Last week, GQ magazine posted its list of who the writers believe to be the 25 worst rappers of all time. As with any online list (and I've written a handful myself), there's bound to be some disagreement. But this list goes far beyond leaving a two-word comment consisting of the word “No” followed by a tangentially related proper noun and a question mark. Rather, GQ's list is rife with choices that, while aiming to entertain, are past the point of opinion to be flat-out wrong. In response, we've assembled our own list of the Five Biggest Flaws In GQ's Worst Rappers Ever list.
5) Tom Green
Yes, those of us fortunate enough to be part of the warm, turn-of-the-century MTV generation have fond memories of Tom Green's bum all over the small screen. Silly as his antics were, to ignore his contributions to hip-hop and gifts on the mic is selling the man (whom the article mentioned as never having listened to) short. In the early '90s, Green was part of Canadian rap outfit Organized Rhyme, whose “Check the O.R.” went on to win a Juno Award. More recently, in freestyle sessions with hip-hop guests, Green has more than held his own with the likes of Xzibit .
4) Slick Rick
The article goes on to make the giant generalization of “everyone from England ever not named The Streets.” While, yes, Europe has exported some marginal talents, so has America. So has Canada. So has Papua, New Guinea. Of course lesser talents exist, but to write off an entire country is foolish, especially when said continent gave us the greatest storyteller in rap history. You would think a compiled Worst 25 Rappers list that made an point to pardon The Streets, of all people, would know that.
3) Eazy E
Along with bridging the gangsta gap by making the first true West Coast gangsta-rap record (compare “Boyz In the Hood” to Schooly D's “PSK What Does It Mean?” sometime), Eazy E's tremendous charisma lent itself to some of the most memorable verses in the genre's history. While the GQ list's author attempts to knock E for having other artists write his rhymes, when you've been a part of such classic records, that's hardly an offense worthy of naming someone one of the 25 worst. If that were the case, Dr. Dre's The Chronic would have to be considered one of the worst rap albums of all time.
2) Too $hort
It's understandable how rap legend and innovator of saying the word “bitch” Too $hort might not be everyone's cup of tea. But ranking him among the all-time worst and using the man's own humbleness to justify it, is wrong on many levels. When you make such utterly flawless albums as Born to Mack and Life is . . ., there's nothing short of an O'Henry twist of authorship that could put you among hip-hop's all-time worst. Case in point: How many of the greatest rappers of any era make a verse about discussing federal economic policy with Ronald Reagan a party starter?
1) Insane Clown Posse
Defending ICP may seem a daunting task; not only are they the bearers of a 20-plus-year reputation as the most hated musicians on the planet, but they also don't really care. Off in their own world, the Dark Carnival, the duo have maintained a fan base who've embellished in their mythology enough to support them for two decades. While you may not be fond of their content or have confidence in their skills as traditional MCs, with producer Mike E. Clark, they've proven to be the best at what they do. That in mind, you could make a list of the 25 worst rap artists who've attempted to imitate ICP and fail miserably, most infamously murderer/aspiring MySpace rapper Syko Sam, who not only has innocent blood on his hands, but is also a terrible, terrible rapper.