FEATURE: Wordplay


Earlier this year, taking to Web video to air his confusion over the rankings of Vibe magazine’s Best Rapper Ever online tournament, New Jersey rapper Joe Budden asked a question as only Joe Budden can: “You mean to tell me if Method Man were in my face right this second and we had to rap, back and forth, that Method Man would be the victor? Against me?”

For his part, Budden should be applauded—and not just for the proper usage of the word victor. We exist in what can easily be described as a post-skills era in hip-hop, where the sales accrued, business acumen exhibited, accolades received and other signifiers of acceptance have trumped the idea of poetry when dealing with a rapper’s merit as an artist, but frustratingly few MCs are willing to engage one another in the type of dialogue that would create a true discussion regarding the state of affairs. “Some of these people have already admitted themselves that they could give two fucks about rapping and that they are in this for other things,” Joe continued, while questioning the ranks of rappers like megastar Will Smith, Cash Money’s Juvenile and pioneer Grandmaster Melle Mel, in between blank looks of incredulousness at the camera. “I’m better than most of the niggas on this list,” he claimed, raising his umbrage quotient. “This list is about rapping. This list is not the best artist. This list is not who has the most hits, who has the most money. This is not about who sells the most. This is about rapping, no?”

To put matters to a point, Joe declared that he was better than at least 50 of the 128 rappers represented and put out a call to any rappers within digital earshot. “I would love to prove it,” he said. “So any of you niggas who are seeing this and have seen this [list] and think that what I am saying is wrong, I would love for you to prove it to me.” He ended his tirade: “I dare one of you niggas to take me up on what I am saying.”

Soon enough, the challenge heard round the hip-hop Internet found its way to popular radio shows, but in a twisted form. It was no longer “Joe Budden calls for a focus on lyrical skill when dealing with rappers,” but “Joe Budden disses Method Man.” Meth got upset. Redman scoffed. Raekwon and Busta Rhymes issued on-air suggestions that stopped centimeters short of being full-on physical threats. Joe, who has been in more public hip-hop conflicts than any rapper not named 50 Cent or The Game (both of whom he’s had public conflict with, naturally), never backed down, but wound up explaining himself ad infinitum for what he referred to as “dumb muthafuckas who lack reasoning ability.”

A month after the initial flare-up, with the issue not going away, Joey, while appearing on Green Lantern’s The Invasion show on Sirius Radio, along with his hip-hop quartet Slaughterhouse, sent some subliminal messages while rapping over Jay-Z’s “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)”: “Niggas is scared of the truth…/They doing interludes in any interview, talking about how they prepared to shoot/How thoughtful, won’t resort to getting near a booth.”

Therein, Joe cut to the core of the problem: Most rappers don’t rap any more; all they do is pop shit. And, true to form, the Joe vs. Method Man situation produced a few forgettable diss tracks from Inspectah Deck and other Wu-Tang non-notables but was played out largely via a slew of radio interviews, countless straight-to-Web videos and, most tellingly, a physical altercation between Joe and Raekwon’s camp during a San Bernardino, California stop on Guerilla Union’s Rock the Bells tour, which is, ironically, a forum created to support and celebrate the types of rappers who are apt to place skills at the top of their value system. Joe, of course, took to the Web, challenging Raekwon to a “square dance” (otherwise known as a “fair one,” or a good old-fashioned fistfight). And just like that, the plot was lost. Again.

“Lyricism is being able to do things with words that the average person doesn’t normally think can be done,” says underground rapper Skyzoo. “You may see a metaphor where point A has nothing to do with point B, but you make it make sense.” There are many branches to the lyricism tree. Many deal with wordplay—simile and metaphor, alliteration, internal rhyme, double meaning. Some focus on concept, storytelling and meaning. There are even those who erroneously equate lyricism with subject matter, giving rise to the claim that so-and-so rapper isn’t a lyricist because he just talks about the drug trade or cars, clothes and hoes. (Even a cursory glance at the catalog of Jay-Z, the Clipse or Fabolous brings this last argument crashing to its knees.) But the purest notion of lyricism—the way words are put together in new and novel connections—in hip-hop is foundational and, to many, is beyond refute as a priority. To many it remains the summum bonum of the rap game. “The reason why hip-hop is about lyrics is because, in the streets, we had to battle with the mind,” says Duck Down’s Buckshot, who recently released the Survival Skills LP with KRS-One. “On ‘Robot,’ Kris [KRS-One] said, ‘We started breakin’ so we could stop fightin’.’ Before hip-hop, we used to kill each other. Then we said, ‘You know what? We gotta find a way to stop killin’ each other with the hands, and let’s start killin’ each other with the mind.’ In the sense of saying, ‘Let’s stop going to war on these streets out here with our hands, and let’s start using the talent.’ And then it was like, ‘Well, okay, my mind is better than your mind.’ I said ‘car’ and ‘bar,’ and then the other person say, ‘Well, anybody can match “car” and “bar.” That ain’t shit.’”

