The Greatest Solo Rap Performance On Wax. Evar…

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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.

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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.

‘Nuff Said.

LL Cool J – “Rock The Bells” (Original Version)

  • b-ease

    hmmm….maybe

  • Purple Hulk

    BITCH, NOONE WANTS TO HEAR THAT WACK COOL J SHIT, CANIBUS DESTROYED HIS FAGGOT ASS.
    YOU WEAR HIGH HEELS?

  • http://www.unkut.com Robbie

    LL’s “Radio” LP >>>>>>> Canibus’ life.

  • Boner Jams 03

    Yea…u gotta give l.l. his props…he’s the only solo rapper from rap’s golden age that still moves a decent amount of records today….but for my money, the best rap song ever is common’s “it’s your world” produced by dilla dawg….maybe because i was high one day listening to that song and it motivated me to change my life…true story…that song LITERALLY changed my life…

    but i still think the hardest line in rap history is big daddy kane’s “put a quarter in ya ass cuz u played yaself”…..i’m not even gonna name the track he said that on cuz if u dont know then u ain’t no real hip-hop head…granted that bar mite not be as jawdropping today as it was then…but for a 9 year old video game/hip-hop junkie that shit was like john 3:16

  • smog

    its funny to see someone rep can-i-bus, especially purphulk, but anyway, i thought triumph was goat, might just be cause there 9 dudes on that track so it doesnt count like that , interesting thing about rock the bells was that its a commonly used for beat juggeling as well

  • Around and Around

    Most that will agree with this have to be born before 1980.

    ‘I think i’m gonna need back up…I think I’m gonna need backup……..’

  • Kuntry

    I been waiting and debating for o’ so long/ Cats starvin like Marvin for a Cool J song >>>>>>>>>>Anything Canibus ever said!

  • Around and Around

    Boner Jams 03 Says:

    August 22nd, 2007 at 2:47 pm
    Yea…u gotta give l.l. his props…he’s the only solo rapper from rap’s golden age that still moves a decent amount of records today….but for my money, the best rap song ever is common’s “it’s your world” produced by dilla dawg….maybe because i was high one day listening to that song and it motivated me to change my life…true story…that song LITERALLY changed my life…
    ————-
    One Sunday BX was listening to Blow Job Betty and it changed his life….LITERALLY changed his life

  • Yolanda

    no one in their right mind wants to be called ‘hardbody’ unless they’re a fully practising homosexual.

  • Mayday

    polysyllabic words have nothing to do with emcee greatness, or else t la rock would be goat…

  • http://www.kaseclosed.blogspot.com Justin Kase

    Billy X. Yesterday…wtf are you trying to accomplish? Give some examples of his polysyllabic words…shit.

    If I was your high school English teacher, I would ether you right now.

    Go suck Bol’s balls so you both can giggle like little sissies and listen to the High School Musical 2 soundtrack.

    That song was invented ions ago, and there have been so many classic gems since then you should be ashamed you work for a hip hop site. You’re a loser.

    “99% of his fans wear high heels”

    CLICK ON MY NAME TO SEE BOL CUDDLED UP IN HIS MOM’S BASEMENT.

  • suckaniggadickmakeaniggarich

    i think another great one is “alphebetical slaughter” by papoose but its too soon to say it is the GOAT. I just no one even suggests Game’s weakass 360 bars

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Mayday,
    Listen to this song and understand that in the context that LL uses the polysyllabic words he is killing shit. T LA Rock shit was fly but random as hell. This nigga LL is telling you straight up that you can’t fuck with his lyrical ability.

  • The Spaniard

    I was just listening to the Rock the Bells 12″…on vinyl. that song is still the shit no doubt.

    With that said…Canibus ripped LL a new one on every single exchange on wax. I don’t give a shit about career paths, chart position or fan base.

    Lyrically:
    Rip the Jacker > Jack the Ripper

    fuck nostalgia! real is real.

