The First Annual XXL Mag Dot Com True School Awards…

The big argument that several people have given me over at DP Dot Com is that VH-1’s Hip-Hop Honors doesn’t do enough for the pioneers of Hip-Hop. I can’t totally disagree with them either, but I don’t have a problem with the programming or the concept. In over thirty years of artistic creativity Hip-Hop has delivered more than just music to our lives. As an artistic, and I would argue social movement, Hip-Hop has framed our tastes, our values, our aspirations and our dreams.

It’s not possible to ever honor all the people that have made it possible, but we here at XXL (read: me, BXS) believe that there are some that have been truly and undeniably influential and waiting for the mainstream media to recognize their contributions just wouldn’t be Hip-Hop of us. So let’s give thanks to these artists for keeping their shit Hip-Hop…

Too Short
Too Short is the father to the West coast lifestyle that evolved into the profitable pimp rap. In my opinion Short Dog’s bigger contribution was his model for marketing and distributing his music. Short literally sold his tapes from the back of his car trunk as he attended some of the most popular events in the bay area. Short showed the Tall Israelis how to work a street team and how to promote a product directly to a base consumer. Too Short was also the quintessential representative for the Oakland rap scene. Many people here love Tupac to death but they don’t credit Short Dog’s influence on his artistry.

TATS Cru
TATS is a collective of graffiti artists from New York City who continue the city’s century old tradition of painted mural advertisements. TATS paints murals for record companies to publishing companies to television networks. Some might say that the commercial application of graffiti is one of the first signs of the apocalypse, but I argue that by creating a lane for graphic artists to monetize their talents TATS Cru is keeping Hip-Hop alive.

ScarFace
How many artists from the MidWest/South owe ‘Face for the lane he opened? The one thing I can say about rap artists outside of New York City/Los Angeles/Atlanta is that they had to have the ability to do more than just rhyme to make it to the light. These folks had to be especially media savvy and particularly business oriented to come up in the game. ScarFace was also talented as an artist who could create a portrait of the lifestyle of someone who crosses the law. How it is fraught with anxiety and depression. How the trap is named such because everyone inside of the lifestyle is just that – trapped.

Bob James
If you haven’t bought the collection of Bob James greatest hits then you aren’t Hip-Hop and you should prah’lee hang yourself from a tree in Louisiana. James’ classic song ‘Nautilus’ contains no less than one million breakbeats in the entire seven minute version.

Big Lez
I need to give props to this chick because she was the premiere dancer and choreographer for about a hundred videos back in the day. How funny would it be if Leslie was also a lesbian. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good.

EPMD
These niggas deserve an award just for bringing us Redman and beef curry Keith Murray. What more do I need to say about their production prowess? EPMD was all about hardcore unflinching boom bap rap music. Nevermind that E Double might have been taking business from the backdoor. That doesn’t stop rappers from being popular anymore. Nor should it. Redman wrote all of his best rhymes anyhoo.

So there’s the short list of XXL True Schoolers. Who did I miss?

  • Cuban Link

    I’d co-sign about all of them, except Too Short.Maybe I’ll co-sign about him being on the list, but honestly I never liked Too Short, and his latest album Blow the Whistle, was awful.

    and btw, what about your Hardbody awards?

  • May

    I don’t wish to sound corny or nothin’, but it would be nice if dr dre were to get honored…i know damn well he doesn’t write his own rhymes, but his beats are incredible…not to mention he discovered Em & 50…THE CHRONIC & 2001 are still hot, even though THE CHRONIC was released when i was 3 years old and 2001 was released when i was nine…but yeah, that’s it, dr. dre

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Cuban Link,
    What up homey? Is it time to go back in?
    http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=7223

    May,
    Shouldn’t your parents’ have filters on your computer?