Buckshot’s emphasis on lyricism (“Robot” made much the same point as Jay-Z’s anti-sing-rap polemic “D.O.A.,” only months earlier) is telling. The cover to Survival Skills features Buckshot, above the clouds, being helped up a mountain by KRS-One. The idea is that they are somewhere only a few can go. But it also prompts the question: How many people really want to go up the mountain in the first place?—kris ex with additional reporting  by Matt Barone

For more of the Wordplay article, make sure to pick up XXL‘s October issue on newsstands now.

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    “ODB is 5 spots ahead of Black Thought. That is blasphemy.”

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Finally a Joe Budden quote I can ride with! Black Thought is the most underrated emcee of all time.

    • P. Harris

      co-sign!

      and one of my favorites

      • GIBZ

        what??!?!!?? omg who makes these lists anyway??? u are so right Black Thought= one of the most underrated!! Its just a bunch of ppl with an opinion, the only difference from us and them is they work at a magazine viewed by millions. Honestly I feel Joe did nothing wrong. Rap is based on that anyway, the fact that u feel u are better so why get mad cus someone said so? PICK THE FUCKIN MIKE UP AND PROVE THAT U BETTER!!!

  • Enlightened

    Good post.

    TRUE STORY:

    Some niggas came through my home studio to record about 5 years ago. It was about 3 or 4 of ‘em but they kept waiting on one nigga like Young Money would be waiting on Lil’ Wayne if he was late or something. Apparently, this nigga was supposed to be the truth or something.

    When that nigga got there, smoked or whatever. He went in the booth and freestyled a whole song – three 16 bar verses. Now mind you, the nigga wasn’t horrible, but he wasn’t cold either – at all. It was like lunch table rhymes, or like a step under Ed Lover freestyling. Enough not to really mess up, but nothing at all.

    This nigga comes out the booth smiling, shaking everybody hands saying: “SEE I TOLD Y’ALL. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE TALKING ABOUT SHIT! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS STAY ON BEAT! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE TALKING ABOUT SHIT! HA HA HA I TOLD Y’ALL”

    That nigga said that and was extra proud about it like he had put us up on game. I just had my back turned sitting at my little board crackin’ the fuck up on the inside at what I was hearing behind me. But, that was my confirmation that the game as we knew it was gone.

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    Ha! Enlightened, i got a homeboy like that too. i mean he’s aight, considering that he just freestyles. & other niggaz just be eating his shit up like it was str8 FIRE or something. if niggaz feed into it (which they are), its gonna keep getting worse. its (still) a lot of bullshit out (no diss to Jay or Rae). where’s some T.I. when you need him? shit, Jeezy need to go ahead & drop already.

  • murK

    DOOM

  • P. Harris

    Good Post

    Good Comment Enlightened

    That’s the shiit that’s killing me slowly…

  • General

    It would be nice to see a greater emphasis on the wordplay, but it just seems as if most people don’t care…

    All said though there are still a lot of rappers that do put in the work with their rhymes, but people just don’t give them the mention that they deserve

  • http://myspace.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

    It’s shit like this why meh rappers like Drake can get away with so much mediocre shit. You average rapper couldn’t follow a true punchline but if they catch a little clever something something in a 16 they go nuts… WTF?!

    E10 up and 2 more videos!!!
    youtube.com/federalranga

    Commission!!!

  • Silly Chilly Willy

    I definitely agree with y’all.

