A recent Stop Pop Culture feature, “Best Rappers You Probably Never Heard Of” got a lot of feedback, some totally disagreeing while the majority of the comments seemed to be positive. Many hip hop fans suggested other MC’s, some which were forgotten, some a little too mainstream and some that were downright terrible (some of them will be listed here).
*In no particular order
I could really care less about Immortal Technique’s following. It’s all political rap that gets so boring, I’d rather just listen to the people who started that trend: Public Enemy and NWA. Immortal Technique is a good rapper, no doubt about it. But he’s not the be all, end all of MC’s. In fact, he’s not even in the top 20. If any of his die hard fans are steaming after reading this, fire away. His subject matter is similar to Nas, OC, and some other East Coast rappers of the 90′s. There was also a rapper from L.A. named Ras Kass who was spitting these kinds of rhymes before IT was. Check out his lyrics and there’s a resemblance although Ras Kass has the edge in skills.
It would have been nice for Puffy to have kept his musical talent confined to making beats and producing but instead, he had to rap because that’s a better way to grab the spotlight. Great beats and horrible lyrics galore, Diddy always put out big hits but people were swinging their hips to his musical beats and laughing at how elementary many of his lyrics were. I always point the finger at Puffy for killing hip hop as he’s to blame after his greatest project, Notorious, was murdered. In the early days, when Biggie was around, Puff didn’t rap all that much. I miss Notorious.
L.L. Cool J
You could split LL’s rap career in half and any MC would take his first half, skills wise. It’s fascinating that he’s been in the game so long, and it’s well deserved. However, he’s totally fallen off as a rapper, mostly since he wanted to be a movie star that can’t act very well. Go way back to one of his first songs ever, Radio, and hear how hard LL slams the beats with his delivery. He does it with a New York style f**k you and you can hear the authority in his voice. LL also did way too many love songs that don’t stand so well with the hip hop faithful.
True hip hop heads will tell you Kanye is a hell of a talent in the producer’s circle, not so much so as a rapper. If you disagree, you probably don’t understand the MC craft that much. Lyrically, he’s good. Not the best, but worthy. In no way am I saying West sucks as a rapper but he’s mediocre, not the next coming of Common. The fact that Kanye himself acts as if he’s the greatest thing to walk the planet makes him even worse. There are 20 rappers in the last 10 years who would burn Kanye even if they had bronchitis. West needs to check his ego at the door. True hip hop fans know that quote well.
How about this: rather than me creating an argument about how overrated 50 Cent is, how about someone explain to me why he’s held in such high regard? It’s called MTV, a force in music that will blow up anyone for the right amount of money. If you don’t think producers, record companies and even artists themselves don’t pay MTV for massive exposure, you’re wrong. MTV hasn’t treated hip hop right since they canceled Yo! MTV Raps. Get a clue, MTV. In fact, shut down and leave music!
Anticon (Sole & Alias)
This is for all you underground/indie hip hop fans still swinging on this group’s ball sack: FUCK ANTICON. Just because you listen to Anticon doesn’t make you hip hop either. It makes you a self righteous jerk off who thinks they know hip hop. People responded to another post I wrote claiming Sole was great. Sole sounds like a typical white rapper trying to be incredible but falls into a category more along the lines of decent. Maybe Anticon and Immortal Technique can tour together for the MOST OVERRATED RAPPERS TOUR 2010. By the way, does anyone know why Atmosphere left Anticon? It’s because they suck balls. For Anticon fans who will write me hate mail, I hope you enjoy writing it as much as I’ll enjoy reading it.
Most people who ride Lil Wayne’s jock are below the age of 21. He’s a decent rapper but he’s listed here simply because he’s getting way too much recognition during a time when hip hop is at a low point. Because there’s such a terrible pool of MC’s at right now in mainstream rap, Lil Wayne gets by as an above-average artist. Declaring himself the greatest rapper of all time made his teenage brethren defend him even more. Sometimes it’s fun to watch nonsense manifests itself and tries to act as if it’s making sense.
I wonder if Jeezy walks around with a bucket of hooks just in case he has to stop in the studio on short notice. It feels as if he half-asses his verses just to reach the hook where he puts in an effort. There’s much too much hoopla around Jeezy, a rapper that hasn’t made true hip hop heads blink an eye. With our ADD attention span these days, a decent hook is all it takes to get a hot single that the MTV generation will buy. There’s always a rapper like this but there’s too many of these guys in hip hop right now. It makes me sick to my stomach.
RAPPERS WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED OVERRATED BUT AREN’T
Don’t be a fool. I’ve read many arguments against Tupac and not one made a decent point. Most of his critics think he only rapped about drugs and guns but this isn’t the case. Another thing missing from today’s MC’s is passion. It’s not coming out int he rhymes as much as it used to. Tupac was a master of this. He’d step up to the mic and let it all out, even if the beat sucked, even if it wasn’t his best lyrics, Tupac always gave you 100%. Rappers these days seem like they’re giving you 50% most of the time.
I’m as against mainstream and pop music as any underground head would be but no matter how many records Eminem has sold, it’s downright silly to deny his skills. He can rhyme fast, slow, in harmony, hard, and off beat, an arsenal of rapping tools not many MC’s can boast of. Dr. Dre is no idiot and has hand picked two of the most recognized rappers of all time in Snoop and Eminem. That’s not a flue. You can hate what he raps about and represents, but don’t call him overrated. That’s just plain wrong.
Same situation and I’m not a big fan. Jay Z can pretty much do it all except drop a verse super, super hard. For those of you who don’t understand what that means, listen to Tupac, Biggie, Gift of Gab, Common or Chuck D. But Jay Z is as smooth as it gets with his skills, keeping you with the beat the whole time. Part of the reason I think some people consider him overrated is because he makes some difficult things in his songs seem easy.
Hip hop experts can make a good argument for Snoop being overrated, I won’t take that away from anyone who feels that way. However, let’s be honest, who’s the smoothest MC you’ve ever heard? When Snoop hits the mic, everyone feels like passing a joint and kicking back, in a great mood to enjoy some melodious west coast hip hop. Lyrically, Snoop is definitely not the best nor is he even in the discussion, but when he came onto the scene in the early 90s, everyone heard something different. That hasn’t changed. A lot of MC’s still try to be like Snoop, not the other way around.
Biggie Smalls/Notorious B.I.G.
Those that call Biggie overrated are probably the same that claim Eminem isn’t a great rapper either. It’s almost not worth mentioning since the rationale behind calling Notorious overrated is about as far fetched as it gets. Listen to his catalogue and you’ll notice one of his best skills is coming hard on beats with his delivery. Not many MC’s can do this as I believe it’s one of the rarest qualities in hip hop today. Biggie was one of the best at this, as well as his west coast foe, Tupac. They died and some of hip hop died with them. True story.
People try to hate on the Game but they have no clue about what makes up a great MC. For a gangster rapper, The Game is as good as they game. He’s got that raspy, tough delivery and a clever way with thug lyrics. Some hip hop critics put too much emphasis on vocabulary and don’t focus on wordplay, a trick that seems to deteriorate as the years go on in popular rap. You have to respect Game for what he does in his niche, a world that isn’t true hip hop but we’re forced to listen to anyways. Dr. Dre and Snoop turned gangster rap into a fun time and The Game carries on the tradition.