The Greatest Solo Rap Performance On Wax. Evar…
This past weekend I was rolling around Brooklyn with the big homie, and fellow iNternets Celebrity, 40 Dawg while polishing off a six pack of Colt 45 tall cans when the discussion came to what record constituted the greatest single performance on wax by a rap artist. I had always felt that Rakim Allah’s ‘Microphone Fiend’ was the greatest bar none because it inspired so many of today’s emcees when they were little dudes.
40 dawg argued that it was LL Cool J’s 12” version of ‘Rock The Bells’. As he proceeded to crank up the speakers in his Expedition I listened again to this song and I undoubtedly heard the greatest rap song ever recorded. Evar. In the history of the world. I decided to put this song into the Dallas Penn Dot Com Polysyllabic Rhyme Transfluxmutator to see exactly how many of these complex words throughout this song.
For my money, listening to polysyllabic words within a rhyme pentameter is the apex of emceeing. A polysyllabic word is complex because it usually is the combination of a root word (idea) along with prefixes and or suffixes that add movement and action. It’s not enough to simply utter the words either, but to deliver them in the context that follows the word’s established meaning and relevance.
When I compared ‘Rock The Bells’ to my previous GOAT, as well as two other songs that are surely in the canon of greatest rap songs of all time, LL’s verses pwn them all several times over. ‘Rock The Bells’ comes in at a monstrous 901 words total, with 217 of those words being polysyllabic. When I compared ‘Microphone Fiend’, ‘New York State Of Mind’, and ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’ for their polysyllabic word count per every thousand words it wasn’t even a competition.
I can’t think of another song that runs this long without any choruses or hooks. This is straight up Hip-Hop rap music. This is why you have to place LL Cool J on your list of most hardbody emcees of all time.