    And Black Thought is one of my fav. I saw him live once, he was spittin like his life depended on it. He’s just blackin out non-stop, period.

    But while we point fingers at meh rappers that just ride the beat and don’t say shit, we should ask ourselves a very important question: WTF is with the backpacker’s self-righteousness ?

    Hear me out. I know it’s american culture to root for the underdog, or anyone related to underground. But whenever a good underground artist get shine and try to get papers, we act like he ain’t shit anymore. I still hear cats complainin that Talib is “too commercial” because he made a song with Norah Jones…WTF?

    I love music, even before I love hiphop. And if it’s good, it’s good. We should support those lyrical rappers that still hold it down when they try to get shine instead of only bitchin about shitty-ass rapsters that’s all over the place.

    “Talkin don’t get the rice cooked”, my momma said…

  • yoprince

    i love wordplay as much as the next intelligent hip-hop listener.. but wordplay doesn’t make a star. and in today’s climate, you need to be a star to get someone to spend their hard-earned recession-era dollars on buying your album.

    for instance… Fabolous. lyrically, he’s focused enough. but who the hell is he? why am i interested in his story? what’s original about him? … nothing there for me that would make me want to listen to what he has to say repetitively.

    wordplay only goes so far. in fact, NY got wack b/c they lost their star characters. in the early to mid-90′s with Wu-Tang, B.I.G., Nasty Nas, Jay-Z, Redman, Ma$e, DMX (a little later) etc… Those artists’ debuts introduced full-fledged characters into the game. True personas. All different.

    After a while though, most of the new NY personas just became “Jay-Z Lites.” And wordplay or not, that’s wack.

    next NY artist to blow was 50 Cent. why? definitely not wordplay. it was because he was an original character with star persona.

    wordplay is cool. but to catch my long-term attention, have something original to say, an original way of saying it, and a fresh way of presenting it to the world.

    otherwise i’ll listen to your song or album a couple times and forget it.

    and the VIBE list said “Best Rapper Alive,” not “Best LYRICIST Alive” if i’m not mistaken. therefore, Budden was still wrong.

    • Enlightened

      Co-sign that.

      The only thing I’l add though is that all the niggas you named could rap. Along with the star persona, at the end of the day, they could rap.

      This is the first era where you have actual “stars” in hip-hop that simply can’t rap. At all. That shit has never happened before. And it should never have gotten to this point.

      People can say what they want and clown old-school, so-called pop rappers like Kid N Play,
      but those niggas could still rap.

      • yoprince

        true. there are limits to this thing.

        for example, gucci mane has a persona. but i will never listen to a whole album of his b/c the skills are just TOO lacking.

        but..

        joell ortiz has wordplay. and i will never listen to a whole album of his either.. b/c he generates no interest beyond playing with words.

        on the other hand, i’ve always been a young jeezy fan. why? his persona matches the energy of his music. his character is bigger than just words, so to speak. really the same goes for lil wayne with me.

        but don’t get me wrong. i’m not saying only the big sellers have character. for me, same goes for DOOM. doesn’t sell much, but he has that steady fanbase b/c of his character. Ghostface as well. Black Thought is an ill lyricist but i cop Roots albums mostly b/c I know the music (the band) is gonna be dope. The lyrical jewels from him and Malik are icing on the cake.

  • http://www.incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    What everyone forgets about Joey’s tirade, and what I found pretty hypocritical of Joe, was that he mentioned he was facing Rakim in round one and that would mean; “I’m taking the easy L right there.”

    Really? Rakim hasn’t put out an album in ten years (Holy Are You wasn’t out at that time either), so if we put Joe right in front of Ra right now, couldn’t Joey outspit him? More likely than not, Ra would just stand there with nothing to say. Him admitting he would lose to Rakim meant him admitting he would lose to the legacy of Rakim, which for me says he’d also lose to the legacy of Method Man.

    • Enlightened

      That’s a real good point about that

      • Victor

        That is a good point. I think Meth is underrated these days. I’ve always considered him an ill lyricist, it wasn’t just the flow and voice that did it.

        Though i think Joey did have a point, he got shitted on like he’d said “FUCK METH” lol Got blown way outta proportion. I dont really hate dude the way a lot of people do, i think he just talks too much but that aint a big deal.

