In Hip Hop culture, there are a ton of lists for a truck load of reasons. Most of these lists are compiled from the general standpoint of the average person, but in some cases, there is a underlying result of them making the list that escapes the naked eye. For example; while Dr. Dre used 2011 to officially become a business man outside of rap music production, he deserves an honorable mention for calling his industry retirement “taking a break,” because we thought that’s what he’d been doing for all these years.
Some people’s accolades & achievements don’t have a home or a category or simply go un-pointed out. & that’s why we are here; to give the honorable mentions where they are deserved.
Lil Wayne: Singlehandedly pushed Hip Hop menswear into
drag queen cross dresser territory by wearing tights (that, somehow, still manage to sag) & rocking murse chains (insert Baby Birdman lip kiss joke & Drake hug snarkasm here). Where rap’s masculinity had almost somehow been salvaged by dudes carrying drugs & weapons in their man-bags, Wayne picked up the torch & ran with it. In green Uggs boots. Oddly, though, he’s been pushing the Fratricide agenda, disguised as gang banging on records at the same time. If he’s nothing else, he’s progressive & consistent.
Heavy D & Nate Dogg: Brought Hip Hop’s mortality to the visual forefront, even if only just long enough to wish them a final farewell. After that, it was back to the unprotected sex, binge drinking, & chain smoking that real niggas do during their down time. Word to “Cold Case Files,” the voices of the dead are often the ones that matter the most, but are rarely heard in time.
V-Nasty: Became the inadvertent spokesperson & trailblazer for Free Speech in America by not only using the word “Nigga” regularly & in public, but also by not catching any real static because of it. Now – more so than ever – hip White kids think it’s okay to
say type it.
Lil B: Exposed the internet’s talent loophole by gaining a 98% popular vote generated from almost 0% skill. Or, in other words, he received “(internet) celebrity status” for everything but his ability to make cool songs. Perhaps 0% is a bit harsh, but compared to any generic rapper’s technical proficiency, he’s dangerously low on the spectrum. That didn’t stop Lil B from becoming one of 2011’s most talked about rappers, for a lot of the wrong reasons, though. Not for nothing, but if rapping doesn’t pan out, B would make a great cult leader, TV evangelist, or pimp. (Emphasis on the latter.)
Mac Miller: Proved that a picket fence wrapper from the suburbs can gain respect & notoriety in today’s Hip Hop world without shock & awe tactics, eyebrow to ankle tattoos, or dumbed down techno-funk acid rap. While plenty of rappers at large may not subscribe to Miller’s recipe for success (especially Danny Brown), he’s debuted at number one on some “important” charts & received a handwritten cosign from the legendary DJ Premier.
Drake: Helped restore a little credit to the lightskinned rapper community by standing firm amidst the myriads & hordes of hate(rs) without
blushing budging. To illustrate how much of a boost he delivered to his fellow mulatto (or some–albino) MC’s, lightskinned contemporary Common recently dedicated an entire song to Drake, in a bad way. This may not bode well for the Beige Rappers Only Society, or “Bros” for short, but only time will tell.
The Air Jordan XI Concord: Reminded us why there aren’t ever any iPad/iPhone releases in urban areas. Amazingly enough, never have any occurrences of violence or civil unrest been reported while people wait for the midnight release of the latest robotic trinket. Yet, Jordan releases a limited edition basketball shoe & bullets fly. There’s an irony in that parallel somewhere, but if I have to point it out, that means this type of thing doesn’t interest you in the first place.
Nicki Minaj: Demonstrated that – unfortunately – female rappers need cleavage & anal cleft to accompany their rap songs, or else they will
probably be ignored. Now, while the comment section of this post can very well be filled with the names of two hundred upper echelon rapstresses, who are surely light years ahead of her skill-wise, the reason they’re not on Nicki’s level is because she’s willing to peddle soft porn, period. Tits > wits.
Mister Cee: For continuing to do what he did to make him who he is, no matter the backlash. While most Hip Hop personalities would’ve taken getting arrested for same sex relations in public as a blemish & disappeared, he stood his ground, even as the ‘Net tried to tear down the house that Cee built. Though he never said it aloud, Cee’s action was important to Hip Hop culture, even if you don’t agree with the lifestyle. At the very least, he “helped” whittle away a sizable chunk of Hip Hop prejudice.
Mercedes Maybach: Confirmed that top shelf brands, such as Timberland & Louis Vuitton, as well as mainstream America truly have zero desire to be in cahoots with Hiphopolis, free publicity be damned. That type of social stepchildism has always been the elephant in rap music’s room, but kudos to the company’s board of directors for cutting off the entire limb rather than nursing the infected wound.
Yung Berg: Berg’s mention comes for displaying valor far beyond that of the average Hip Hop punchline. Earlier this month he went live on radio & addressed every (alleged) industry story pertaining to himself, most of them to an embarrassingly entertaining tee. (There’s a chance that he’s in the running for the Realest Rapper of the Year after this.) During the interview he rattles off a list of his professional industry work experience, as well. When his time comes, this honorable mention will make total sense.
Feel free to add on to the list, people. There’s still 5 days left in the year…