"In the Woods," De La Soul
Oh, man. Great song! But I think "Fuck being hard/Posdnous is complicated" is maybe the best single line of Pos's career. So I couldn't say he was outshined there.
I can't actually deny that. But still.
Also, excellent call on "All About the Benjamins."
Agreed, Matt (about Benjamins). Not that it's super hard to outshine Puffy, but that's a badass rap/verse.
(And I don't count the Biggie verse because he was already dead)
List of Demands Wait, I'm doing this wrong.
Let's try this again: Janelle Monae & Saul Williams
Not quite a fair contest — I prefer her outrapping B.o.B and Lupe Fiasco in the Tightrope Wondamix.
Preach, Doctor. Love that re-mix.
they weren't necessarily on the same tracks, but the Ursula Rucker spoken-word guests on Do You Want More? and Illadelph Life are pretty hardcore.
Also, Bahamadia on Push Up Ya Lighter (Illadelph) is tight.
I'm sorry, but was Monster too obvious? That song not only had Nicki Minaj out shining the Boys Club of Boys Clubs in rap, but it is the exact moment she got the male rap nerds that had written her off to wake up. That song IS this post.
Oh, yeah. The working title of this post was "…Besides 'Monster.'" Because that's the one everybody was talking about this year.
But also (and I'll duck when I say this) I am a male rap nerd who hasn't yet fully woken up to Nicki's greatness. I don't like all the changing voice stuff. (I feel like I type those words at least once a day lately.) That said, I acknowledge that she did stand out above the others on "Monster." Just not in a way that I totally love.
But can't we an we say her accent switching is Streets Ahead when it comes to other rappers doing the exact same thing? When Eminem had his "Weird Voices" period, I tuned out immediately, which was easy because it coincided with his downturn in quality. Her British voice also does not have any off-putting quasi racist attitudes to it, unlike when Eminem did a mock middle eastern voice that sounded like his attempt to Sacha Baron Cohen his way towards humor.
You got some right, but no way anyone out shines Prodigy's verse on "I Shot Ya" and no lady has ever out did Biggie on any track, anywhere, ever.
Do you mean in general, or in the context of duet? In the context of duet, I would submit perhaps that's more accurately a reflection against the choices made for him, rather than a reflection of his talent or of ladies who work in rap & hip-hop.
If you mean in general, then I point you towards this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8cHxydDb7o
Hmm. It's so hard to choose a favorite on "I Shot Ya." All the verses are so strong. (I mean, man, when Fat Joe comes on with "Who the fuck you thinking you talking to?!" he kinda shuts the whole track down right there.) And certainly Prodigy's Illuminati line is the one that's lasted in different and important way. (It is such a great rhyme.) But I remember when that song came out, Foxy's verse is the one that stopped everyone dead. Foxy's was the "let-me-rewind-that…" Maybe it has to do with time in history. She was a 17-year-old girl, coming on and spitting with these tough-guy champions. It was very remarkable. And I think it holds up. Her voice has a brazenness to it that stands even amongst that level of competition. Also, there's a reason I chose the word "outshine" over "outrhyme" in the title of the post. And my choice of "I Shot Ya" speaks to that.
As does "Get Money." Line for line, is Kim's verse better than Biggie's? No. But her voice is better suited to that beat, I think. (Which I would imagine was created specifically for her.) And her flow is phenomenal on that song. Yes, I think better than even Biggie's. As crazy as that sounds.
Yeah, "I Shot Ya" comes with some heavy hitters. Joe's verse is huge and Prodigy's Illuminati/secret society line does makes his whole verse – so sick. Who sampled LL's line at the end, "not this time, but next time".
Still not convinced of Kim's best verse ever besting Biggie's worst. And I'm of the opinion than Kim and Foxy are under appreciated MCs.
Dave, I enjoy your articles. Keep up the good work.
Umm.. I guess I always assumed that Biggie was writing all of Kim's rhymes anyway. Obviously she had the delivery and that counts for something. But for me it's kinda like Biggie running a (very slow) race against himself.
Come on man! Keith Murray owns that song! Foxxy's verse is on permanent fast-forward.
For MC Lyte "A Film Called (Pimp)" with Common could've been used also.
The Lovemakers, "Shake That Ass" remix with 50 Cent.
I miss that Lauryn Hill. And that Wyclef. One of my favorite 90s hip hop tunes.
Every Fugees track ever.
Is Pras the worst rapper of all time?
He is definitely not good. I can't even think of a person that's a joke example of somebody that's worse. A white insurance salesman doing Jay-Z karaoke, maybe?
Isn't Rick Ross like a quadrillion times worse?
I always liked Yuki Hara's part in Eligh's "It Was a Mission" even though I still have no idea what she's saying – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsztBHpZ_Us
Digable Planets, 9th Wonder (Blackitolism). Mecca AND Jazzy Joyce.
it's depressing as hell that this is considered novel enough to be the subject of a list.
Woah, Foxy Brown was only 17 then (and hello there '90s Miami)
It was this Dave Bry post in Oct 2009 that first got me to listen to Nicki Minaj (because mostly I'll listen to anything with Trina). That 5 Star Chick remix would have done nicely here too.
Oh, man. Right! Wow. I hadn't even thought of that one.
Getting the backpack on, I always rated Jean Grae's verse over Mos and Bleek on – of course she outshines most of the male guests on her own stuff in general. See also: Invincible, "locusts" and I love her short verse on Tree Never Grown.
Agreeeed!!! I was waiting for someone to mention Jean Grae. That is all.
I hate to quibble about just one of these tracks (especially because I agree with the rest (to at least some degree)), but I can't get behind putting Self-Destruction on this list. Because the song is sofa king wack, nobody involved exactly covered him/herself in glory. That said, implying that Chuck D., KRS-One, Kool Moe Dee and Doug E. Fresh were outshined (outshone?) by MC Lyte is heresy to this old-ish rap fan. And I like MC Lyte just fine. She's just not in the same category (in my opinion) as those MCs (unless the category is "Early to Mid- 1980s MCs"). If your point is that she outshined/outshone D Nice, Heavy D and the Stetsasonic guys, I can't disagree. So, yes, MC Lyte probably did outshine SOME of her male counterparts on that one, but certainly not all of them. And, no, I won't admit that Miss Melodie trumped anyone on any song ever. Sorry, KRS-One.
1-10: Every Fugees track.
I don't know if Lil Kim OR Foxy Brown wrote those verses, so they get DQ'd. I always wondered why there weren't more good female MCs. It's weird.
Isn't Fat Joe supposed to say "tommy guns for fun, shotties for block parties"? Or was that another song? I also think Keith's verse was truncated ("like Redman…")?
Also, Too Short and Rappin 4-Tay get owned on "Don't Fight the Feeling" by the unnamed lady rapper in the middle. Yukmouth got his name from the rap, actually.
I'd take out Self-Destruction and replace it with Quiet Storm by Mobb Deep. Loved Kim on that track.
Should have been on the list:
Quiet Storm by Mobb Deep
(Lil Kim: "It's the Q to B with the M-O-BB; Queens Bridge Brooklyn and we D Double-E-P")
Affirmative Action by Nas
(Foxy Brown: "32 grams raw, chop it in half is 16, double it times 3 /
we got 48, which mens a whole lot of cream/
divide the profits by 4, subtract it by 8,
we back to 16, now add the other 2 that Mega bringing through.")
Should Not be on the List:
Eve, really? The verse was garbage and the song, overall, a bit of a yawn.
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