Politics As Usual: You Came Up

Posted On Friday, June 7, 2013

I chop it up about hip hop on a daily basis with a RACK of folk. And whether it's on twitter, facebook, the cell or just chillin' in the hoods of SE, nobody makes my brain work harder then my brother Ev. When I say that me and my dude go at it and push each other to think and look at the game in different ways would be an understatement. And no matter how long we go back and forth, I love those convos because I know it's always giving me fresh eyes on the culture and music I love. So last week we were chopping it up about something and somehow, someway (one of my fave Organized jawns BTW) we got on the topic of MC's who were aiight when they first dropped first but later in the game, they miraculously came up and ended up being dope. So of course ya'll know I had to come up with a list of my top 5 MC's who came up so check 'em out.

#5 - The Game

The funniest thing about this pick is I know mad people who are gonna be like "yo, Game was always nice son" (no he wasn't) and then there's gonna be a rack of people who are gonna be like "yo, Game never got better." (yes he did) When Game 1st dropped I was a 'lil confused as to why Dre signed this dude to Aftermath. I mean, there was NO ONE else in all of Cali who was better then The Game? For a sec, I actually thought money was Dre's illigitamate son and that's the reason why he signed him. Cause let's be real, when the Documentary dropped 3 things made that album what it was (Dre's cosign, 50's cosign and the group of A list producers Dre brought in) and none of those 3 things had nuthin' to do with The Game. Now dude wasn't Group Home Malachi wack  but dude's rap game ain't no where near the regular Dre cosigns of Ice Cube, D.O.C., Snoop, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. So when you put Game's name against that list, I kinda feel where dudes are coming from who feel like Game never got better but trust me, he did. Now I'm not saying he's getting a hip hop quotable anytime soon but trust, Game is a better MC then he was when he first dropped.

#4 - Havoc

Since the ENTIRE hip hop community likes to act like Mobb Deep didn't have an album out before "The Infamous"...I'll join in and play too. But before I do, I will tell you this about that Mobb album, "that never came out" and that's there's no way you'd ever think Hav would end up being a solid MC. Even during those "Infamous" days, I felt like Prodigy was literally that, a hip hop prodigy out there. And standing next to P, I never thought Hav couldn't hold his on the mic but I always looked at him as a producer who rapped too.  But as time went on, it seemed like Hav started getting just as nice as P. In fact I've been in MAD debates with Queens cats saying that Hav actually got nicer then P by the end of the Mobb's career. (yeah, their career is over...ya'll need to come to grips with that one) The only thing with Hav was dude was like making a player on NBA 2K13. Since you only get a certain amount of points to make your player, you can't have him be the best at everything so you may have more points leaning towards him being a scorer or distributor, etc. So Hav must've used his points towards being nicer on the mic which explains why money's beats started sounding like trash and Alchemist had to swoop in and save the dun community.

#3 - Malik B 

I never thought that Malik was wack or nuthin' like that but I thought on "Do you Want More?" that Thought just seemed to be LIGHT YEARS ahead of Malik. I remember cats asking me why I wasn't really feeling The Roots when they 1st dropped and I used to always quote Malik's line from "Proceed" "and I can make a nerd, say he's superb" as one of the many reasons why I wasn't feeling them. Needless to say that by the time "Illadelph Halflife" dropped Malik got a hell of a lot nicer on the mic to the point that his solo song "No Great Pretender" is my fave song off that 5 mic album (yeah, "Illadelph" is a classic in my eyes) and "The Spark" ("I walk around a little edgy already") is probably my 2nd fave song off "Things Fall Apart" only behind "You Got Me." Damn, I wish Thought or Quest would reach out to this dude and get him back in the fold.

#2 - Phife Dawg 

Cats who know me, know I wasn't really feeling Tribe when they 1st dropped. I didn't know what the hell "I Left My Wallet In El Sugundo" was about and I didn't know why these cats were dressing like the poor thrift store version of De La and I damn sure didn't know what Phife or Jarobi did. Of course I loved "Bonita Applebum" and the "Can I Kick It?" remix (with the Baby Huey break) but on a whole Tribe was just aiight in my eyes. And to be honest, I was feeling the JB's and De La MUCH more then these dudes. Another thing, I never got was why it was 4 dudes in this group when it looked like only 2 of them did something. I knew Ali was the DJ and I figured he made the beats and I knew Tip was the MC but again, why were these other 2 cats Phife and Jarobi in the group? Well, by the time "The Low End Theory" dropped we ALL knew why Phife was in the group...but does ANYONE to this day know why Jarobi was in the group?   

#1 - Fat Joe 

Now, I LOVED the beat to "Flow Joe" but the puerto rican dude rapping? Now that was another story. Dude was the worst. I remember hearing stories that Joe was really a gangster and he was about to go to jail and to keep him out Diamond and Lord Finesse got him a deal, which to me explained why dude sounded like reading is fundamental on the mic. But when "Jealous One's Envy" dropped...man, I was like what rap school did this dude go to? When you hear Joe on "Flow Joe" and then hear him on the Primo remix of "Shit Is Real" it sounds like two TOTALLY different cats rhyming. Trust...Joe mos def came up and deserves the #1 spot on this list.

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