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February 22, 2013 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Sorry, but Kanye is the GOAT (slVV).
posted by box (80 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sorry, but Kanye is the PGOAT.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought this was going to be where they mashup a Kanye track with some youtube videos of goats yelling like humans.
posted by hellojed at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


GOAT? More like Ego-OAT
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought this was going to be about Earl Manigault. +1 for Kanye, though.
posted by Dokterrock at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2013


I agree that Kanye is probably the GOAT, if GOAT is an average of a rapper's quality across their entire career. His "slump" album, 808's, is actually quite good and is (as the article mentions) directly responsible for the success of Frank Ocean, et al.

That said, the blitheness with which Jay-Z was dismissed was a little off-putting. Turn-of-the-millennium Hova is responsible for the best hip-hop music of all time. Seriously, go back and listen to The Blueprint. It's a virtuosic work, the definitive cultural document of the late 1990s-early 2000's. Kanye's never produced anything as triumphal as Blueprint - though parts of MBDTF come close - and I doubt he ever will.
posted by downing street memo at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Previously.

I kid! He is pretty great. But maybe his greatness doesn't warrant the blithe writing off of other pretty great artists.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:31 PM on February 22, 2013


The Greatest Of All Time? The Flash.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:34 PM on February 22, 2013


Came for a Fallout 3 reference, left disappointed.
posted by xedrik at 1:38 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Greatest Of All Time? The Flash.

But he's not even a rapper.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2013


Heh, xedrik, that was my first thought, Fallout 3.

(The GOAT is the Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test, which your character takes as a youngster in his or her Vault; it's part of character generation, and is fairly amusing.)
posted by Malor at 1:47 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Charlie Brown is the GOAT.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:50 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


But he's not even a rapper.

Exactly.
posted by The World Famous at 1:52 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously, go back and listen to The Blueprint. It's a virtuosic work, the definitive cultural document of the late 1990s-early 2000's.

I was listening to it last night as I worked out. What really stuck out this time around: Holy God, "The Takeover" is brutal.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:55 PM on February 22, 2013


I kid! He is pretty great.


*narrows eyes* -- I see what you did there.
posted by blurker at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought he was the GYFSH
posted by mannequito at 2:11 PM on February 22, 2013


Maybe, but I'm just going to leave this here
posted by Ad hominem at 2:13 PM on February 22, 2013


I thought Stevie Nicks was the GOAT.
posted by sendai sleep master at 2:15 PM on February 22, 2013


That said, the blitheness with which Jay-Z was dismissed was a little off-putting.

I think he's dismissing Jay-Z in the same way that someone who's only been writing about movies for the last few decades would dismiss Citizen Kane as not a very good movie. When he says that Jay-Z's early albums are not big A art, I think he's merely showing his preference for the genre-bending stuff that Kanye has produced.

I also mostly agree with him, but I've always preferred the pop-melodic side of hip-hop to the technical aspects of rapping, and I think in that vein, Kanye definitely blows Jay-Z out of the water.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


And, considering we were born a few minutes after hip-hop was and we've been writing about it for over a decade, we feel qualified to say. So let's say it again: Kanye is the GOAT.

Wow, you've been writing about hip-hop since 2003, when Kanye's first singles were dropping on the hype run-up to his first album?

The only other people in your discussion are Biggie and Outkast?

This makes Radiohead fans seem level-headed.
posted by lkc at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also mostly agree with him, but I've always preferred the pop-melodic side of hip-hop to the technical aspects of rapping

I love "Flashing Lights" but this -

Till I get flashed by the paparazzi
Damn, these niggas got me,
I hate these niggas more than the Nazis
-

This just makes me cringe.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:24 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


(And yes, we're still waiting on that critical reevaluation of T-Pain)

OK, well, here goes. As said by felix betachat on this very site, "autotune is the sound of emotional alienation in the 21st century". It's sure as hell why Kanye used it all over 808s. Autotune makes you sound like a robot. It literally makes you sound like you are alienated from humanity.

