Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday that isn't a national holiday, Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture.
This Week's Panel: Lil Flip, Hollywood FLOSS, Yves of The Niceguys, Chuckway, Renzo, Kyle Hubbard, Preemo and Brad Gilmore
Not Invited: Diddy, because he micromanages.
This Week's Prompt: The end of the year is rolling towards us pretty quickly, so let's go ahead and start getting into all of that Best Of... stuff. This week's question is simple: What were the two best things to happen to rap this year, and what was the one worst thing to happen?
There are no parameters for this one. It can be Houston-related if you like, but it doesn't have to be. Whatever you're feeling. And here we go...
Lil Flip: Bun B getting five mikes [from The Source for Trill OG] was good [and] Drake bringing singing/rap back [to] the game. The worst thing is people act like they forget Boosie.
Hollywood FLOSS: 1.) Internet & blogs being a source for unheard good music/ information source helping the underdog good music spread. 2.) Tie between Eminem making a great comeback and my album House of Dreams dropped on iTunes.
Worst thing was the BET awards embracing Antoine Dobson. They get the "C'mon, son" face.
Yves, The Niceguys: 1. Four stars were born (The Niceguys). 2. That rap survived another year. I don't think there is a more attacked genre. The worst two are trendy smoking and... I don't know. I really don't pay enough attention*.
Chuckway: The best thing to happen is Behind Tint Vol. 2 and Redd Alert dropping. The worst thing is all the homies we lost on the road to success.
Renzo: One of best things that happened for the underground Houston scene was that Purple Bastard and Ensane started the Turnin' Headz event. It brought artists out the woodwork that had the love for hip-hop but didn't have the venue. It sparked everything that's currently going on with me right now as an artist.
The other good thing that happened for the rap world is that Trae the Truth brought the "Fuck 97.9" parade to XXL.
A bad thing that happened was T.I. And DMX keep goin' to jail every day before they drop albums.
*This is a funny, ironic response, seeing as how we only asked for one worst thing.
Kyle Hubbard: The past few years have been really good for hip-hop and they have done a lot to bring the art back into play. Hip-hop has reached a point where substance is placed high above style, and that's not something that was happening at the beginning of the 00's.
One of the best things to happen in 2010 was the full-fledged return of Eminem. I know Relapse is technically the point he stepped back in the spotlight, but this year the real Eminem came back.
Recovery was an amazing album and it sounded like the same guy who came into the game and threw it for a huge loop about a decade earlier. So you can either call it the real return of Eminem or just say Recovery, but it was without a doubt a highlight of this year.
Another great moment of this year just kind of happened and that would be B.o.B.'s The Adventures of Bobby Ray being nominated for the "Best Rap Album" Grammy. Bobby is an artist I clung to as soon as I heard him, and I heard dude years ago; I'm talking about one-mixtape-in early.
The first time I heard him I told all my people he was going to be huge and I was proven right, commercially and critically. The reason this is good for hip-hop is that it shows other artists that you can take a big creative risk and mess with the formula and still come up with something that will be cherished and loved by the hip-hop community.
The worst thing to happen this year is the Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim beef. I mean, come on.
Preemo: I think the worst thing that happened to hip-hop this year was Auto-tune. Even though it's been around for a while, it seemed in 2010 it reached its climax (hopefully). It's really like nails on a chalkboard to me at this point.
I think the best thing to happen to hip-hop in 2010 was the emergence of a new batch of really dope artists. This new freshman class is really gaining a foothold in the game more than any year before. I think it's crucial to pass the torches to arms strong enough to carry them, and I think 2010 showed just that.
Oh yeah, and the release of Concrete Dreams this year helped to prove that.
Brad Gilmore: One thing this year that has been good for hip-hop is Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Friday program. It made hip-hop exciting again. 'Ye had us waiting for each track to drop.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
We were all like, "I wonder who he's going to have on the track this week?" or "Did you hear that Nicki Minaj verse on 'Monster'?!" He made a great program to initiate hip-hop conversations, and it was a very intelligent way to promote his album.
The second thing that I think was really good about 2010 is that Eminem finally got his recognition by major media outlets as, once again, a major player in the game. Like, MTV, who burned him in '09 on their Hottest MCs list, and now this year he claimed the No. 1 spot and BET for naming him "Best Rapper of the 21st Century."
I really do think that when Em went away for all those years people forgot about him, and even after Relapse dropped, people still weren't buzzing about him as much as they had in the past. It really wasn't till his "Forever" verse that hip-hop fans saw what a dope lyricist the man is, and I will put my neck out there by saying he is the best rapper that there ever has been.
But, as for the worst thing for hip hop in 2010, it's kind of hard to say. I think the worst album for 2010 is Lil Wayne's Rebirth, but aside from that hip-hop has had a very good year.