Sunday, April 20, 2008

25 Rappers that suck ... according to Yahoo

Yahoo music writer Rob O'Connor has compiled a list of the 25 worst rappers of all time. As you might imagine, his list has inspired some debates among people who care deeply about such things. He might look like the Spin Doctors, but he's writing for hip hoppers. The list follows, along with my humble analysis of his selections.

25) Chicago Bears: The Chicago Bears are a professional football team based in Chicago, Illinois. In 1985, before winning the Super Bowl they daringly commemorated their proud achievement with "The Super Bowl Shuffle," a rap tune that made this group of on the field tough guys look like an ineffective glee club. Did they really psych out their opponents with this? So why didn't they record a follow-up? They didn't win the Super Bowl the next year. Honorable mention goes to the Miami Dolphins, the San Francisco 49ers, the L.A. Raiders, the Cincinnati Bengals and the L.A. Rams, other football teams who couldn't resist the urge to kick back a few beats and look more than a little silly.

The Chicago Bears are a football team. So they would be 32 bad rappers, not just one. Picking on a novelty group this early in the list places the integrity of this project in doubt.

24) Bubba Sparxxx: Cut from much of the same cloth as Fred Durst, here's another earnest white boy looking to earn his street cred by exhibiting talents he doesn't actually have. You know how a kid will brag that his TV is bigger than your TV and then never get around to showing you this "Big TV"? That's kind of what a Bubba Sparxxx album is like. You keep hearing about how cool and assured he is, but you never actually hear any music that backs up the claim. Guest appearing on tracks by Limp Bizkit and Justin Timberlake should make you very nervous, despite some legit rappers claiming he's OK.

I never listened to Sparxxx long enough to determine just how wack he was. I'll take your word for this one, Rob.

23) Mike Jones: He can't rap, but he sure knows how to make friends. Putting his cellphone number on his T-Shirts ensured that Mike would never be lonely. But can you really trust a rapper whose track "Houston Dynamo (Don't Play)" is the official team anthem for the Houston Dynamos? A soccer team?

Can't argue with this choice. Nobody would remember the name of this one hit wonder if he hadn't repeated it a jallion times in his one hit.

22) Bobby Jimmy And The Critters: In the 1980s, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to parody rap music. Weird Al was slow on the draw here. So this Los Angeles group did the honors with such "timeless" classics as "Gotta Potty," "Ugly Knuckle Butt" and "Somebody Farted." I know it sounds pretty good, classy even, but fart jokes get old quick no matter who's doing the telling.

For someone to be considered for a list like this, they should have to take themselves seriously. Bobby Jimmy aka Russ Parr, and his Critters were a joke. But it was funny.

21) 2 Live Crew: Oh, I know they stand for the first amendment. And "Me So Horny" deserves its rightful place in our cultural lexicon. But take away the historical importance and the one-joke wonder of it all and you're left with a crew of dudes who had to break up before everyone figured out they didn't know what the hell they were doing.

You can't discount the social impact of the 2 Live Crew's music and their struggle to be heard. They took rap to a place you never thought it would be, The Supreme Court. Move to strike this group from the list.

20) Nelly: Whoa, Nelly! Yeah, the band-aid was a great gimmick and noting that when it gets hot, it's man's natural instinct to want to take off his clothes, well, that's priceless, too. Maybe his next album Brass Knuckles, slated for release in a few months, will show us a new side to this flat-screen rapper. Surely, he's had time to find qualified producers and to bone up on his diction to make it sound like something more than reading off of cue cards.

Good pick. Nelly has no skills whatsoever.

19) Dan Aykroyd And Tom Hanks: Dan Aykroyd at least can claim he's a comedian but Tom Hanks is just an actor who's been cast in comedic roles and worn dresses. "City Of Crime" runs through the credits of their 1987 film Dragnet and they even made a video for it, suggesting they had ideas of branching out beyond their acting community. The hip-hop community apparently didn't welcome them with open arms, saving us from further inept endeavors. They make Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy's rap attempts sound nearly legitimate by comparison. That's going some!

Another novelty pick. I'm starting to think Rob O. had to pad this list to reach the magic 25 number. I'm surprised MC Skat Cat isn't on here.