  • CHICAGO PaPii

    Yo I agree with you on the whole Too Short issue because he is one of the Dopest Non-Gangster Rappers the West Coast has EVER had. Freaky Tales is classic Short Dawg doing what he does best, rap about the attainment of PaDussy and it’s overall appeal to anyone who doesn’t fit into the “Rocket-Man” catergory. Also ScarFace is a Top 10 MC Dead Or Alive, his influence can be heard in various MC’s rhymes from the likes of Biggie, Beanie Siegal, Jay-Z, Tupac, Mack 10 to every MC that prides himself in misty Realism in urban landscapes of Lyrical stylings. To me personally ScarFace is the REAL King Of The South because there isn’t a MC below the Mason-Dixon line who is as Dope on a Introspective,Lyrical and Cerebral level like Mr. Face Mob. With that being said I think that we as a Hip-Hop Community need to show more admiration and admonishment for the pioneers who set the standard of “Dopeness” within this Rap Shit!!! Billy X. Bundy this was a very informative post on the showing respect for “The Elders”, now if only we could get that post on Mc Ehit and Digital Underground’s relevance to Hip-Hoppers of today like Souljah Boy and DJ UNK. What do you think?

  • Incilin

    I just don’t get it; how come you and the hip hop honors program don’t give it up for Dr. Dre. He’s the most obvioius person ever (At least before Snoop) I mean I thought he would go up in the first year but still no love for Dre. Plus I seem to be the only person outraged at this. I jus dont get it.

  • Maxine

    Shouldn’t we have Jeezy on this list, or maybe Weezy, or oh yeah, Yeezy?

    That’s a joke, please don’t throw me out the building

  • LOL

    anyone that uses the terms

    “real hiphop”

    or “true school”

    are no pussy gettin nerds or white.

  • May

    Billy X. Sunday Says:

    October 1st, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    May,
    Shouldn’t your parents’ have filters on your computer?

    ^^^^^^ *snorts, then smiles* Billy! Why you tryin to play me? Just because I’m a young’n doesn’t mean anything…dr dre should be honored, and i still can’t believe he’s not. what? ain’t nothing wrong with that…

    it’s good to know that someone agrees with me…thanks incilin

  • Moe Real

    Bol got fired from XXL and his closest friend Bummy X. Sunday doesn’t even mention him! That’s cold.

  • May

    besides, I’m 18…what i need filters on my sh*t for?

  • domjel

    Paris has been under Public Enemy’s shadow, but damn he’s dropped truth. Although I’m not a fan of Mix-a-lott, but we haven’t heard from Seattle since.

  • Accurate

    ^^ I think the fact that you censor urself hints toward that proposition, you nuckin futs. :/

  • AKATHEREALIST

    Billy, why would you think May had filters on his computer? I’m 14, but I paid cash for my laptop, and no I don’t sell drugs. List is straight, you didn’t miss anyone too significant that hasn’t been honored already. But, next to Short Dawg, you should put up RBL Posse. They were real popular in their heyday back in ’92 out in the bay, and how about UGK? Living Legends reppin Houston since the year ’93!

  • Fire

    Good list, but I do agree that Dre should be on there. Bet Too Short won’t be honored anytime soon with this bullshit “attack hip hop and blame it for everything” fad that the childlike adults are engaging in.

    On a side note, what does being white have to do with music taste? I think old school rap is far better than today’s “music” (1988-1996 was hands down the best period for rap)and that a lot of what comes out today is awful (though many people like stupid music regardless of what race they are), yet I don’t try to seriously divide hip hop with all the labels.

    There’s just as much merit in every part of hip hop music. But some ignoramuses don’t seem to care. I don’t use terms to divide hip hop, but for anyone who shares the same position as the black Bill O’Reilly homothug LOL, why do you hate them so much? As much as you hate on smart hip hop, who do you like, DJ Unk? The labels aren’t that serious, no matter who’s using them. When did labeling shit become a bigger deal then listening to music on its own merit?

  • DIZZLEMAN SR..

    UGK AND OUTKAST!!! THINK ABOUT IT. OUTKAST HAS YET TO BE DUPLICATED AND THEY ARE THE POSTER CHILDREN FOR WHAT CREATIVE CONTROL CAN DO FOR YOUR CAREER. UGK HAS INFLUENCED EVERY TRAP RAPPER SOUTH OF THE MASON DIXIE.

  • KLETEWOOD

    Shouts out to the 14 year old who paid cash for his laptop dropping RBL! I’m twice your age homey and RBL should be on that list…

    Plus a few more:

    Sir-Mixalot (Swass) 1988
    D-Nice (Call me D-Nice) 1990
    Dr. Mother Fucking Dre (Straight outta compton) 1988
    Slick Rick (The great adventures of Slick Rick) 1988
    DJ Quick (Quick is the name) 1991
    AMG – (Bitch better Have My Money) 1992

    All of these rappers influenced another rapper coming up.