  • Mean Greene

    The Nerdiest solo blog concerning Hip-Hop. Evar…

    I’m all for intelligent posting but this is on some star wars convention/dungeons and dragons shyt

  • http://dahshyt.blogspot.com Belize

    LL Cool J is dahshyt

  • suckaniggadickmakeaniggarich

    Damn..LL gets no respect in here huh??
    “look over your shoulder nigga, thats where your headed” “99 % of your fans dont exist”
    Any body heard that new Canibus track….(crickets….)
    I like Canibus but LL actually ended his ability to be a respectable man.

  • Incilin

    Wait, wait, wait. Isn’t it unfair to compare “Rock The Bells” to those other songs as far as the “Polysyllabic Rhyme Transfluxmutator” since Rock The Bells is longer and has more time of LL rapping than those other songs?

    Shouldn’t it be the amount of polysyllabic rhymes per a certain amount of time? 40 seconds would be ideal as it is the length of an average rap verse.

    Also, I need you to explain what a Polysyllabic Rhyme Transfluxmutator is again cuz I don’t think I totally get the concept of it. I rememeber that post where you compared “Triumph” and “What You Know” and all I learned was that Wu-Tang is better than TI, which I kinda already knew.

  • ME

    naw man……da best rap songs eva is a tie between ugk’s “one day” and “diamonds and wood” imo

  • VLsteve

    Billy whos the most softbody “rapper” right now?

  • ME

    i had to come back cause i know those 2 arent solo rap songs….that honor would go to either scarface or jay-z……shit im undecided lol

  • South City

    No doubt LL got down on this joint. But, aside from bein’ the namesake of a popular hip-hop festival, shit didn’t really change the game. Hell, 99.9% of songs don’t change the game. Greatest solo rap performance on Compact Disc: Nas – One Mic.

  • allnice

    I think you are stuck in the golden age homey. And even in the golden age, LL was never as nice as Rakim or Big Daddy Kane. The best solo either goes to Rakim for The Punisher, Nas for Take it Blood, Jay-Z for Politics are Usual, Kool G Rap for Ill Street Blues, Tupac for Hail Mary, or Biggie for Unbelievable. You wilding out with your ratings bro. And please, no more Common changed my life stories man, that dude is straight corny right now. He got a one hot album every 6 year average.

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Incilin,
    The Dallas Penn Dot Com Polysyllabic Rhyme Transfluxmutator takes the songs of different lengths and stretches them proportionately to fit into the same grid.

    The operative number was 1000 words, a ‘Kilo-grammar’ as it were. Using the existing lengths and pollysyllabic frequency of Jay-Z’s ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’, NaS’ ‘NY State Of Mind’, and Rakim Allah’s ‘Microphone Fiend’ the Transfluxmutator extrapolated them up to 1000 words (as well as Rock The Bells).

    What we find out is that LL’s song contains nearly 25% polysyllabic words. The next nearest song is only 7.5% worth of polysyllabic words.

    By most trusted rap critics and even English professors it’s understood that using complex words in verse or prose is much more a skillset than simple monosyllabic phrases.

  • Jordany

    The Greatest Song Ever Recorded:

    Jay-Z – Dead Presidents II

    Even tho ”D’Evils” is my favorite song ever, ”Dead Presidents II” is just perfect, lyrics, flow, hook, sample, concept. Don’t believe just ask Biggie Smalls what’s his favorite song?.

  • eauhellzgnaw

    Wouldn’t the avg. song by Canibus or early Keith Murray (not to mention a shitload of terrible indie rappers) have a much higher proportion of “complex” words?

    And wouldn’t this criteria not capture the brilliance of a song like Devin’s “Briar Patch?”

  • alex

    where’s em at? u know he should have somethin there, right?

  • Purple Hulk

    #
    Billy X. Sunday Says:

    August 22nd, 2007 at 3:07 pm
    This nigga LL is telling you straight up that you can’t fuck with his lyrical ability.