18) Chingy: You know an "artist" is really hitting a nerve when they inspire an onslaught of negative reviews at every website you visit. The consensus seems to be: "This guy's beats are terrible and his lyrics are stupid, degrading and barely literate at best." And we're guessing that came from his mom. I didn't need to read all 385 one star reviews to be tipped off to just how much other people don't admire this man's talent. To think he owns houses in multiple cities, partners a restaurant in Miami and has appeared on The George Lopez Show as himself! Someone's got a bit of explaining to do.

I concur. Chingy should stop.

17) Elvira: Cassandra Peterson had a perfectly legitimate career as "Elvira" the devilishly seductive vampire. Had she formed a Goth Metal group, it might have made sense, but in 1988 she opted for "The Elvira Rap," a charmingly inept attempt at doing what she does poorly. But she didn't stop there. "The Monsta' Rap" followed. Fool us once, shame on us. Twice, it's your problem, sista!

One more novelty group and this place is starting to look like "The Gong Show."

16) Insane Clown Posse: Face paint, bad rap-metal, once out of rhymes begin spraying their audiences with soda, Insane Clown Posse have all the hallmarks of a bad hype and the terrible, terrible records to back it up. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope don't do much of anything well. Which explains why they hide their true identities. They make Kiss, their obvious influence, seem like the apex of modern culture in comparison. On the bright side, perhaps it's ICP's lame attempts at rap that have stopped Kiss and their accountants from considering a similar move.

Never heard them spit, but l bow to your wisdom and experience, Rob.

15) Rappin' Duke: Any rapper who boasts of working the mic at Ponderosa isn't likely to be taken seriously. His other claim in his self-titled rap ‘Rappin' Duke" that Kurtis Blow and Run DMC wouldn't have heard of rap were it not for the "Rappin' Duke" is as ludicrous as his boast that no rapper would exist after him. The Rappin' Duke never had a career beyond this single (there is a second single believe it or not called "The Duke Is Back" on famed Tommy Boy Records, but he apparently was not, in fact, "back"). That's what you get when you choose John Wayne as your point of hip-hop reference. Sorry, partner.

The Rappin' Duke couldn't rap. Duh-huh. Thing is, he was so bad, he wasn't easily forgotten, and that almost makes him good. Technically, though, he probably belongs on this list.

14) Master P: It isn't until you get to the chorus of Master P's Grammy-winning hit "Make ‘Em Say Ugh" that you realize just how bad this is going to be. P doesn't show much promise on the verses, but the guttural, food poisoning groan of nausea that provides the tune with its "hook," is among the genre's dumbest and least appealing. He has made a career out of moaning "Ugh." Of course, this success has been off the chart, ranking him in Forbes as one of the most successful entertainers and entrepreneurs. Thankfully, he now serves as a Youth Ambassador for the NAACP, a move that should lead to fewer musical endeavors. Only God Can Judge Me may be the name of one of his albums, but I prefer to let the people decide this one.

One of the filthiest to ever pick up a microphone. Master P's flow is sloppy, unpolished and completely devoid of any artistic merit. Move this guy down to the top 5.

13) Tony Yayo: Being the weakest link in any ensemble brings its own cross to bear. Why do you think Professor Griff was always the most annoyed member of Public Enemy, after all? As a member of G-Unit, Yayo was clearly the caboose of the group. If he really calls his latest album I Am 50's Tax Write-Off, which wouldn't be a bad idea, it would save the IRS time when the audit comes due and blatantly remind everyone he was in a group with 50 Cent. A better idea than Thoughts Of A Predicate Felon. The guy goes to prison on a weapons possession charge, but decides it's better to hype being an Outlaw Of Grammar?

I hear nothing but bad things about Tony Yayo's music. I'll assume they're all right and that Yayo is where he ought to be.

12) Northern State: While some people assume that anyone who can speak can rap, it's not quite that easy. Just as a singer must master pitch and tone, a rapper needs to sound natural. Nothing about this female Long Island trio ever sounds natural. They don't try to pretend they're anything they're not. But being well-educated, literate nerds from Long Island who name-check Al Gore doesn't for convincing rappers make. Grabbing Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys to produce their album doesn't lend "credibility" either. It looks desperate. And having your tracks featured on Grey's Anatomy is just weird.

Inspired choice. I heard an album from these girls and I wanted to get my ears coned afterwards.

