Hammer was garbage, so is Kanye
Note: Like last year, I’m probably gonna take the next week or so off. Unless I feel the overwhelming urge to hate on shit, which is very likely, this might be it for me until 2008. Catch you bitches on the flipside.
This argument between R.A. the Rugged Man and Rude Jude on some satellite radio program would be some of the most amusing shit I’ve ever heard on the radio even if I didn’t think R.A. brought up some great points. It reminds me of some of the arguments I used to have with this guy I went to high school with named Keith, aka Morty from the now-defunct Orange Island.
Take for example the part where Rude Jude tries to call R.A. old. R.A. the Rugged Man was born in 1974, just like Ryan Adams. So R.A. is like, “When were you born, 75?” and Rude Jude is like, “No, 1977.” R.A. is like, “Same difference,” but Rude Jude is like, “That’s a huge difference!”
I know I used a similar argument – I’m older than you and therefore I’m right – numerous times back in the day. And I was only older by about five weeks. (Of course I was always right anyway, so it’s not like it mattered.)
If you haven’t heard the argument already (the R.A. the Rugged Man one), you might want to check that out, courtesy of a site called Fat Lace Magazine. I think Noz may have mentioned it the other day in one of his posts.
[Side note: It’s too bad you can’t podcast satellite radio. (You can’t, right?) Even if you still had to pay the $10 a month or whatever it costs, it would still be worth it. Who the fuck wants to listen to the radio over the radio?]
The actual topic of the discussion is the fact that Kanye West is not a legit MC. He’s not hip-hop, he’s pop. Which is an argument I’ve been making myself for years now. A few years ago, I spearheaded a campaign to have Kanye West disqualified from the Grammys on the grounds that he isn’t a real MC.
R.A. the Rugged Man argues that Kanye West is roughly the modern equivalent of a Hammer or a Kris Kross, but Rude Jude argues that MC Hammer was a legit MC. He was “hard.” He was even once in a NWA video. R.A. is just fronting on Hammer because R.A. is from the East Coast, and people from the East Coast are known to be elitists who live to hate on shit.
There’s an obvious correlation to be drawn to Fiascogate, in which Lupe Fiasco dissed A Tribe Called Quest and then tried to turn it around and paint himself as the victim, arguing that people didn’t listen to A Tribe Called Quest where he grew up, so why should he bother? Of course Lupe Fiasco is full of shit.
For what it’s worth though, Rude Jude brings up a good point, in that R.A. the Rugged Man can’t name the first albums by a few groups, like 8 Ball & MJG and the Geto Boys, who may or may not have been worthwhile at some point in time (I honestly wouldn’t know either), though they remain fairly marginal figures within the entire scope of hip-hop. (Just like the recently departed Pimp C…)
However, I’m gonna have to side with R.A. the Rugged Man in this argument. Beyond the fact that my self-esteem, such as it is, is directly tied to my knowledge of and my taste in music, I think he brings up a good point when he mentions the fact that, while people still bump Rakim, no one gives a shit about MC Hammer these days – Rude Jude’s claim that he would bump “Let’s Get It Started” notwithstanding.
Of course, it wouldn’t make MC Hammer a real MC if he was as popular today as, say, Souljah Boy. But it’s nice to know that bullshit gradually fades while real shit only grows in appreciation over the years. Case in point, just yesterday there was a great feature at the Smoking Section on R.A. the Rugged Man’s incredible verse on “Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story” from Jedi Mind Tricks’ Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell, my favorite rap album of 2006.
I’m sure many of you fruits will beg to differ, but I think R.A. the Rugged Man is right. Not only is it true that artists like Kanye West and MC Hammer are not real hip-hop, but it’s worth drawing the distinction, even if it’s at the expense of someone else’s feelings.