    CANIBUS
    GZA
    RAS KASS
    ROYCE
    KILLAH PRIEST

    HELL AND A SHITLOAD OF MORE MC’S SHIT ON THAT FAG LYRICALLY.
    JUST KILL YOURSELF IF YOU DISAGREE.

  • Domjel

    Class is in session. Billy just exposed all you simple minded cabbage patches! If you didn’t get this your credibility is shot. This classic came out around 1986 and its still sounds hard AS HELL!

  • Domjel

    Don’t forget I Need a Beat!

  • Manka Cat

    Greatest Solo Rap Performances Ever

    5. DMX – Lord Give Me A Sign
    4. Atmosphere – The Woman With The Tattooed Hands
    3. Nas – Last Real Nigga Alive
    2. Eminem – Soldier
    1. Immortal Technique – The Cause of Death

    Greatest Verse Of All Time: R. A. The Rugged Man – Uncommon Valor: (A Vietnam Story)

  • GrandMaster 40 D.A.Dubs

    I think the problem is this:

    1. This joint is older than most of you nigglets who post here.

    2. Problem with most nigglets is that even with a link right there, cats don’t listen you just comment. The uninformed comment basically nullifies itself.

    3. Considering that this lyrical massacre is older than Rakim and Kane’s careers and this actually predates The Golden Era, cancels out that point. The credit was given for ’86 when the 12″ was released but this song is closer to early ’85.

    4. Considering that most think a man kissing prison-yard Maytag bitch is the “hottest in the game” because he just babbles his pharmaceutical induced sillyness I find the response to this hilarious.

    5. LMAO @ all of you bring up Can-I-Bus. I’m sure none of you even thought of Lil Jermaine since 2nd Round K.O. Yeah he got LL on that joint, but this record was made when Can-I-Bus was still watching Sesame Street. Also when you idolize kids who get a dick-eating tattoo well then you’re starting at a negative in the manhood category. But then again y’all love Wayne…

    6. I don’t consider LL the GOAT, but this lyrical beatdown is unfathomable especially considering the time it dropped. I think Ghost is better than LL and he’s even awed by this rap.

    7. I’m gonna leave it on the God Degree. To quote Ghost, “You can’t feed a baby steak”. But the problem is most of y’all got your grown teeth in and slapped a grill on them but still stuck suckin’ on that baby food.

    DICK IN YO’ MOUF ALL DAY.

    FREE KENNETH MCGRIFF.

  • Manka Cat

    What, 15 minutes and nobody ripping on me? WTF? I got the guts to put out my real list, no standards, and ‘yall can’t even do me the courtesy of tearing my list to shreds? Pathetic…

  • Chris S

    best song ever: Beautiful-Masta Ace
    best verse: Notorious Thugs-Biggie

  • Purple Hulk

    Manka Cat Says:

    August 22nd, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Greatest Solo Rap Performances Ever

    5. DMX – Lord Give Me A Sign
    4. Atmosphere – The Woman With The Tattooed Hands
    3. Nas – Last Real Nigga Alive
    2. Eminem – Soldier
    1. Immortal Technique – The Cause of Death

    YOUVE GOTTA BE KIDDING PUTTING THAT EMO BAND CALLED ATMOSTPHERE ON YOUR LIST, THEYRE NOT EVEN HIP HOP MUSIC. THE FACT THAT YOU PUT ATMOSPHERE AND EM IN YOUR TOP 5 SHOWS THAT YOUR WHITE.

  • Jay-er-day

    Thank you! I’ve been tryin’ to tell niggas who was born in the early 70′s this shit for fuckin ever!!!!

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    On one of the verses in this masterpiece LL calls himself the Thane of Cawdor. This nigga was reading MacBeth! Y’all little niggers need to sit the fuck down and shut up.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • VLsteve

    Billy who are the most softbody rappers in the industry right now?