11) Shaquille O'Neal: Now I love watching Shaq stand over the basketball net and push the ball in with his hand. Being 12 feet tall has its advantages. Rapping isn't one of them. It doesn't make you sound better. If a midget like the Geto Boys' Bushwick Bill can get it so right, how is it that Shaq could get it so wrong? Well, as Bushwick would tell you "Size Ain't (expletive deleted)." Sure he can wax personal "Biological Didn't Bother" but bad puns like "Can't Stop the Reign" and "Blaq Supaman" (that's not even a pun, that's goofy spelling) just don't quite match up to what he's capable of on the basketball courts.

Shaq is waq. He does make the mistake of taking himself seriously, which made Skillz's destruction of his rap career all the more enjoyable. 99 free throws, anyone?

10) Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch: I believed them when they rapped "I Need Money." That sounded like the truth. But I draw the line when they title an album Music For The People. Why? What did the people ever do to you, Marky Mark? We certainly didn't ask for this music and if we did we should have been more specific. We wanted it to be better, that's for sure. But Marky Mark saw it coming. He knew he had a better career in underwear ads (calling David Beckham!) and in movies. Which is why we don't get to enjoy any new music from him anymore. Somehow, I think we'll make it.

A well-deserved ranking. The whole bunch was garbage and Marky was just acting.

9) K-Fed: When being married to Britney Spears is your greatest artistic accomplishment, you join a long line of Yoko Onos waiting for their eventual artistic validation. Someday, an ironic hip-hop group will no doubt celebrate Playing With Fire, Kevin Earl Federline's debut album. But for now, we're content to pretend it never happened. We'll let him keep custody of his children, but he must promise us to never make another album for as long as he shall live.

Mr. Federline's MTV performance was as embarrassing and pathetic as his ex-wife's appearance a month later. K-Fed's breathless effort showed a lack of discipline and practice, the two things that could have compensated for his lack of talent. He never put in real work, but he did earn this spot.

8) Will Smith: The people who vote in the Grammy Awards might very well be drunk when they do so. Or maybe they don't listen to the records they vote for. Now rap music wasn't really enjoyed by the "establishment" back in the 1980s, so they were primarily guessing at what the "kids" were listening to. And "Parents Just Don't Understand" was obviously a pretty "wacky" "rebellious" little number with all that clever rhyming! And Will Smith was certainly still "safe" enough to not inspire too much controversy. Which is exactly why he's a lousy rapper. And why Smith got out of there and into acting before everyone caught on.

A travesty that nearly discredits this entire exercise. I'm not a fan of Mr. Smith's work, but I do recognize its significance. "Brand New Funk," alone should keep him off roll calls like this one, not to mention his partnership with pioneering D.J. Jazzy Jeff. Mr. O'Connor, I just don't understand.

7) Mr. T: Yes, I pity the fool who thought Mr. T had a career singing, rapping and wearing extremely short camouflage shorts and stretched to the knee tube socks while telling you to treat your mother right. From his instructional video Be Somebody Or Be Somebody's Fool. Why take advice from a guy who seems to have opted for the latter?

I wonder if Rob O'Connor, the writer of this list, suffered through the scores of rap albums made by actors and comedians, and then picked the most horrible. Imagine listening to the Chunky A album and that record that Bud from Married With Children released and trying to decide who sounds worse. No wonder he looks so angry in his blog photo.

6) Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit): You have to question anyone who participates in a group that applauds its own erectile dysfunction. "Rap-metal" sounds like a bad idea, even before you hear how poorly it's executed. Ice-T couldn't pull it off with Body Count and these clowns can't even get the metal part right. So you can only imagine what happens when a rhythmically challenged singer attempts to show his "street cred" by enlisting the help of Method Man, who should've known better than to associate with a group whose stage props have included playing in a toilet. Some hints are more than hints.

The total dissappearance of Mr. Durst and his band from the music scene makes me happy when I'm sad.

5) Puff Daddy: P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, no matter what name you give him, his rapping doesn't improve. Sure, he's been a successful entrepreneur. Apparently, he can sell anything. He sold the idea of talking over a perfectly legitimate hit single by the Police as one of his own creations and winning a Grammy for his troubles. Again, are these people drunk when they vote?

Puffy's not one of the greatest rappers. But some his ghostwriters are. So that almost makes him ... okay.

