solely to Nas and explain why he is the Best Rapper Alive, but since I’m already gracing the subject here, I will calm you all’s wondering hearts with an abridged version of what is soon to come. 

Nas came into the game of Hip-Hop at a time where it was basically being dominated by the West Coast, Gangster Rap scene. The likes of Wu Tang Clan, The Notorious BIG, and Mobb Deep, all undeniably great in their own right, entered mainstream hip-hop at around the same time as Nas and collectively, helped put East Coast Hip-Hop back on the proverbial map. From his street anthem album, Illmatic to his politically driven latest release, Untitled, he has touched on a plethora of subjects, all with a naturally effortless flow. He can talk about the street life that he lived, (Life’s A Bitch)  and on the flip side he can speak on the problems facing our community (Black Girl Lost, Second Childhood, I Can).  The commercial crossover song is also a part of his repertoire (You Owe Me, Hate Me Now). The creativity he possesses is unbelievable and he can rattle off a narrative with ease. For example, on Stillmatic, Rewind, is a story told totally in reverse. Now that is one-of-a-kind thinking. Rather than talking about money, hoes and clothes throughout his whole career, Nas, unlike many other rappers, grows with every release. He is not afraid of  alienating his fans when he tackles socially conscious issues. Neither is he fearful of dedicating a whole album to one word, creating amazingly thought provoking tracks that take absolutely nothing away from his credibility (Untitled). Oh yeah, I’m sure all the Jay-Z fans out there know that Mr. Jones is indeed a heavyweight when it comes to battles, poisoning opponents with his lyrical venom and dismissing them with the verbal jabs that bruise their sub-par rhymes.

“Ask me if I’m tryin’ to kick knowledge. Nah, I’m trying to kick that sh*t you need the learn though, that Ether, that sh*t that make ya soul burn slow…” – Ether, Stillmatic

In parting, I would like to quote the man of the hour with this…

“I got this locked since nine-one I am the truest, name a rapper that I aint influence…” – Ether, Stillmatic.

I couldn’t have said it better………

PEACE…

eminem1_l6

I popped in The Eminem Show CD on my way home from work tonight and I wondered… where is the Real Slim Shady? He hasn’t put out an album in four years and I was just curious as to when we could count on another hit from Eminem. Since Mr. Shady’s last album, it has been reported that he entered rehab for his dependency on sleep medication. During this hiatus, his close friend and recent best man, Proof, was killed in a Detroit nightclub. Evidently this added tragedy was just fuel for the hiatus fire.

Well, I searched the net and found that Eminem is scheduled to release an album. The Empack may possibly be released before the end of the year.  Hopefully we won’t be stood up by the people at Interscope too much longer. Eminen is definitely one of the biggest hip hop artists of our time and probably the most controversial. His fearless exposure of the events in his life makes us all interested in what he’ll reveal next. His sick flow has been matched by few other rap artists, and those hard hitting Dr. Dre beats always seem to keep our heads nodding. Sometimes his music is like a guilty pleasure considering the bold, shocking, risque, even over the top lyrics that his songs are comprised of.  Soon we will have another album from Mr. Mathers and the desire for the raunchy, violent, and at times, oddly happy-go-lucky music with sprinkles of social consciousness will be ours. All ours….

PEACE…