  • http://myhiphop.blogspot.com The God

    this is the best blog entry I’ve seen on this site in a long time

  • Blackman

    Polysyllabic words aside, either some english wiz wrote this joint for LL or he stayed up all night takin big words out the dictionary. Hiphop is more about energy than poetry and countin syllables, feel me. With that said, listeN to “MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT” and you will feel like you just smoked CRACK COCAINE. “Im gonna tie you up and let you understand that Im not your average man, when i got a jammy in my hand? —-DAAMN!!” If a song can have u ready to get in the ring with Tyson in his prime, well gotdam it, that’s the greatest song of all time.
    (Unbelievable is up there 2 but the illest Rakim joint? listen to “Let the Rhythm Hit Em” by Rakim, and you’ll realize that man was from anotha planet…

  • J S-O-T

    “lyrically i’m infinite like possibilities
    but you don’t have the capability like infertelity
    ’cause openin’ you mouth to question my validity, is like trying to contradict the theory of relativity
    when i spit it’s the epitome of heavy artillery
    my enemies are obsessed with me like tha bitch in “misery” but break out like fathers runnin’ from responceability”

    Immortal Technique-Dominant Species

    i don’t care who you throw at me, nobody can fuck with that

  • 1,21,2..anditdon’tstop81

    niggas actin like they ain’t neva heard a pun verse before.fuck ll.

  • http://www.richarte.blogspot.com Rich Arte

    co-sign South City^^^Greatest solo rap performance on Compact Disc: Nas – One Mic.

    @All Nice: that dude is straight corny right now
    have you heard “The People”?? That is the essence of hiphop. Maybe cuz I’m from the Midwest, but ever since him and Kanye worked together, the music matches the lyrics in perfect harmony. stop hatin. listen and appreciate.

    @BXS: you little niggers need to sit the fuck down and shut up.
    I aint gon lie the song and beat was hot for 21 years ago, but there are so many other songs you fail to mention, but maybe you just like classic material in the since of some originator shit. The majority of your readers are ’80s babies and so we wasn’t really old enough to respect lyricism back then, shit our parents wouldn’t let us listen to that shit anyway. The first album I got to sneak and listen to with cussin in it was Snoop’s Doggystyle; and i thought that was the G.Shit O.A.T.
    and why don’t you answer VLSTEVE???

  • Boner jams 03

    Allnice says:
    And please, no more Common changed my life stories man, that dude is straight corny right now. He got a one hot album every 6 year average.

    well u obviously never heard “its your world”….common’s pop said “be amended 5/5ths human”..and that shit just touched me…i know u probably don’t even know what that means….go read a book u illeterate son of bitch and step up yo vocab…

  • Around and Around

    Domjel Says:

    August 22nd, 2007 at 8:36 pm
    Class is in session. Billy just exposed all you simple minded cabbage patches! If you didn’t get this your credibility is shot. This classic came out around 1986 and its still sounds hard AS HELL!
    ————-
    Cosign

  • Chris S

    J S-O-T Says:

    August 23rd, 2007 at 2:59 am
    “lyrically i’m infinite like possibilities
    but you don’t have the capability like infertelity
    ’cause openin’ you mouth to question my validity, is like trying to contradict the theory of relativity
    when i spit it’s the epitome of heavy artillery
    my enemies are obsessed with me like tha bitch in “misery” but break out like fathers runnin’ from responceability”

    Immortal Technique-Dominant Species

    i don’t care who you throw at me, nobody can fuck with that

    *actually, i think his line on industrial revolution is better:”the bling bling era was cute but it’s about to be done/i’ll leave you full eclipse(full of clips) like the moon blockin the sun”

  • Purple Hulk

    #
    1,21,2..anditdon’tstop81 Says:

    August 23rd, 2007 at 7:45 am

    niggas actin like they ain’t neva heard a pun verse before.fuck ll.

    REAL TALK
    DREAM SHATTERER >>>>>> LLS WHOLE BITCHMADE CATALOG.

  • s dot b

    polysyllabic words… see cee-lo’s “Big ol’ Words” don’t ever say niggas in the south can’t rap.

