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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sometimes Critics Just Don't Understand........25 Worst Rappers according to Yahoo

Admittedly, this is a pretty innocuous topic but the subtext of the article still managed to raise my ire. While perusing Yahoo's 25 Worst rappers list, I noticed that the critic in question threw dirt on top of Will Smith. Thankfully, many of the article's respondents also felt that Smith should not have been put on such a list. Anyone that is a true hip hop aficionado is keenly aware that during the period that Smith was at the height of his rap career, the musical landscape (again as it relates to hip hop) was not vulgar-making him not an anomalous artist for the time. And truth be told, not only was Smith's lyrical ability respectable but he should be given credit for spearheading the hip hop industry's foray into mainstream cultural acceptance. But to be fair, let's take a look at what the list's author said:

And "Parents Just Don't Understand" was obviously a pretty "wacky" "rebellious" little number with all that clever rhyming! And Will Smith was certainly still "safe" enough to not inspire too much controversy. Which is exactly why he's a lousy rapper. And why Smith got out of there and into acting before everyone caught on.

So because Big Willy didn't represent a ghetto/criminal aesthetic (which again, really wasn't what hip hop or Smith was about, circa 1985), that somehow translates into inauthenticity and therefore, "lousy" rapping. Folks, this is what I was referring to by subtext-the matter of fact fashion that the media (and other entities) assume that true Black culture is always a controversial and rebellious existence. I would state that some of the rappers listed do belong there-but not Will Smith. But take a look at the list and I leave it up to our readership to come to their own conclusions:

The 25 Worst Rappers Of All-Time

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