4) Dee Dee King: As the bass player for the Ramones, Dee Dee Ramone was very good at counting off "1-2-3-4" and then playing his bass notes very fast. He didn't sing particularly well, but as a punk rocker he didn't need to. He wrote a handful of great songs. But then he decided he wanted more. He wanted to escape the artistic box that was the Ramones and establish his own identity--as a rapper! We only acknowledge what Dee Dee himself acknowledged. He truly was the "baddest rapper in Whitestone, Queens." R.I.P.

I had no idea this existed. Thanks for the warning.

3) Brian Austin Green: Brian Austin Green from the hit TV program Beverly Hills 90210 released a rap album in 1996 with tracks such as "That's Right" featuring the Black Eyed Peas, "Style Iz It," "Didn't Have A Clue" and "Beauty and Da Beats." I believe these titles reflect his passion. And if "sounds great while sleeping in a shopping mall" can be construed as a compliment, then I'm among his biggest fans and--though I hadn't realized it until now--have been anxiously awaiting his "comeback" for 12 years now!

Okay, he sucks. Next.

2) MC Hammer: "U Can't Touch This" was first described to me as someone repeatedly yelling "Stop, It's Hammer Time!" over Rick James' "Superfreak." Sounded like a bad idea. Sounded like a bad joke. Then I heard it. MC Hammer went on to sell millions of albums. Some people even took to dressing like him. Yet somehow he never managed to turn this into another marketing line, not even for glasses. That's how he ended up on reality TV, I guess.

Hammer dirtied the game with his hollering and trite lyrics, lowering the bar and paving the way for a sea of wackness that drowned hip hop. He's probably a nice guy, though.

1) Vanilla Ice: Whether Suge Knight ever actually dangled Robert Van Winkle, Mr. Vanilla Ice, from a balcony or not, the point intended is an important one: STOP MAKING RAP RECORDS. "Ice Ice Baby" isn't so much a bad song as simply an insult. Instead of making a low-rent porn video, Ice makes Cool As Ice, a film so bad it almost makes you wish he'd stuck to making records.

A given.

Let's recap. 1 Football Team. 5 Novelty acts. 10 White acts. 1 Legend. 3 Pop Stars. 3 Women.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I disagree about Will Smith, he was really tight back in the days. Just listen to "live at union square"...

Craig Belcher said...

or "Brand New Funk."

Anonymous said...

Will Smith don't have to cuss in his albums to sell records.


Well I do, so fuck him and fuck you too.

Syman Scarpellino said...

so what on what basis are you making claims that these twenty five rappers "suck"

for me it would be :
sales
popularity
mainly and for good measure
lyrics
beats

isnt nelly one of the most popular and quoted rappers of all time...i think he would be more fitting maybe top 25 best of all time...

every cd he released had anywhere from 4-10 "number one" hits

for example

country grammer
ride with me
E.I.
nellyville
hot in herre
pimp juice air force ones
dilemma
#1
my place
flap your wings
over and over
grillz
party people
body on me


so thats about twenty songs that topped charts for months at a time
so worst rapper...if u think that then u probrobly have never heard nelly rap before...maybe think about it do some research before you write an article about something u dont understand

and will smith was pretty good considering he only put out a few cds

and vanilla ice did have the unanimous song of the year with ice ice baby...looking back its made fun of but it was number one cant argue with that...next time your boss asks you to write anything about music which is probrobly your job...u should have me write it for you cuz you shit..

bigpercy2002 said...

Here it is again, another white guy trying too tell us who can rap. For him to have Will Smith down there, let's me know, he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. Leave our hip hop culture alone, and stick to Rock & Roll.

LoungeSound said...

Syman Scarpellino said...

so what on what basis are you making claims that these twenty five rappers "suck"

for me it would be :
sales
popularity
mainly and for good measure
lyrics
beats


no. within hip hop, a rapper should be judged on his merits himself. and that is exactly the standard of this article. he's right. most these "rappers" are wack and not all that talented compared to people like rakim, nas, krs-one, gift of gab, etc. the producer should be judged by the beat, not the rapper. sales has more to do with marketing than the rapper himself. good lord you said alot of erroneous things. youre entire spiel about nelly....are you serious? nelly is corporately manufactured pop garbage. for fans of hip hop and its culture, they know that record sales and popularity have nothing to do with their credibility in hip hop. emcees should be judged by their skill on the mic and that alone. skill is the standard.

Anonymous said...

Jay z and all the evil masons like keny west and 50cent MUST be on this list .
not becoz they suck but becoz they send an evil messages in their songs.