Next Up: Papoose

STATE OF THE ART

papoose.jpgEven before DJ Kay Slay and Busta Rhymes agreed in early 2006 to co–executive produce his debut album, The Nacirema Dream, Papoose was hailed as the savior of true New York hip-hop. The two-time Justo Mixtape Award winner was seen as the MC who would return lyricism, and even social commentary, to rap.

Nearly two years later, Nacirema has yet to see the light of day. But even as another tentative release date passes, Papoose is patient. “I’m not frustrated at all,” he says. “We was ready to put it out from day one. But when you have people like Scott Storch and Jazze Pha asking to be involved, you’d be an idiot to say, ‘I’m done already.’”

Pap’s top-shelf production team and heavy-hitting co-signers are a result of a highly successful, long-running underground career. He first came to the attention of the rap cognoscenti as a teenager, in 1998, when he appeared on Kool G Rap’s DLMR Records album, Roots of Evil. The next year the Brownsville, Brooklyn, neophyte released his debut single, “Thug Connection,” which featured the concept record “Alphabetical Slaughter” on its B-side. The lyrical acuity Pap displayed on “Slaughter”—going through the alphabet, spitting lines, composed entirely of words beginning with one letter—immediately endeared him to fans of literate rhymes in hip-hop.

In 2003, Papoose came to the attention of DJ Kay Slay, who signed the MC to his Street Sweepers Entertainment management firm. Since then, the two have collaborated on 19 mixtapes (the latest, Already a Legend, dropped in September), and Papoose has distinguished himself as one of the most intricate and political wordsmiths in rap, speaking on such diverse topics as Hurricane Katrina and the death of the unarmed 23-year-old Sean Bell at the hands of NYPD last November. “Hip-hop is the voice of the streets,” he says. “If we don’t speak out, who’s gonna let people know? Kids in the streets don’t listen to speeches by George Bush or Minister Farrakhan, but they might listen to Papoose.”

As Pap continues to workshop The Nacirema Dream, he continues to attract an impressive coterie of collaborators. In addition to Storch and Pha, the album is slated to include beats from DJ Premier and Kanye West, and Jadakiss, Bun B, Chamillionaire and Jim Jones have already contributed guest verses. And while declining sales figures have had a chilling effect on the releases of even established superstars, Papoose is paying attention to an entirely different bottom line. “In the NBA, when you on the court, it’s not about how much money you make,” he says. “It’s about talent. Hip-hop needs to be like that again. The wrestling matches—I don’t pay attention to that. My motto is simple: All lyrics, no gimmicks.”

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  • http://www.myspace.com/imatiq5 Calligraphist

    My bro is more of a papoose fan than i am,by far.But i give him his props on his lyrics.much respect and since i’m a hip hop fan and not a hater imma support him and cop his album first day it comes out.

    ~ismail/atik~

  • Hollis

    Papoose Is the best lyrical rapper, but not a crossover star. Look at his best material, Alphebetical slaughter, mixtape murder, playboy freestyle…then look at his radio stuff, like the joints with snoop dogg and jeanie ortega, we get a whole different papoose. For what he does when he’s in his zone, he IS the best..

  • Snakeyez

    Meet the next Canibus. Sorry while Pap is a killer on the mic he can’t make songs, or at least none that are really sonically appealing to me. I loved Canibus the MC but I hated his album it was just garbage I fear the same fate for Papoose. I wish him the best though and hope he proves me wrong.

  • blkpwr

    I second that “SNAKEYEZ”. Lyrically he’s nniiice but he just got dropped from his label. Can we say Cannibus part 2?!?

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  • SWAG

    he another NY rapper that can spit hands down but he CAN NOT make a hit record…i dont see him crossing over to commercial success…he has absolutely no swag…no star quality…im just not feeling this guy…i wish him nothing but success tho.

  • David

    You guys are finally giving a real rapper some respect but Papoose would be so much better if he woule part ways with Kay Slay, Kay Slay is bringing him down. I hope he could find his way into Interscope’s hands, because he will be able to work with Eminem (imagine the sick lyrical tracks they would put out) and get beats from Dr. Dre, and since Dr.Dre is a prefectionist he will make sure that The Nacirema Dream will be a classic, THUG-GA-THUG-GA CATION!!!!

  • Emissary

    “he has absolutely no swag…no star quality”

    what the fuck does that have to do with the MIC it’s shit-face mainstream fans like you that are the reason hip-hop is dead.

