Male fashion magazine GQ put together a list of the worst rappers of all time, of ALL TIME, consisting of people who can't rap. David Drake from Complex saw it and threw a bitchfit. Just because a person can't rap doesn't mean he deserves to be on a list of the worst rappers of all time, he argued. That's not how rap music works!
There's a brief description of the list in the post at Complex. It consists of celebrities who once tried their hand at rap, white rappers, failed pop rappers, plus a few regular rappers who just suck balls, including Too Short and Eazy-E. I didn't bother to click through, myself, because I don't fuxwit listicles, not necessarily as a matter of principle or as a political statement, but out of sheer laziness. If I'm clicking that many times, there better be some naked women. Fuck rap music! I figured I could complete this post without having a look.
In fact, it's ironic that Complex is complaining about another site -- let alone another male fashion magazine site -- running a listicle, tossing out allegations of "trolling" and "laziness" (the two things I strive to represent). Complex puts together its lists the same way Pitchfork reviews rap albums: they find someone who's clearly not an expert in the field, and tell them to do the best they can using Google and trying to imagine what someone who knew what they were talking about might say. I realized this a while back when I saw they did a list of the hottest chicks on The Real World, and it was just a list of women who had appeared on The Real World at some point in time or another, in random order.
Drake complains that by putting Eazy-E and Too Short on a list of the worst rappers of all time GQ is attempting to rewrite the history of rap music, which is only true for him, personally, on an emotional level. In reality, bad rappers have always been looked down upon, going back to the days of "Sucker MCs," and beyond that, to the time before rap records, a period we can only speculate about, because it's impossible to pull it up on YouTube. The Source was putting Too Short on worst rapper lists way TF back in '90, in its Decade of Rap issue.
Too Short is quite literally one of the worst rappers of all time, in the sense that he can't string words together with any more complexity than your average eight year-old. He's even worse than 2Pac, in that sense. He's what the RZA, on the intro to side two of Wu-Tang Forever (which I listen to every day when I get out of bed in the morning), refers to as a cat in a hat-ass rapper. The only two arguments in his favor are the fingerbang video he made for XXL (nullus), which really was good advice if you ever want your finger to smell different, and the existence of Chief Keef.
Eazy-E isn't even a rapper per se. Ice Cube wrote a lot of his rhymes, and letting someone else write your rhymes wasn't considered acceptable in rap music until Kanye came along, fairly recently. So again, this can't be viewed as a matter of GQ trying to rewrite history. Eazy-E was full of shit back when it was still assumed that rap music was completely authentic, when rappers were still referring to themselves as "street reporters" and the "black CNN." He helped lower the standard. Furthermore, I'd argue that he deserves to be included on a list of the worst rappers of all time for functioning as a black front for Jerry Heller, thus setting a precedent for Jay-Z's latter day career as a corporate shill.
There's also, supposedly, a class implication in putting Too Short and Eazy-E, and also Insane Clown Posse, on a list of the worst rappers of all time. This was difficult for me to wrap my head around, because it's not like bad rappers come from a different class of people than good rappers, or any other class of black people, for that matter. Even Bol once lived in a townhouse, from 1981 to about 1984. Whereas a young Soulja Boy put his garbage together on a computer with Internets access in an air conditioned bedroom, KRS-One used to sleep in a damn subway.
You could argue that bad rap music appeals to the less fortunate, as is the case with Insane Clown Posse, but I'm gonna argue that's only due to a lack of discernment, not because it's secretly brilliant in a way that we just can't appreciate, because we're too sophisticated.
Byron Crawford a/k/a Bol is the celebrated author of The Mindset of a Champion: Your Favorite Rapper's Least Favorite Book, and Infinite Crab Meats