I was looking at this list of the 100 best rap songs evar put out by VH1, and it occurred to me. They could have put together a better list, if they wanted to.
There’s no way the mail room, or whoever’s in charge of puting together the hip-hop-related content over at VH1, submitted that list to the TIs in charge, and they actually thought it was a list of the 100 best rap songs evar.
At the very least, they could have consulted Wikipedia and found any number of lists of the best rap songs evar, that don’t feature, say, something called “Who’s that Girl” by Eve. And then they could have been like, “Well, why does ours?”
And that’s just to use an example of a song I can’t even claim to have ever heard. This despite the fact that I’ve been listening to rap music for as long as I can remember, plus about three years, and I talk shit about rappers over the Internets for a (miserable) living.
This list is so fucked the fuck up, to go through it and point out every single thing that’s wrong with it would take way more effort than I’m willing to put forth for… like, anything. But here’s a few things I noticed in general.
First of all, you know I had to go there, so I’m gonna go ahead and go there: Obviously, they went to great lengths to pad this list with female artists. You get the idea (though I didn’t bother counting) that there was some sort of mandate from on high that the list consist of at least 10% female artists.
In other words, there was a quota.
What’s more, they got the order of the female artists all fucked up. In the top 10, there’s “Push It” by Salt N Pepa, and then in the top 20, there’s “Get Ur Freak On” by Missy Elliott. Neither of which would have appeared in any list of the top 100 rap songs I put together. But MC Lyte doesn’t show up until the bottom 50. The fuck?
Which brings me to my next point: The TIs at VH1 obviously called their cousins over at the major labels and had them send over a list of rappers in order of the amount of money they’ve stuffed in a TI’s coffers in the past 10 years, and then they cross referenced that with whatever other bullshit criteria they used.
Hence, there’s no way MC Lyte was gonna appear ahead of damn near every other female rapper that’s on the list, other than JJ Fad and L’Trimm, who both appear on this list (no, really), but you had to know Jay-Z, Kanye, Eminem, and Fiddy were all gonna show up in the top 20.
In fact, I’m surprised they didn’t put “A Milli” or some shit in the top 20, given that Lil’ Wayne could very well be the last rapper to sell a million albums in a week ever again. He is in the top 50, just barely, at number 50 with “Tha Block Is Hot” (again, I’m not familiar), and you have to think that was by design.
“Back that Ass Up” by Juvenile was damn near the only rap song they ever played on TRL back when it meant something, but what has he done for a TI lately? So fuck him. He isn’t anywhere on this list.
Maybe the worst, though (since, who gives a shit about Cash Money?), is the fact that they’ve got “They Reminisce Over You” way the fuck down at number 90, sandwiched between “Oh Boy” by Cam’ron and “Ridin’” by Chamillionaire. (Yes, “Oh Boy” is actually ahead of “T.R.O.Y.”)
It’s almost as if a bunch of TIs sat around in a room and thought to themselves, “Is there any way we could fuck this list up bad enough that a boom bap dinosaur would cry?”
And then one guy shouted out, “I got it! Let’s put “T.R.O.Y.” all the way down in the bottom 10, and then put a Cam’ron record one notch ahead of it just to rub it in.”
They probably gave his ass a raise.
The thing is, VH1 didn’t put this list together the way they did just to piss us old guys off, or because anyone who works there is actually convinced of the artistic merit of “Feel So Good” by Ma$e (a full 23 notches ahead of “T.R.O.Y.”). What they’re doing is establishing a canon.
At some point in time or another (maybe when Flava Flav became its biggest star), VH1 realized that there’s an entire generation of grown people now who grew up with rap music. Hence, the same network that used to run promos touting the fact that they didn’t play any rap (or heavy metal) when I was a kid having an awards show called Hip Hop Honors.
Of course, VH1 is gonna be running more and more hip-hop-related content, now that it’s in their best interest. But they can’t just be running any ol’ rap videos. What if they’re not conducive to a TI’s agenda? So the purpose of a list like this is to weed out any content they don’t have any use for, regardless of its actual merit, and to promote the shit that might actually make them a dollar. Again, regardless of its actual merit.
Rap songs by guys that are way better than motherfucking “Get Ur Freak On?” Sorry! You know mad women watch VH1. Great rap songs put out by labels that don’t fall under some sort of corporate umbrella? Not on VH1!