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NEGRO PLEASE: Hip-Hop’s Top 5 “Smart Dumb Niggas”

[Editor's Note: "Blogger's Note" has been taken over by Ron Mexico until further notice]

NaS is such an enigma as a recoding artist. He is clearly a genius on several levels, but then he becomes an idiot savant during interviews.” –Billy X. Sunday,

The enigma that The Hon. Billy X. Sunday refers to is actually the presence of a phenomenon touched on by Katt Williams. One such as Nas can be described as a “Smart Dumb Nigga” or, for the sake of aesthetics, an SDN.

Y’all know what I’m talkin’ about, when a nigga just smart than a dumb motherfucker in your living room smokin up then come out and say something like:

“Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why did Judas rat to Romans while Jesus slept?”

In the wake of the medical community’s recent discovery of the SDN virus, “Negro Please” is negro-pleased to present Hip-Hop’s Top 5 Smart Dumb Niggas. Baseball’s All-Star week just passed, so fuck it. Let’s have our own.

All ballots are write-in. Here’s Ronaldinho’s card:

Nas – Have you ever seen/listened to a Nas interview? For a man so brilliant on record, Nastradamus doesn’t always have his spit game together when there’s no instrumental behind him. He’s hip-hop’s definitive example of niggas who aren’t really saying anything when they’re not talking that old off-the-wall, back-to-Africa shit rapping. It’s like Mr. Jones steps into a booth and somehow morphs into a coherent being. Without that “Book of Rhymes,” he sounds like any other nigga I’ve met from Queensbridge–including Ron Artest.

Ghandi was a fool.

Trick Daddy – Trick Daddy Dollars is the antithesis to the Nas example. Trick knows EXACTLY what he means when he speaks. The problem is, the general public usually doesn’t. Trick is an unconventional SDN because he’s far from the most articulate nigga out there, but his sincerity extends despite his conversational limitations… kind of like a developmentally disabled child.

David Banner – I love David Banner. No nullus. I totally appreciate how politically astute he is. He seems to watch the news from time to time and recognizes that he can use his platform to evoke social change. If nothing else, Banner will keep us abreast of what’s rattling around in that skull of his. Dude seems like he has all the best intentions. He doesn’t give me that “I’m preaching so you can look at me” vibe like some rappers do.

This doesn’t mean you have to follow him down the river.

Like Trick Daddy, The Black Hulk doesn’t always make the most sense when he speaks. Unlike Trick, I don’t generally understand what he’s trying to say. If for no other reason, Banner earns his SDN tag because he clearly can’t keep his eyes on the prize when some caramel trim walks by.

Nigga just turned into the Hamburglar before my very eyes.

Mos Def – Once the poster child for head-wrapped, earth-toned intelligence in rap form, Mr. Smith has seen his flock diminish since the days of Black on Both Sides. Once the Neo[-Soul] and Messiah to hip-hop’s Matrix, Mos Def is now little more than #69 on Stuff White People Like. Actually, he’s an established actor who is still referred to by his rap name for some strange reason. White people even pay him to lecture them!

Unfortunately for the Mighty Mos, smarty-art niggas who get caught up in all the niggerish bullshit they rap about avoiding must register themselves at the DSDNS (Department of Smart Dumb Nigga Services).

White Chocolate skrippin-ass Superhead ex-wives make sure my Umi says that Dante is a dumbass. Had a spark when he started, but now he’s just Chick-tested, Whitey-approved Saturday morning garbage. Were it not for his recent portrayal of Gangstalicious, he might have lost me entirely already.

P.S.: Being self-righteous doesn’t inherently make one smart.

Ghostface – The nigga admittedly doesn’t remember what he means when he says Dr. Seuss-ish shit like “Ayo, Spiced-out Calvin Coolidge and “Seasoned giraffe rears.” That’s more than enough to earn one’s SDN certification.

Sadly, I grew up believing that every Ghostface line I didn’t understand contained some god knowledge I needed to study up on at the god hour… or something like to that effect. I grew up right by that school not far from the Apollo. Weirdos like Ghostface killed whatever god knowledge curiosity I might have developed. If that shit was gonna make me a SDN (Sherm & Dope Nigga) or a Parliament Funkadelic-lookin boy yelling indiscriminately at all white people, I wasn’t interested.

[Addendum: Ironically enough, Ghostface is the earliest documented pioneer of "Smart Dumb Nigga's" use as medical terminology. (See: The World According to Pretty Toney) Thanks, Casey.]

I’m sure I’m leaving out a slew of worthy candidates. That’s where you, the “Negro Please” reader, come into play. Feel free to nominate your own starting 5 SDNs of hip-hop. Please include nominee’s name, position and a brief explanation of your choice.

Dumb Dumb Niggas, or DDNs (i.e.: Yung Berg, Tony Yayo) will be terminated on sight disqualified upon receipt.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Should we approach T.I. for the tournament theme music? Nevermind. He’s busy. Maybe Banner?

If you guys can get me a total of say, 16 smart-dumb niggas, we can do this the fair way.

Feel free to include Diddies, video hoes, weed carriers, etc. I happened to fill out an all-rapster ballot, but anyone in the hip-hop universe is fair game.

Enjoy your weekends, bitches.

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