  • D.R.A.M.A

    i fucks wit pap… he jus told yall he about lyrics… if his shyt dnt go number 1 on billboard.. he dont give a flyin fuck support nacirema

  • AZ40

    I don’t think he’ll be a huge star, he might just be another Canibus or something, the nigga can rhyme though and that’s what matters to me so I’ll get the album

  • The Clean Up Man

    fuck, pap is a murderer on teh mic, and god damn he lyrical, i fucks with him (no homo), and i see him as a next busta or smthin

  • Sway-z

    “he has absolutely no swag…no star quality”
    Hate to say it, but thats absolutely true and part of being a great mc. It’s about being diverse. Jordan wouldn’t be Jordan if he couldn’t shoot jumpshots AND dunk, which is why when people say Jay-z is commercial it’s funny to me. The point of making music on a corporate level is to sell records, and walking that tightrope of being lyrical while still marketable is something most artist can’t do, but something that is important in order to have a career. Nas wouldn’t be around today if he never made a “oochie wally” or “If I ruled the world.” Classic shit’ll make you nice, commercial shit will make you relevant…

  • iliveonce@yahoo.com

    Canibus part 2? eh 50 was dropped from track masters inc (tone and poke), jay z was dropped when part of original flavor from Atlantic way back… them catz is aiight… don’t count pap or canibus out….. you non hiphop assholes..

  • Q! tha Great!

    Papoose is the best candidate to breath life back into classic NY MC’ing. The problem is that I don’t know if the market is ready for a full fledged lyricist like Pap. everyone is really finicky right now. he may need to make a gimmick song to get that commercial push. He’ll sell because of his NY following and real hip-hop supporters like me, but that crossover appeal will require a little trickery, hell even eminem had to do gimmick songs (every 1st single). Then you got the album and he hit you with the lyrical jack-hammer. Pap is insane on the mic though. Papoose, Crooked I, Saigon, Lupe Fiasco, The Game, Joel Ortiz, Cassidy, Kanye & Lil’ Wayne should all do a song together or a compilation and re-introduce the world to real lyricism.

  • SP

    Man very disappointed to see that he only made this list cause Cass canceled. He shoulda been the first person on the list. Papoose> 80% of the candy ass rappers on this list.

  • Southern Swagga

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 1
    08:18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUmt2iCaA0w

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 2
    09:38
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGu6v0GmqUQ

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 3
    08:04
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH54JGvs85o

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 4
    08:04
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRk4thTwK50

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 5
    07:24
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Q5SCfRcb8

  • D-Block Nucca

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 1
    08:18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUmt2iCaA0w

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 2
    09:38
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGu6v0GmqUQ

  • D-Block Nucca

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 3
    08:04
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH54JGvs85o

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 4
    08:04
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRk4thTwK50

    Papoose Concert in Germany Part 5
    07:24
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Q5SCfRcb8

  • vP

    “But when you have people like Scott Storch and Jazze Pha asking to be involved,…”

    That’s a pretty stupid reason to delay your album. Those dudes are wack as fuck. Scott Storch is the most overrated producer of all time.

  • RealHipHop

    i know im a lil late on this post but pap cant make good songs? whats a good song to u people…50 cents candyshop??? if thats a good song then idk what to say…i mean all that commercial music is garbage, pap shoulda never made those songs like ‘fitted hat low’ and ‘bang it out’ all his shit he came out wit up till that was off the hook…respect my hustle, law libraries, chess, monopoly, ill be around, i mean i could go on and on wit good pap songs …plus he spits better on tracks than the heads who originally made em like all those game tracks he rapped over…im glad paps bringin lyricism back, theres tons of great lyricists still like AZ that u never hear about cuz they dont make a club song to be on the radio or on tv, they stick to makin that real true hip hop wit more than one ryhme in a line…u dont need talent to make money in the rap game, 50 cent and jim jones are two perfect examples..they cant rap for shit i got friends that got better songs and they aint even signed, they just doin it independantly and thats the sad shit, paps got talent and i hope he dont sell out and put out more shit like the songs hes had on the radio…and to the guy who said somethin about jayz being so versatile comparin him to jordan, in my opinion jay z hasnt put nuttin good out since reasonable doubt

  • http://xxlmag santana

    papoose and az make good hip hop that real hip hop

  • http://Spyderman_jaymyster@yahoo.com Jazzy

    Papoose is a future legend, he is going to take over tha industry, but i’ve got to admit “bang it out” was weak as fu*k. He should probably freestyle more as opposed to writing.

    “In my opinion jay z hasnt put nuttin good out since reasonable doubt”

    F*ck your opinion

  • ESCOXTC

    papoose is absolutely sick. he makes a lot of successful, established rappers’s shit sound like nursery rhymes. dude is bringing the crown back to nyc where it belongs. listen to “corner store” and “chicken noodle soup (remix).” sick.