        @Yo Prince, your crazy if you think Ortiz aint got character! Listen to dudes debut man. I see your point but skill definitely doesn’t detract from enjoyability it just detracts from appeal. Despite that an emcee like O.C. still enjoyed success in the 90s.

        Black Thoughts persona (though improved) isn’t imposing but his sheer mic skill nullifies that completely. The dude is just astounding. Pharoahe is another underappreciated lyricist. When i saw Budden’s vid bout the vibe list i agreed (bar the meth statement) and i think he was right by and large.

        • yoprince

          oh i don’t think skill DETRACTS from anything. i’m just saying it’s not the be all end all..

          and I won’t lie, I’ve never listened to three straight Joell Ortiz songs, so I should lay off on judging him like that.

      • oskamadison

        No, it’s not. While I agree that Meth is underappreciated, he’s in NO way, shape or form Rakim. The second verse to “In The Ghetto” will pretty much smash Meth’s entire catalog and if that’s not enough,there’s always “Lyrics of Fury”.

  • GIFT

    The reason why the game is so fucked up, is because everybody raps, and I mean everybody. Probably 80 percent of the people who read and hit the web are rappers. Some have skill, but 90 percent of the shit out now a days is pure trash. I’ve met plenty of cats just like my boy ENLIGHTENED was stating in his comment, and it’s just sad. Hip hop used to have standards and you had to prove you were the shit, rather than simply rant about it. If that is not nipped in the bud, then hiphop will no longer be hiphop. I don’t know what it will be called, but it ain’t gon be hiphop. real talk.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM IAMHIPHOP

    REAL TALK(IF HIPHOP EVER GO BACK TO THE BASICS MEANING(PURE LYRICS)A LARGE AMOUNT OF RAPPERS TODAY WOULD BE DONE.LETS KEEP THIS 100(DO YOU REALLY REMEMBER THE LYRICS MOST OF THESE RAPPERS SAY TODAY?)THERE ARE A FEW GOOD LYRICAL RAPPERS OUT TODAY AN EVEN THEY ARE HALF ASS LYRICIST .I WONT SAY ANY NAMES BUT THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE.I BELIEVE RAKIM WAS SO FAR AHEAD OF HIS TIME.PLUS;HE SET THE STANDARD SO HIGH;UNFORUNATELY;I DONT BELIEVE ANYONE EVER WILL REACH HIM LYRICALLY.BIG DADDY KANE,KRS1,SLICK RICK,CHUCK-D,KOOL-G-RAP,LL COOL J,ETC.THESE ARE GREAT MC’S TODAY AND YESTERDAY.HOWEVER;IN TODAYS CLIMAX THEY ARE STRUGGLING.WHY?TWO MAJOR ASPECTS OF HIPHOP DIED THE (DJ’S)& THE LYRICAL MC’S.THIS IS THE REASON WHY A LARGE AMOUNT OF BULLSHIT RINGTONE RAPPERS ARE GETTING OVER.ONE HIT WONDERS ALL DAY LONG IN TODAYS HIPHOP.I PERSONALLY FIND THIS SAD.HOPEFULLY RAKIM(THE SEVENTH SEAL WILL SELL.)WE ALL KNOW THE GOD MC (RAKIM)SPIT STRAIGHT FIRE.HOLY THE FIRST SINGLE IS HOT.RADIO SHOULD PLAY THAT.LIKE I SAID NO ONE CARES ABOUT LYRICS ANYMORE.JOE BUDDEN HAS BIG MOUTH BUT HE HAS A GOOD POINT.TRUTH BE TOLD JOE BUDDEN IS A GOOD RAPPER.PEACE!!!

  • George

    Lil Wayne is the perfect example of staying on beat with garbage lyrics. They say he’s the best and keeps everybody on their game but go through his lyrics and you’ll see he’s half-assed.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM IAMHIPHOP

    YO GEORGE!YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT LIL WAYNE.CRAZY OVERRATED!!!

  • balaramesh

    great post!

    joe budden might not be the most likable guy in the game but he is easily a better lyricist and rapper than well of 50 of the 120. maybe 90 or above of the list.

    @Pierzy,

    black thought, has few peers lyrically in the game. people forget that he gave big pun all that he could handle on the mic. so i am with you.

