Kanye. You brought us College Dropout. The CD that made us believe that miracles do happen. A backpack rapper signed to Roc-A-Fella Records AND he was selling mad records. You had a song that was basically about Jesus thatÂ straight up make it onto rotation on commercial radio stations all over the country and you shot three fuckin’ videos for it. For God sakes, you even had Stacy Dash in one of your videos.
Kanye. You brought us Late Registration. Your first single was about Blood Diamonds in Africa. The remix to that song even brought Jay-Z out of retirement. You also brought all them Gold Diggaz out of hiding. Shit, you even made a song about your mother (best sinceÂ Pac’s “Dear Mama”)Â that made grown ass men cry because they related to that song so much. You told Bush to go fuck himself while promoting this album.
Kanye. You brought us Graduation. Well, I’ll be honest, Graduation was allright. I guess “Big Brother” was cool. But either way, that’s not the point. Point is, you’ve had dope shit in the past that took you beyond any dope emceeÂ could hope to go in this hip-hop game.
Kanye….and now, you give us 808’s And Heartbreak. Dawg, no! Why?Â Could you be riding T-Pain’s nuts even more harder than you are right now? Maybe I’m wrong, and the album will be considered a classic one year from now, but seriously,Â why would you play Russian Roulette with such a stable track record of albums. I mean, its great to take artistic risks and shit, but not like this. “Heartless” made me gag when I first heard it. That shit sounded like Rennaissance flute music. “Love Lockdown” is cool, but its definitely not no “I’m In Luv With A Stripper”.
Kanye. Don’t worry, I’ll still be first in line to cop the album later this month, just like I’ve happily and proudly copped the other three. But this shit is looking real realÂ bad right now. However, I put together a little list to help you see what your competition is doing and what they’re doing right when it comes to this whole singing business. SoÂ take some notes. As bluntly as I could put it, here are five rappersÂ that have and will still murk you on the singing-tip:
5. Lil Wayne
This manÂ has done theÂ T-Pain thing as well, but, the only difference is that Weezy ain’t singing his heart out like an Idol contestant. He’s a little sluggish when he tries singing on auto-tune, but the man has swagger. And swagger and confidence is 90% of what makes a good rapper-turn’t-sangah. Listen to “Prostitute” to hear a little of Weezy’s singing steez.
Eminem’s singing and crooning was never to be taken too seriously. But homie is living comfortably right now. Most of his singing stemmed from topics associated to his daughter Hailey (“Mockingbird”, “Just The Two Of Us”), but it definitely sprung him up even farther into hip-hop and pop royalty and made him richer at the same time.
“Whatever You Like” came out of left-field for me. I would’ve never thought that I’d see T.I. harmonizing like that on a record and actually make it sound good. Dude is gangsta’ and yet, can make a song like this without even missing a beat. Props to T.I. The most recent example of how it should be done, Mr. West.
2. 50 Cent/ Ja-Rule (Tie)
These two have beefed for years and have more than once tried to embarrass and/or kill each other. But you can’t deny that each of them have made millions off of them little melodic fruity hooks that they sung in their choruses. Yeah, Ja sounds a little raspy, but it proved to be the right formula for about 5 or 6 records in the early part of this decade (see “Me And You” with my homegirl Chrisitna Milian). And 50, he’s basically the richest man in hip-hop right now, so he did something right. It definitely didn’t come from singing, but he’s always stressed that melodies sell the records.
1. Andre 3000 circa “The Love Below”.
If you’re going to take risks, then dammit, this is how you do it. Andre 3000 is literally like my top favorite emcee of all time and yet, he could flip his whole style up and drop a conceptual album by the name of The Love Below. Yeah, he rapped on it once or twice, but the man sang and produced most of it and the shit was dope. He even did some high-pitch voice change stuff on some tracks.Â But he did it well. I don’t know if it was the song writing, or the album concept or the fact that the hip-hop was very stagnant when The Love Below came out – but, fukwhatchuhurd, Andre 3000 is the poster child when it comes to this rappers-turn’t-singer shit. This is how its ‘sposed to be done, Mr. West.