5 Signs You Don't Know A Damn Thing About Hip-Hop

December 28, 2013 -


It seems that we are doing the top this and top that on Daily Beat, appreciating the great sounds of 2013. However, as a hip-hop mogul and journalist, I figured it would be better to highlight the one's who think they know a lot about something but truly don't. So, for those of you who want to truly test your hip-hop genius-ness, please be my guest.

1. You’ve Never Heard of J Dilla

To hip-hop heads, J Dilla is an icon. And since his untimely passing in 2006, his legend has only grown. His beats are considered sacred in the hip-hop community and have served as the musical backdrop for the records of the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Common, and The Roots. If you’ve never heard of him, considered that strike one against your hip-hop credibility.

2. You Think Dr. Dre & Kanye West Are Top 10 MC’s

The keyword here is MC. I'm not taking anything away from their skills as producers and as musicians in general. Dr. Dre is arguably the greatest producer of all time and can write a good rhyme. But he’s not an elite level rapper. Notice how his most well-known songs feature either Eminem or Snoop Dogg. And also notice how their verses are always better than Dre’s. Kanye on the other hand is a pretty good MC but I definitely wouldn’t put him up there with Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, or Nas. Kanye is good, but those guys are great.

3. You Think You’re Cool Because You Know Busta Rhymes’ Verse On “Look At Me Now”

Once upon a time, Busta Rhymes was considered one of the best MC’s in the game because of his animated style and his ability to rap at ridiculous speeds. However, being able to rap fast is only impressive when you’re actually saying something of value, and there's absolutely nothing of value in “Look At Me Now.” It’s disturbing how many people think they're hot shit because they can keep up with Busta Bus’s basic bars. It’s like being proud that you can sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” really fast. If you really want to impress me, spit the last verse from “Scenario.”

4. You Get ?uestlove & Afroman Mixed Up

For those of you who don’t know, ?uestlove (pronounced Questlove) is the co-founder, producer, and drummer for The Roots. Now I have nothing against Afroman, but confusing him for ?uestlove is just plain disrespectful. ?uestlove probably knows more about music than anyone who has ever lived and is a big part of why The Roots are one of the most respected and critically acclaimed bands of all time. Mixing him up with a novelty rapper just ain’t right.

5. You Only Listen To Hip-Hop & Nothing Else

You cannot claim you know anything about hip-hop if you don’t listen to other genres of music. And when I say listen, I'm not talking about passively listening to the radio. You gotta know your shit. The whole point of the Sample of the Week is to show how hip-hop has been influenced by countless styles. In the words of Nas: no idea is original.


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