    @yoprince,

    i feel you.

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    Hip-hop its losing its plot.
    It’s no longer about saying things that will get over people heads
    but who has the most money,women,cars,who spent mo time in jail & how many times 1 got shoot @ & survive.

    PS:Ye’ crashing award shows (lol)

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    Hip Hop is a game/hustle now. It’s know longer the art of wordplay it once was. Thats one of the reasons that SH gets so much shine. They’re a breath of fresh air in today’s extremely mediocre climate of so-so rappers & gangstas who can follow a metronome.

    Not only do you not have to say anything semi-meaningful, but that loophole has been exposed. It’s accepted! Where the fuck they do that @? No offense to Jeezy (just as an example), but my dudes FAR from lyrical, but he has a certain aura that helps cats overlook his shortcomings. In the 90′s, when definitive skill was mandatory, that type of trade-this-for-that shit didn’t fly. Today, as long as your hook is somewhat catchy & you have the requisite street cred, you’re allowed to tote the title of “artist”. Let’s be honest, most rap niggas are just that. Not “artists”. An artist constructs some form of art to please their supporter(s), not to siphon their money.

    Money used to be a bonus of being a skilled rapper. Now it’s the only reason 99% of cats even consider picking up a mic.

    Thats some bullshit.

    • DownSouth

      Real spit, dookie! You alwayz have something good to say. I done got to the point where I realize that it’s a business. And that’s why I’m glad I’m a producer, because producers don’t necessarily have to be one dimensional. I could make a track for Soulja Boi and turn around and make a track for Common. That’s more business for the producer.

      DOWN SOUTH!!!

  • Decker

    Jay said,if skill sold,truth be told,i’ll probably be lyrically Talib Kweli.That statement sums up what’s going on 2day.Why would a rapper like Souljgah boy care about similes & metaphors,when he made all the money Joe Budden has made in his entire career,of his 1st album.I won’t criticise anybody 4 trying 2 improve his finances.Like it or not,rapping is a way 2 eat 4 these people.If u want lyrical rap 2 succeed,go out & buy it as much as otha pple buy Souljah Boy.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

      “If u want lyrical rap 2 succeed,go out & buy it as much as otha pple buy Souljah Boy”

      ^^^Word…

      I do want it to succeed, so I do support the artists I feel have worked to earn my dollars, & you can continue to listen to Soulja Boy in the meantime.

      An artists can eat off rap, without conforming. A lot of cats on here mentioned Black Thought. He’s never conformed, & look where it got him (& his group, who didn’t conform right along with him). A nice gig on TV. Touring the country. You think The Roots aren’t eating?

      It’s not about improving one’s finances, it’s about those who take the easy/lazy formulaic way out, then don’t understand the backlash from the Hip Hop fans left who appreciate clever lyrics. & It’s not just metaphors & similes. That’s where plenty of dudes get confused.

      I can appreciate a guy who clearly took time out of his life to say something interesting. That’s where I’m tossing my doe. Not @ some cat who figures the track & hook is “hot enough”. That’s not Hip Hop, that’s selling generic music. I don’t buy generic food or clothes, so why would/should my taste in music be any different?

      God bless the dudes who can say anything & get rich. But money doesn’t impress me, talent/skill/ability does.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM IAMHIPHOP

    YO!TONY GRANDS I AGREE WITH YOU COMPLETELY ABOUT YOUNG JEEZY.TO ME HE DEFINITELY IS ONE OF THE WEAKEST LYRICIST OUT.PLUS;HE HAS ONE OF THE WEAKEST FLOWS.OH!ALMOST FORGOT DECKER STOP RIDING JAY-Z NUTS.YOU ACT LIKE HE IS THE PERFECT LYRICIST.JAY-Z AT TIMES GETS LAZY LYRICALLY.THEREFORE;HE GETS EXPLOITED WHEN THERE ARE GUEST ON SONGS WITH HIM.JUST KEEPING IT 100.PEACE!!!