So, T-Pain. Let's look at a couple of his songs and think about them in context of constant emotional alienation. Buy U a Drank is a fine example. What is the song about? It's about wanting badly to meet a woman in a club and getting increasingly desperate in your empty boasts. Listen carefully to the lyrics. T-Pain never actually does anything, he just tells some poor woman what his plans for her are. Yung Joc scores in his verse, but T-Pain never does, and never gets close. The woman responds to Yung Joc with flirting and such, but T-Pain's verses never show the woman he's talking to responding in any positive way. For God's sake, this song has the line, "Let's get drunk and forget what we did." It's a horribly sad tale of a desperate man who is clinging to the image of himself as a player in order to combat his loneliness.

Maybe you think that's a bit of a stretch. For my money, the saddest T-Pain song is I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper). Again, T-Pain is trapped in a world where he can only stand around mooning over women who he'll never have any sort of relationship with. In this case, it's even worse because he's fallen in love with someone who's paid to pretend to like him. It's pathetic really. Even the stripper knows that, because when he tells her, she laughs at him. Could there be anything more tragic than having someone laugh right in your face after you profess your love for them? Even the other rappers on this track seem pretty ashamed of their relationship with strippers in general (well, not R. Kelly, but that's because he's on a whole other level), because falling in love with strippers is a terrible, terrible idea if you only know them in a work context where, again, their job is pretending to like you so you'll give them better tips. I seriously have cried listening to this song.

If you're still not convinced that T-Pain's oeuvre is a long tale of misery, loneliness, and pain (seriously, right there in his damn name), 5 O'Clock might be downtempo enough to let you see what I'm getting at. These people are not in a happy relationship. They can't communicate what they want to each other, if they even know what that is. They slink back to darkened rooms late at night and huddle together for a semblance of companionship. They're too depressing and sad to be called fuckbuddies. Fuckquaintances? Anyway, T-Pain is once again drifting through the world trying to put on a brave face to hide his well of inner turmoil, because that's what he does, and one of the ways you can tell is because he's very consciously made his voice into something that is strange and unnatural, masking his actual voice with layers of weird computer mumbojumbo so that you can't quite see the actual emotions inside.
posted by Copronymus at 2:26 PM on February 22, 2013 [22 favorites]


Tracy Jordan is the EGOT.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:27 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


And for the record (in all senses of the word), there is still one and only one GOAT.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:29 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


What really stuck out this time around: Holy God, "The Takeover" is brutal.
History on WIkipedia

Jay-Z -- The Takeover
Nas -- Stillmatic Freestyle
Jay-Z -- Supa Ugly
Nas -- Ether

Jay-Z sounding shaky on Hot 97 after hearing Ether.

Also worth noting that Jay-Z's mom made him apologize for Supa Ugly. This was parodied on The Boondocks in the f-grandad episode.
posted by lkc at 2:38 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well. I'll say one thing for the article. It made me listen to Deja Vu again. Here is Another Version of the first verse, in case you skipped the first link. It is pretty clear that without Nas we would have no The Blueprint. Even if you discount Nas's beef with Jay, The Blueprint was a Nas dis album. Nas clearly inspired Jay to reach new heights. Interesting also that Kanye himself bears some responsibility for The Blueprint.

Fuck it. I'll link it again. Nas Deja Vu. And this was never even released.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:44 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I Knew You Were a Goat When You Walked In
posted by bicyclefish at 2:50 PM on February 22, 2013


Ad Hominem:
Huh. Haven't heard that one. The first verse was his verse from Verbal Intercourse on Cuban Linx (which was also the first appearance on a Wu-Album by a non-Wu affiliate).

Also of note: Nas was (arguably) the first artist affected by the proliferation of MP3s. I am / Nastradamus was supposed to be a double album, which was then split into two releases. Widespread bootlegging and mp3 leaks caused the label to shelve the majority of the release, and he recorded a new version of Nastradamus (the one Jay refers to as 'doo' in the takeover) in ~6 weeks time. The shelved tracks were later released as "The Lost Tapes", which came in his second career highlight with Stillmatic/Lost Tapes/God's Son, which coincided with the Jay-Z feud, and his mothers death.
posted by lkc at 2:51 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


weirdly, just two days ago, i decided to stop judging kanye west on his radio hits (some great, some less so) and public antics, and finally listen to something of his other than dark twisted fantasy (good, but i wasn't as omg blown away as most everyone else). i had heard some here and there on a variety of mashups (westsounds by lushlife most notably) and was impressed, so i knew he deserved his hype, just wasn't sure if it was going to grab me. i put in the college drop out and my mind was fucking blown.