  • Atl’s own

    nigga LL is the GOAT of a time forgotten.

    and if u really believe polysyllabic word yo favorite rapper would be Cee-Lo goodie.

    tell me wats fuckin’ wit this:

    Cee-lo, “Big ol’ words”

    2nd verse, look up the rest online if u dare.

    I get off on an extension or compare comprehension
    I’m in a classroom of my own, I’m too far gone for competition
    Yet I’m never obnoxious with my obvious ambition
    Perfectly imperfect is my dimension’s definition
    I engage my pen pierces the page so that it bleeds my intention
    With honorable mention of God’s divine intervention
    I’m incredible I’m inevitable and there’s no possible prevention
    I’ll hardly (have to) scream my dream and I’ll have your undivided attention
    The powers that be will be beaten into submission
    And you will be able to see my revolution on television
    You’ll get an aneurysm fuckin around with my head on collision
    With the power to get you dead and have the dead risen
    I remember when my development was arrested
    I was doin time on my mind misguided and misdirected
    I was sick, so sick if I spoke to you you’d be infected
    Then my conscience was cleared of all charges and I came out corrected
    Reinvented, refined, replenished and well rested
    On a mission for a medium to manifest the thoughts I collected
    After that everything I breathed upon, I blessed it
    I committed crimes of passion and my soul was suspected
    But it was thrown out of court because of course the Creator and I connected
    He told me, “fear not for thou art protected. Your life is being requested
    And you are being tested, so make every attempt you can to expect the unexpected.”

    • Money Magnet

      Dude…I gotta get this because these lyrics are outta control…Cee Lo has always been slept on but he was the best in the Goodie Mob…ain’t too bad a singer, either…

  • s dot b

    eh ATL’s own my favorite rhyme is from the first verse of Cee-lo’s Big ol’ words:
    “I am distinguishably deeper as opposed to the paper-thin
    And I breathe oxygen, and you rhymin bout rocks again
    You stagnant, standing still enough to feel the world spin”

    Then he finishes the song off by stating the obvious:
    “Now I don’t want never hear nobody else say
    goddamn a nigga from the South can’t rhyme
    NEVER!

    DAMN
    Hehehe…Now can I do my shit??”

  • faker than fake

    christ, if the percentage of polysyllabic rhymes in a verse is your only judge of the value of a rap song, you are an ignoramus. seriously, that is the most ridiculous pseudo-intellectual garbage i’ve ever heard. how about, i don’t know, the actual content of the song, its message, the delivery, the style, the flow, etc. etc. maybe if you were reading the lyrics in a damn classroom, you might be tricked into thinking polysyllabic rhymes were in themselves strokes of genius. but some of us actually LISTEN to music, like through our ears. we can actually tell that there’s much more than that and if you asked an english professor, they’d say there’s definitely more than that.

    and if you’re gonna go by those fake-ass rules, let’s not pretend big pun or kool g rap never released a record. please, its an insult to us all

  • http://until-the-train-stops.blogspot.com/ Renato Pagnani

    Where can I get that t-shirt?!

  • ZaiNE

    whaaaat this song SuCks Yo! JAy-Z Is GaWd Yo N hIs VeRSe is uNComPrabLE yo!!!!!!!!!! ThAtS jUzT DiZrEsPEct. pAyCe E-tOwn’z fInEhhst

  • al-mighty

    the greatist hip hop recording off all time is eric b and rakims check out my melody period ll,s bells is up there but it did not change the game the way melody did besides any real head from the bx in those days knows he was jacking t la rock who had already worked closely with rick rubin rakim was the first mc to really just be himself no characters no fakin at all he was not the hustler who never had real money befor recordings not the gangster who never killed no one not the lover who never got pussy befor his fame just a blackman with knowledge of self expressing his love for the art all rhyme patterns,flows ,and styles befor hand ceased to exist once those verces were complete and he never raised his voice do the knowledge