The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: Renzo
This Week's Subject(s): Three most overrated, underrated and perfectly rated rappers today.
Ask A Rapper: You know what we've been thinking about a lot lately? Ratedness. What we mean is, in hip-hop, especially writing about hip-hop, MCs are rated (or ranked) just about every day. Here's what we want you to do: Identify three rappers that are overrated, three rappers that are underrated and three rappers that are perfectly rated, i.e., their fame is commensurate with their talent level.
Extra credit if you can squeeze some Houston guys in there. And give us a brief reason why you've ranked them as such. Ready? Great. And we're off:
Young Jeezy: I think his subject matter and delivery are very repetitive and one-dimensional. I think he has a very distinctive place in the rap game, but I would like to see more ground covered before he's mentioned as much as he is.
Lil Wayne: I think he should definitely get Hustler of the Year, but I don't think his verses are top of the line quality; they tend to sound very similar, but I guess for the Swag Generation that's great. Not for my ears though.
Andre 3000: I think his creativity is unmatched but I would not go as far to say that he is one of the best rappers of all time (He's in everybody I know's list of the best). I would want to hear a better delivery and more lyricism in order for him to be there. Great storyteller though.
Chalie Boy: It may be random, but I always thought he was creative and able to deliver some nice bars. He is definitely a classic Texan to the fullest, so his subject matter has been repetitive in my experience. I think he is diverse enough of an artist to switch up at any time.
Redman: Crazy delivery, lyricism and creativity. I have been impressed by every verse I have heard from him.
The old Yungstar: I have no idea what he is doing now, but I remember being impressed by his ability to squeeze in the craziest stuff in a verse; seemed very sporadic and effortless. Once you get passed the way he speaks, I think he has a really good rapping style.
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Jay-Z: He's the man. Verses, delivery, subject matter, business and choosing his woman.
Scarface: I think he has the respect of every rapper. He pioneered the creativity in Houston and for the South as a whole. Storytelling and unique delivery make him stand at the forefront
Z-Ro: If you listen to his catalog, you will definitely see why people follow his music. His songs make sense and stick to the subject. His songwriting skills are very different and cannot be duplicated. Easy to see why he's one of the best out of Houston.
Renzo performs at Bohemeo's, 708 Telephone Rd. # E, Thursday, November 4.