A trip to my barbershop took me down memory lane this past weekend.
They were playing old Video Music Box episodes all afternoon, so I got to see videos I forgot existed like EPMD’s “Crossover.” But one video in particular caught my attention: “1, 2 Pass The Mic” by the D&D All-Stars, the original not the remix. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the classic boom bap track, it features DJ Premier on production with , , Smiff-N-Wessun and Jeru Damaja on vocals. Hearing Jeru spit over Primo’s beat, I couldn’t help but think about how his career spiraled down since they split. Heroz 4 Hire had a few tracks, but his post-Primo work has never measured up to The Sun Rises In The East and (YES! IT WAS DOPE!!) Why leave Preme? What a horrible decision!
As the videos kept playing, I started thinking about some of the worst decisions in hip-hop history. Since this is off the top, I’m likely to forget some bad ones, so I thought of five and you guys could add the remaining five in the comments. Here are mine, including the aforementioned Jeru one.
Prodigy Jabs At Jay-Z: P was one of the illest MCs out pre-”Takeover.” I never quite understood it, because as Ron Mexico will further explore in the SDN (Smart Dumb Nigga) tournament, P’s pretty much a moron in regular conversations, but has penned some of the most brilliantly thuggish lines ever. In an old Source Magazine interview, P complained about Hov’s “New York’s been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed them buildings” line from “Money Cash Hoes” and jabbed that the God Emcee was “quiet like a bitch” during the East Coast/West Coast feud. Well, Hov got wind of the remarks, destroyed P on “Takeover” and the Queens MC has struggled to make two consecutive lines rhyme since. Maybe P should have stayed quiet like a bitch.
Canibus Works With Clef, Not Premier: Jesus! The Source did used to be the hip-hop bible. I remember reading that Bis was in the lab with DJ Premier during the publication’s Summer Music Preview back in the day. Preme could do no wrong at the time, so any collaboration between the two was a classic waiting to happen. If only “Second Round Knock Out” had been indicative of Can-I-Bus. Clef isn’t solely to blame for the blunder. Bis should have been man enough to tell him them beats were wack. I’m sure Clef had plenty of heat in the chamber. It just ended up being a bad fit. Bis could have been one of the illest of all time. Now he’s all he can be in the marines or some crap.
50 Cent: For argument’s sake, we’ll take Ja Rule’s side of the story. To let Jeffrey tell it, Fif grew obsessively angry with him after he snubbed him at some video shoot. At the time, Ja was “Always On Time” and Fif was still figuring out “How To Rob” industry negras. The tension eventually escalated, 50 punched Ja in Atlanta, Black Child poked 50 at the in New York, Murder Inc. tried blackballing Fif, Fif signed with Shady/Aftermath and Fif vaporized Ja’s career. If only he said hi at the video shoot. They may have ended up doing songs together. Ja’s career would probably still be over today, but at least he could have lasted a few more years.Snubbing
Signing With Puff Daddy is still somewhat on top. The Harlem mogul doesn’t control 40% of the Billboard charts like he once did, but he consistently ranks among top earners in hip-hop. Yup! Diddy’s career has lasted over a decade, but the same can’t be said for any of his artists. At least not on a prominent level. Craig Mack, no. Biggie, R.I.P. 112, nope! Total, where? Mase quit to become a pastor. Shyne got caught up and is currently serving the 9th year of a 10-year sentence. Loon, where? G. Dep was last spotted scheming on some chicken wings at Cassidy’s listening session. is stealing old lady purses out of hotels. The Lox got raped for their publishing for years. Members of are working at Wal-Mart and Starbucks. Carl Thomas…where? Need I say more?: Forget 10, 11 years later
In your opinion, what are some of the worst decisions in hip-hop history?