    It is what it is!

  • dameSTAtus

    BXS, second on $hort Dawg. Nowadays, wherever you are in the country, when you see $hort in the same spot you’re in, you know you picked the right venue for the night!

    Eff U to whoever said he’s not a legend because of the Blow the Whistle album. Not that 1 album built around a single could kill anyone’s True School credentials, but the album wasn’t even bad. We were knocking that for a sec in “Tha Town”. (We just hated the back-to-back-to-back-to-back Jazzy Fizzle productionellz, even though Jazzy is a Boss in his own lane as well. No hater here.)

    FYI, This Town couldn’t be saved by John the Pope

    -Todd Shaw Quote

  • Worley

    Where is Nice N Smooth? People forget, but those dudes had it on smash from ’89 – ’93, when rap was in between its Golden eras. They were also some of the first cats to really be up on their publishing so they could get paid like that. Those dudes definitely put it down in their time.

  • Cuban Link

    Billy,
    aha I just wanted to make sure you didnt forget about that

    and I meant to say this before, but yo nice job with the shout to the TAT squad. Fuck music, Tat Cru is hip hop, as far as the culture goes.

  • Cuban Link

    Accurate Says:

    October 1st, 2007 at 5:50 pm
    ^^ I think the fact that you censor urself hints toward that proposition, you nuckin futs. :/

    ^aha, Lmao… but co-sign too.

  • Tha Realist

    I Agree With All The Choices I Think Eventually You’ll Have To Include,Pac,Big,Nas Jay-z Bone Thugs,UGK,8ball&MJG,36Mafia,

  • Boner Jams 03

    co-sign my nigga brad jordan….
    there is no single person who has been more influential to southern rap than my nigga ‘face

  • Dr Flav

    If you love VH1 so much, why dont you marry it? Or at least let it give you greasy anal. Bol check must be late, XXL got yall fools like the welfare. LOL

  • Dr Flav

    Another list? How do you guys stay so innovative?

  • May

    AKATHEREALIST Says:

    October 1st, 2007 at 5:54 pm
    Billy, why would you think May had filters on his computer? I’m 14, but I paid cash for my laptop, and no I don’t sell drugs. List is straight, you didn’t miss anyone too significant that hasn’t been honored already. But, next to Short Dawg, you should put up RBL Posse. They were real popular in their heyday back in ‘92 out in the bay, and how about UGK? Living Legends reppin Houston since the year ‘93!

    ^^^^^Akatherealist, I’m female! May’s a young lady’s name, not a man’s! What kinda man would have the name “May”, unless he’s a fruit or some sh*t?

  • CHICAGO PaPii

    Gotta Big Up my peoples The Goodie Mob because as far as Dirty South Hip-Hop goes they’re Soul/Funk/Reality/Hip-Hop Hybrid gave birth to the OutKasts,Ludacris,Chamillionaires of the South. Also if its any argument about Dope Mutafluckas who needed to receive their “Props” within Hip-Hop it would be these dudes, plus, they’re music combind with OutKast’s earlier material made me think that when the South did Explode on the national level that they would be making meaningful Hip-Hop/Soul/Funk/Reality Classic shit, now I just think Negroids below the Mson-Dixon Line need to take a .357 to their Mouth and squeeze the Trigger real hard, Musically atleast.

  • john cochran

    I’m from Philly so I gotta say Schoolly D. He brought that hard shit to the fore front way before Kiss, Sheek, and SP were the hardest out.

  • drydock

    Here’s a real recent profile on Too Short’s, not controversy free, involvement in helping Oakland youths. And Oakland needs a lot of help.

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/2007-09-05/news/too-hort-career-counselor/

  • accurate

    AKATHEREALIST

    U wrong homie. UGK been reppin strong sicne ’88. Close but no cigarr.

  • jaislayer

    What about De La Soul, Gang Starr and Marley Marl. They all need to be up in there.

  • KQ

    de la soul need to be in there.

  • Content

    They should honor Billy X. Sunday. He does so much for real hip hop. The respect bloggers get in the community alone should afford him at least a shout out or something.

    You know what they say, if you can’t rhyme about it, talk about it, mix it, produce it, report on it, or write about it the next best thing is to blog about it.

