Oh, man. There were some close ones in Division A. None closer than the KRS-ONE/RZA matchup settled by mere percentage points. Ugh.

September Sadness continues with what I think to be the more stacked side of the bracket. Division B's literally got me pacing around before I make my call. Either that or someone cropdusted the Dutch.

Of Backpieces and Slidepieces

#1 Nick Cannon - Smart enough to climb his way up from being "All That" to a media mogul in his own right. Has the finest stable of ex-wifeys in rap history. Both smart and dumb enough to wife Mariah Carey. Dumb enough to tattoo Carey's first name on his back like her vagina is his place of origin.

#16 50 Cent - Smart enough to mirror Eminem's format for success. Dumb enough to let controversy define his career instead of content. Smart enough to kick Vivica Fox to the curb. Smart enough to record telephone calls without providing "This Call May Be Monitored For Bitchassness Assurance" disclaimer.

Can't Shake These Dreads

#8 - Trick Daddy - Smart enough to make tracks like "Thug Holiday." Always sincere and thoughtful despite inability to verbalize ideas. Loves jail, fights and Funyuns more than any nigga on record.

#9 - Lauryn Hill - Arguably the greatest female rapper of all time. Incredible singer and actress [See: Sister Act 2]. Attended Columbia University. Doesn't realize that white people feed her children and fathered her baby father's father. Never recovered from that first Marley Bros. smokeout. Has become female DMX counterpart. Would be in prison if Rohan Marley let her leave house.

Team-Building Exercises

#5 - Shaquille O'Neal - Kobe, nigga. Tell me how my ass taste. That is all. Still thinks people want to hear him rap. Consummate team player. Lets Corey Gunz toss Mario Bros. wallet on top of paperstacks to the ceiling in effort to make him feel like he's contributing. Meant to kick wifey out of crib for sidestashing. Realized infidelity might cost more than Shani's mattress pile.

#12 - SOHH.com Message Boards - Online hip-hop's geekiest pick war with channer team known for destroying Scientology one e-terror attack at a time. Big Green ain't even green no more. What can I say about SOHH that hasn't been said about Afghanistan? Only Gyant left standing.

Umm... I Got Nothin' For These Niggas. Sorry. They're Black? I Dunno.

#4 -DMX - Still basking in decade-old glory of It's Dark And Hell Is Hot. Apparent crackhead who'd clearly rather be incarcerated. Doesn't know or care to know who Barack Obama is. Plans to be someone else's Jeremiah Wright.

#13 - David Banner - Closest thing to a political activist/community organizer Rap City audience has seen. Promotes voting and attentiveness to social issues. Unable to express own views clearly. Thinks Cadillac On 22s is some deep shit. Loves De Lawd. Thanks De Lawd for helping him put Mississippi on the m-- Whoa. Holy shit! Did y'all niggas see the ASS on that bitch?! God damn. Y'all know I can't be concentrating when a fine ass bitch like that there be walkin by.

Did You Ever Think That You Could Be This [Smart] Dumb?

#3 - Nas - XXL Staff's posterchild for Smart-Dumbness. Lyrical genius. Motivational speaker over beat. Indiscernible buffoon when Premo beat stops.

#14 - R. Kelly - Smart enough to pen some of the greatest songs of the modern era. Most sought-after singer/songwriter of his generation. Illiterate. Can't keep love for underdeveloped vagine to self. Pursues female companionship as close to his grade reading level as possible.

--We'd Like to Thank Jermaine Dupri!

#6 - Mariah Carey - Female counterpart to R. Kelly in terms of musical abilities. Brilliant vocalist. Hoodrat who's never been to the hood. Married Nick Cannon for some strange reason. Never recovered from Jeter pipe.

#11 - Lil Jon - Actually lives out Dave Chappelle's rendition. Inspires Plies to do the same.

Who Hurts Negroes More?

#7 - Flavor Flav - Clasically-trained musician (though you'd never know if some rent-a-skrippers never asked). Founding member of most politically active ensemble in hip-hop history. Smart enough to secure television deal to feed crack habit, I mean--family.

#10 - Russell Simmons - Build Rush Empire from a couple of white label 12" records and Blair Underwood's sweaty herringbone. Provides voice of reason for spoiled, bratty nieces and nephews. Endorses products designed to hasten the demise of black people [i.e.: Conflict ice, Rushcard, New Def Comedy Jam]

Brooklyn's ALWAYS in the House

#2 - Jay-Z - One of hip-hop's finest lyricists. Investment firm's wet dream. Old-ass nigga wise enough to snatch Beyonce off board. Totally pulled an Isiah Thomas with Def Jam. Never really moved sucessful product besides his own on Roc-a-fella either, for that matter.

#15 - Papoose - Can rap entire dictionary in word order. Tried to sneak skeleton key into prison with hopes of springing his love, Remy Ma. Ugh. His love is Remy Ma. Ugh. Remy Ma's love is Papoose.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Still need some time? ron@ronmexicocity.com

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