  • Decker

    @ Tony Grands,don’t get me wrong,i appreciate good lyrics.you have a point when u say u can be a good lyricist without using similes or metaphors e.g T.I.The message i’m trying 2 pass is that every1 has his own lane.Support & buy what u like.Don’t come here & bash Souljah boy 4 making what he makes bcos whether u like it or not his sales suggest pple like what he’s saying.If u don’t like what he’s doing pay him no mind.@ I am Hip hop,i’ll reply u when u have a valid point 2 make.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

      @decker

      I didn’t bring up Soulja Boy, you did. I brought up one of the few meh rappers that I actually support; Jeezy.

      But, I agree, his sales say people like him, but, don’t you see the paradox? I’m not criticizing any of “those” dudes, just voicing my opinion.

      I see your point, but money & success are two totally different things. One doesn’t ensure the other.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM IAMHIPHOP

    YO DECKER!WHY IS IT ONLY IN HIPHOP THAT THE WORDS (OLD SCHOOL IS USED)?THE MICK JAGGER & THE ROLLING STONES ARE IN THEIR LATE 60′S AN STILL MAKE RECORDS.PLUS;THEY SELL OUT ARENAS.I THINK THE RAPPERS TODAY HURT THE PERCEPTION OF HIPHOP AS A WHOLE.COME ON DECKER! THERE IS KNOW WAY YOU CAN TELL ME THE LYRICAL ASPECT IN HIPHOP OUT TODAY IS NOT LACKING.I AM NOT KNOCKING SOUJA BOY,TO BE HONEST I LIKE HIM.I BELIEVE PEOPLE SHOULD STOP USING SOUJA BOY AS AN EXAMPLE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT WEAK RAPPERS.HE IS JUST A YOUNG KID.ON THE OTHER HAND I STILL SAY JEEZY,TI,LIL WAYNE,ETC CAN DO BETTER LYRICALLY.YOU KNOW WHAT I WILL GIVE LIL WAYNE CREDIT FOR TRYING.JOE BUDDEN HAD A GOOD POINT.I STICK TO MY GUNS WHEN I SAY RAKIM,BIG DADDY KANE,SLICK RICK,KOOL G RAP,KRS1,CHUCK D,IF GIVEN A CHANCE COULD STILL MAKE CLASSIC SONGS TODAY.PEACE!!!

  • http://XXLMAG.COM IAMHIPHOP

    YO DECKER!WHY IS IT ONLY IN HIPHOP THAT THE WORDS (OLD SCHOOL IS USED)?T MICK JAGGER & THE ROLLING STONES ARE IN THEIR LATE 60′S AN STILL MAKE RECORDS.PLUS;THEY SELL OUT ARENAS.I THINK THE RAPPERS TODAY HURT THE PERCEPTION OF HIPHOP AS A WHOLE.COME ON DECKER! THERE IS KNOW WAY YOU CAN TELL ME THE LYRICAL ASPECT IN HIPHOP OUT TODAY IS NOT LACKING.I AM NOT KNOCKING SOUJA BOY,TO BE HONEST I LIKE HIM.I BELIEVE PEOPLE SHOULD STOP USING SOUJA BOY AS AN EXAMPLE WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT WEAK RAPPERS.HE IS JUST A YOUNG KID.ON THE OTHER HAND I STILL SAY JEEZY,TI,LIL WAYNE,ETC CAN DO BETTER LYRICALLY.YOU KNOW WHAT I WILL GIVE LIL WAYNE CREDIT FOR TRYING.JOE BUDDEN HAD A GOOD POINT.I STICK TO MY GUNS WHEN I SAY RAKIM,BIG DADDY KANE,SLICK RICK,KOOL G RAP,KRS1,CHUCK D,IF GIVEN A CHANCE COULD STILL MAKE CLASSIC SONGS TODAY.PEACE!!!

    • yoprince

      @IAMHIPHOP

      i disagree with you

      do any of you actually listen to rock??

      people DEFINITELY refer to the Rolling Stones and the groups of their time as the “old guard”

      not to mention.. rock has evolved immensely from their time in the forefront.

      neither the new indie rock bands or even the more popular rock bands sound much like The Rolling Stones.. at least not to people who actually listen to rock.

      and young kids or even people in their mid-20s are NOT rushing out to buy new rolling stones records.

      those guys still sell records because they have a more lucrative fanbase… middle-aged white people who are willing to spend their money to visit them in concert and buy their albums on casette, cd, AND record. just to have it.

      hip-hop just hasn’t been around long enough to have that type of fanbase. Jay-Z and Nas will be the first of that ilk for hip-hop.