    Where’s their gratitude?

  • Around and Around

    Dr Flav Says:

    October 1st, 2007 at 9:08 pm
    Another list? How do you guys stay so innovative?
    ——–
    hilarious..cosign

    If you can’t think of a topic to write about, you can always go to that old fall back, ‘The List’

  • Rich Arte

    lol @ Billy posing as content to give himself props..smh.

    you forgot about Bone Thugs (yes they belong there, harmony and speed), Outkast, Lox (cuz they never get the credit they deserve), Lil Jon (er’rybody got crunk after he did), Common (being conscious enough to go against the grain)
    Snoop (1,2,3 and to the 4…since ’92 and he still around 15 years later), LL Cool J (G.O.A.T…and Jigga on his radar)

    There’s a few others, but there were a bunch you left off “your list”

    Hey May and AK, if your lip gloss is poppin go crank that soulja boy…YYOOOUUUU.

  • May

    Be quiet, Rich Arte. I may be younger than you, but I’m not feeling that crank dat sh*t at all…it looks silly, and it makes me laugh

  • EReal

    May Says:

    October 1st, 2007 at 5:31 pm
    besides, I’m 18
    ^^
    How YOU doin?

    Dre should be honored, how the fuck you gonna honor that fat dyke Missy Elliot and not honor Dre? WTF?

    What about Tribe? or 2 Live Crew?

    Classic Too Short Quote:
    “Im fuckin two bitches at the same time”

    1 hunned.

  • boner jams 03

    LL is not the GOAT Rich Arte….granted he was the first solo rap star to have continued success, but his catalog doesn’t compare to Jay’s Nas’, KRS 1′s or even BIG’s 2 album body of work…

  • Who Dat ?

    May , lil gal. You can’t be 18 if you were 9 in 2001. The oldest you could be is 16. Can we please not mention our ages or gender here ? I think most of the males > 22 would prefer to think that they are not taking time off the job ( or from the class room )arguing with prepubescent teens.

    Billy!! Props on EPMD….where is Rakim ? what about Dj Premiere ?

  • PLO-CLICK

    Why Billy X Sunday always giving Vh-1 so much respect and love When they have barely no black music and NO black music shows, all they do is show black people in a bad light, like flava of love or i love new york, two shows about two ignorant people, i mean damn hip-hop honors is the only thing Vh-1 shows that has black people in a good light, so get off Vh-1 nuts Billy. 1

  • http://xxlmag.com PLO-CLICK3

    Why Billy X Sunday always giving Vh-1 so much respect and love When they have barely no black music and NO black music shows, all they do is show black people in a bad light, like flava of love or i love new york, two shows about two ignorant people, i mean hip-hop honors is the only thing Vh-1 shows that has black people in a good light, so get off Vh-1 n*ts Billy. 1

  • Cuban Link

    EReal Says:

    October 2nd, 2007 at 10:49 am

    How YOU doin?

    ^Ereal needs to be on the list to for that line right there lmao

  • http://www.myspace.com/crockerishiphop Crocker

    Yeah, you forgot Organized Noise, the cats responsible for Goodie Mob, Outkast, Dungeon Fam. And love it or hate it, you forgot MC Serch. His contribution besides the first coherent record from a white rapper, would be Nas. *Cue Jay-Z’s “Takeover”* I Know Who I Paid God, Serchlite Publishing.

  • May

    Who Dat ? Says:

    October 2nd, 2007 at 1:50 pm
    May , lil gal. You can’t be 18 if you were 9 in 2001. The oldest you could be is 16. Can we please not mention our ages or gender here ? I think most of the males > 22 would prefer to think that they are not taking time off the job ( or from the class room )arguing with prepubescent teens.

    Billy!! Props on EPMD….where is Rakim ? what about Dj Premiere ?

    ^^^^^^Hold up. The name of Dr. Dre’s album is “2001″, which was released in 1999. Do you understand that? I know how to add. I know my age, so don’t come at me with that bullsh*t. I’m 18 years old, and that’s that. Do you have an issue with my age?

    Someone needs to do a little research on album dates and whatnot.

  • Who dat ?

    My bad lil gal ( delete replace with shorty)….how you doing then?

  • May

    Oh.

    So now you wanna holla.

    *snorts* I’m doing fine.

  • b

    Gang Starr.