i'm not sure about the easy dismissals of other artists, and everyone is going to have different criteria for GOAT, but kanye is absolutely damn good, better than a lot of people give him credit for, and that includes the people who love him.
posted by nadawi at 2:54 PM on February 22, 2013


Deja Vu was on an unreleased demo and he did the first verse on Verbal Intercourse, I linked both :)
posted by Ad hominem at 2:55 PM on February 22, 2013


Has anyone seen Kanye and Prince in the same room?
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:13 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've been reminding people for years that Kanye has at least as much actual talent as perceived egotism. It just became this weird meme among people who had no earthly clue who he was that Kanye was this huge asshole, and oh, also he might be involved in some kind of rap music or something.
posted by Nomiconic at 3:19 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah Kanye's good. Just increasingly esoteric I think. He's actually doing songs about the Illuminati now. The Morning
posted by Ad hominem at 3:35 PM on February 22, 2013


He's actually doing songs about the Illuminati now.

At this point in pop culture, songs about the Illuminati are actually a bit played out, aren't they?
posted by The World Famous at 3:43 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well the rap conspiracy theory was that he and Jay-Z are in the illuminati, so it is like it came full circle.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:49 PM on February 22, 2013


Well the rap conspiracy theory was that he and Jay-Z are in the illuminati, so it is like it came full circle.

Am I correct in assuming that this "conspiracy theory" was merely the same sort of metaphorical puffery as when rappers give themselves names taken from famous criminals - such that Jay-Z and Kanye are alleged to be in the Illuminati in the same way that Rick Ross is alleged to actually be Rick Ross and Nas is alleged to be Pablo Escobar? Or are there actually people in the real world who actually think, for reals, that Kanye and Jay-Z are actually, for realisies, members of the Illuminati?
posted by The World Famous at 3:54 PM on February 22, 2013


Yes, there are absolutely people who think that!

Kanye's never produced anything as triumphal as Blueprint - though parts of MBDTF come close - and I doubt he ever will.

Ad hominem alluded to this above, but it bears repeating: Kanye literally did produce The Blueprint. No, not the whole thing, but a few key tracks: Takeover, Heart of the City, Izzo and Never Change. Actually just about everything Jay-Z has done in the last decade has at least a whiff of Kanye on it. In the equation for calculating the GOAT that ought to be worth something.
posted by Lorin at 4:18 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Five Percent, y'all!
posted by symbioid at 4:19 PM on February 22, 2013


Ghostface.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:20 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kanye literally did produce The Blueprint. No, not the whole thing, but a few key tracks: Takeover, Heart of the City, Izzo and Never Change.

"Produced" in what sense?
posted by The World Famous at 4:23 PM on February 22, 2013


Yeah. There are. For one, Conspiracy theories, belief in secret societies and all kinds of pseudo-occultism has always been part of rap. Here is a street interview with Jazo, Jay-Z's "mentor", calling out Jay-z as a Mason (and gay). Here he is explaining the Illuminati.

There are Anti-Illuminati rappers, Remember Poor Righteous Teachers? Here is Wise Intelligent. His position is that Jay-Z and Kanye are pawns, but the Illuminati is real!

Jay-Z isn't the only one, Professor Griff of Public Enemy claims Quincy Jones is a member, I won't link his videos, they are virulently homophobic.

It isn't very far beneath the surface or hard to find. Add to that the fact that Jay-Z and Kanye have clearly played it up.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:28 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Somebody needs to do an epic rap concept double album based on Foucault's Pendulum.
posted by The World Famous at 4:32 PM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Produced" in what sense?

In the sense that he produced those actual beats, but I also get the impression there was a real symbiosis between him, Jay-Z and fellow producers Just Blaze and Bink that made that album great.
posted by Lorin at 4:34 PM on February 22, 2013


Also - sorry, but Kool Keith in all his guises is the GOAT.
posted by symbioid at 4:35 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


As for ways Kanye and Jayz manipulate the perception.
Rocawear Masters of the craft clothing.
Kanye's baphomet shirt.

They are savvy enough to know how conspiracy minded hip hop fans will interpret them.

