Nov 30, 2011

Rap Power Rankings 11.30.11

3:00 AM















The definitive word on rap's movers and shakers.

1. R. Kelly "Shut Up" - The King of R&B is back, y'all, and he's got some words for you haters who said his career was over after throat surgery. Most of those words are "shut up" repeated several times, but there are others too. But seriously, this track features Kellz in fine form, keeping the focus on his golden voice over a minimalistic but building beat. But even if the beat sucked and throat surgery left him sounding like the lead singer of Nickelback, this track would still be great due to some of Kelly's boldest lyrics of his career: Every boy, every girl / Every child around the world / From the nineties up until today / Was made off me.



2. Common "Sweet" - Many moons ago I used the C&D podium to make fun of Fox News for calling Common a gangsta rapper, even though he's been Charmin double-pleated soft for years. You could literally take the Finding Forever CD to the office and use it to wipe your ass instead of the cheap, rough toilet paper they buy to save a few cents per roll. But maybe I owe Hannity and O'Reilly an apology, because Com is talkin' tough on this track. The verses are standard (but well-executed) brag rap, and there is no hook unless you count Common denouncing "sweet" rappers with non-rhyming insults like You ain't no muthafuckin' Frank Sinatra, lil' bitch.

It's totally the pot calling the kettle black, but at least it sounds good.



3. Yelawolf featuring T.I. and Slaughterhouse "Hard White Remix" - If only more of his Shady Records debut album Radioactive sounded like this. Yelawolf invites some friends to jump on the remix to his ode to the club, and everyone is doing their best Usain Bolt impression on the mic. And it sounds glorious.

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4. Juvenile featuring Rick Ross "Power" - It's kinda weird to hear a song called "Power" after Kanye used the title for his single just a year ago. But Juvenile proves worthy of the subject matter, evaluating what exactly determines power until concluding that it basically comes down to breeding (Check the DNA samples you can find it in the blood). Rick Ross sneaks into the second verse, allowing a single HUUNGH to announce his presence before spitting his Bawse-isms.

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5. The Bold & the Beautiful - Thanksgiving provided some relief to the various beefs enveloping nearly every character - some of the relief long-term (Ridge and Thorne), and some of it obviously temporary (Hope and Steffy, Taylor and Brooke). But it only took a couple of days for the Logan girls to stir up trouble: Donna and Justin announced their divorce, Brooke and Steffy bickered and Katie is on the brink of another heart attack after walking in on an innocent hug between her husband Bill and nemesis Steffy.

6. Gravediggaz "The House That Hatred Built" - Prince Paul, aka The Undertaker, recently let loose this demo that he says is the first song he, RZA, Too Poetic and Fruitkwan recorded together. It would have fit in nicely on 6 Feet Deep. And that's high praise coming from someone who spent every night of a 1994 vacation pumping the album through headphones while being sure to keep the content hidden from the rest of the family.

The house that hatred built ( Unreleased Gravediggaz demo 92 ) by DJ Prince Paul

7. Pusha T Fear of God II - Most of the good songs were taken from the original Fear of God mixtape, but this is still worth checking out. The best of the new batch is the intro, "Changing of the Guards." Rico Beats provides a grand backdrop, Diddy briefly introduces the lead man and Pusha Ton spends the next two minutes rapping, warning a nameless rapper *cough*Drake*cough* that The fans fell for your act / I tell you break a leg / Then gun shots goin' off that'll awake the dead.

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8. Rick Ross "I Love My Bitches" - Ross is the only rapper I can tolerate trickin' on the ladies. When he's in a good mood, he's like a black St. Nick, promising his many bitches that they'll never have to fly coach - plus he'll provide all the Benzes and Bentleys they can drive. Ross is still at his best, however, when he's thinking about himself: Am I really just a narcissist / Cause I wake up to a bowl of lobster bisque?

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9. Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire "Lou Ferigno's Mad" - Best new rapper of the year award, hands down. You know how some talented, well-respected rappers can put together a whole career without a rhyme that's really memorable? (Think Black Thought.) Well, that's not a problem for Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire. This song has plenty to choose from:

I cracked the hourglass and pissed on the sands of time / Fuck how long it takes, y'all gonna gimme mine

I don't do features on the strength of some dap no / Gimme some fuckin' money / The fuck you think I'm rappin' for?

I ain't no muthafuckin' role model / Fuck these lil' n****s / I only rap to get my wallet bigger


10. Black Star "You Already Know" - I can't give this song the complete thumbs up, because, ya know, it still has a verse from Talib Kweli. But Oh No lays down a beat that sounds like a B-side to one of the group's Rawkus singles, and the guys ride it nicely. Black Star has a presumably free mixtape called Aretha Franklin on the way soon.

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This post was written by:
Trey
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