April 27, 2007



"Greatest rapper alive." "Greatest rapper this quarter." These ideas exist to generate debate and pack out your uncle's comments box. But when I hear someone say they don't like Wayne, I don't know what they mean. You don't want to hear him say words? What does it mean to say he "can't rap"? People said about Nelly, too. What is that? (The answer has something to do with men fearing other men's sexual appeal, and a gendered reception of writerliness that looks for an aggressively non-melodic cadence to signal that writerliness. NYC's version of this, a hammering typewriter style that Nas helped to inscribe, is exactly what Southern rap undid.)

Wayne, right now—as Nelly once was, as Ice Cube once was, as Rakim was—is in the zone where every thing he says is totally compelling, no matter how daft. It's largely a voice issue but not only.

Posted by Sasha at April 27, 2007 12:44 PM | TrackBack