    • yoprince

      and this may hurt some of you guys’ feelings.. but hip-hop in its infancy stage progressed too fast for the people you named…

      the fact is.. jay-z, nas, B.I.G., Pac etc.. came along and did what those guys did better than them. that’s the real reason they’re still not around on a mainstream level and haven’t been for a while.

      jay-z and nas, on the other hand, are still at the forefront because hip-hop hasn’t really progressed in 10-15 years. there have been standouts and new stars, but nobody has made it so those guys’ talent is no longer relevant on a mainstream level.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM IAMHIPHOP

    YO DECKER!CHECK THIS QUOTE BY (RAKIM)ALMOST 25 YEARS AGO(SOME OF YOU BEEN TRYING WRITE RHYMES FOR YEARS WEAK IDEALS IRRATATE MY EARS IS THIS THE BEST THAT YOU COULD MAKE CAUSE IF NOT YOU GOT MORE I’LL WAIT.)HA!Ha!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!(I GUESS RAKIM IS STILL WAITING).RAKIM THE ULTIMATE LYRICIST WAY AHEAD OF HIS TIME.PEACE!! (MOVE THE CROWD)

  • http://www.divehiflylo.com PARIS PERSHUN

    FOR LYRICISM CLICK ON MY NAME….OR TYPE INTO YOUR BROWSER PANE ……www.divehiflylo.com

    A.Dd+

    (LEANS BACK AND TURNS “ON TO THE NEXT ONE” WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY THE FUCK UP)

  • http://www.spitboss.com KLAP215

    I can’t belive BLACK THOUGHT aka Rik Geez aka Tariq Trotter… aka one of the best most lyrical mc’s ever said Lyrics aren’t important to him anymore SAY IT AIN’T SO THOUGHT! For all ya hardcore cuilt following fans from the tri state area my brother PROBE R.I.P. that held yall down when yall was on south street until now… PLEASE DON’T STOP GIVING US THAT LYRICAL FEAST YOU GIVE US EVERY ROOTS ALBUM, EVERY LIVE PERFROMENCE…. WE STILL CARE ABOUT LYRICS, WHATS A HIPHOP MC WITHOUT LYRICS… IM A TELL U WHAT GARBAGE! BLACK THOUGHT LYRICS STILL MATTER, MAYBE NOT AS MUCH AS THEY USED TO BUT MC’S LIKE YOU CAN HELP BRING LYRICS BACK LIKE THEY WERE… COMON KRSONE AND BUCKSHOT JUST LET US KNOW LYRICS STILL MATTER AT THE TROCADERO IN PHILLY LAST NIGHT! MALIK B U KNOW HE STILL SPITTIN THAT LYRICAL ISH! HIPHOP NEEDS BLACK THOUGHT TO SPIT IT LIKE HE CAN! THE ROOTS “HOW I GOT OVER” IN STORES SOON!

  • http://myspace.com/kryptoniteoneonly Kryptonite

    IF LYRICS ARE ALL THAT MATTERS

  • http://MYSPACE HELTAH SIN SAY

    Like the great Guru from GANGSTAR ONCE SAID

    “IF YOU AINT GOT IT, YOU AINT GOT IT MOTHER FUCKERS”……

  • http://myspace/sonsonrecords Boogie The Don

    …Write a verse after mine and you still try to shine?/ I don’t think so/ you carbon copy +kinko+/ I reek dough/ fresher than you stinkos/ I keep the heat low/ then col’ flex on you niggaz/ he bring the beef to your peephole/ this ain’t Dijorno/ this is formal/ delivered to your door no cornrows/ 3 piece suits/ mobsters know how we row/ silence when I shoot/ I’m violent for the loot/ ask the pilot in the coupe/ they all dim lights/ I’m ultra-violet on your roof/ Iraq kid/ creep between walls like an aracnid/ play my songs in +the alley+/ drop the change in black +lids+/ I’m hungry for the dames/ taco meat in the range…Lol…fuck ya’ll…lol!!!

    Boogie The Don
    myspace/sonsonrecords