Other rappers do it too. Check out the "Craft" hat in Murda Bizness

It isn't like I'm the only one who notices this stuff, and I think they are fucking around to cause talk amongst certain rap fans.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:03 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It isn't like I'm the only one who notices this stuff, and I think they are fucking around to cause talk amongst certain rap fans.

I'd noticed it, but just assumed it was like the pentagrams on Mötley Crüe stuff, not like anyone with half a lick of sense actually believed that Jay-Z and Kanye actively and openly using those symbols were actually part of a secret society (because it ain't exactly a secret when you put in on your shirt and flash the symbol in a photo op, now, is it?).
posted by The World Famous at 5:13 PM on February 22, 2013


Of course, maybe they're being super sneaky by hiding in plain sight . . .
posted by The World Famous at 5:17 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess it's one of those things. When you believe in a conspiracy, everything is evidence.

Some people thought Mötley Crüe were satanists too.

Funnily enough, there is apparently Backmasking on Dj Danger Mouse's Grey Album, the Jay-Z Beatles mashup.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:33 PM on February 22, 2013


I love the hell out of this random youtube video claiming to unmask the secret illuminati codez in Jay-Z and Kanye (and Nas). Kanye and Jay-Z have started to address this head on, generally sort of playing it up, but it really seems like it originated from a genuine lunatic conspiracy theory fringe. This same conspiracy story has claimed Lady Gaga too.

People seem to take it seriously, though. Ad hominem mentioned Wise Intelligent and Griff, but MC Hammer made a diss track about it charging that Jay-Z was a Satanist.
posted by chrchr at 5:44 PM on February 22, 2013


Prodigy from Mobb Deep also Takes it pretty seriously his song Illuminati is kinda a paranoiac anthem. Later sampled by Jay-Z.

I Really do need a hobby.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:54 PM on February 22, 2013


I was listening to it last night as I worked out. What really stuck out this time around: Holy God, "The Takeover" is brutal.

Yeah. I wanted to write something about "The Takeover", typed the word "brutal", decided that didn't quite fit and that I didn't really have time a few hours ago to do the track justice. But anyway. "The Takeover" is a moment, man. I've probably listened to The Blueprint, on average, once a month since I "discovered" it in college 7 or 8 years ago. And every time I hear "The Takeover", I'm left speechless.

The Nas-focused verse of the song is precisely 36 lines, 300 words. Anyone who doubts the expressive power of the English language should take a look: with such brevity, Jay-Z absolutely vivisects Nas' entire life and career. He threatens to kill his rival, and calls him a gay sellout. Denigrates his rap skills, claims that he was outclassed on his own song "Oochie Wally" by his bodyguard (an aspiring rapper). Calls him a fake thug in my favorite couplet of the verse:
I showed you your first Tec, on tour with Large Professor
Then I heard your album bout your Tec on the dresser
Then Jay-Z works back to Nas' musical skills. The entire beef began over Jay-Z's sampling a line from Nas' "The World is Yours", an act that Nas took exception to; Jay-Z retorts:
I sampled your voice, you was using it wrong
You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song (ed. note: !!!!!!!)
He claims Nas has phoned in his latest work, giving him a "one hot album every 10 year average". And then, in the grand finale (and in reference to a verse on "Super Ugly"), taunts Nas with the fact that he had a sexual relationship with the mother of Nas' child.

Can you imagine this? If someone you knew - even an enemy - lashed out with such force at you? Now imagine that your enemy will become the most popular rapper in the world, and this is the second track of the best album he'll ever create.

Honestly, it's almost theatrical. Jay-Z's position as the world's best rapper was far from assured at this point. Nas had had a few bad albums but wasn't considered washed up; Outcast ruled the airwaves with "Bombs over Baghdad" and "Ms. Jackson".

"The Takeover" is like the moment in a horror or superhero film where the villain makes clear his resplendent malevolence with an act of stupefying, precise, exacting, horrifying evil. Nas never came back from this verse. Five years later he actually signed with Def Jam, of which Jay-Z was then president; people interpret this as the "end of the beef" but it was actually Nas' acknowledgement of defeat and the moment he became a mere vassal to a much greater power.

There's a point to all this. I have to amend my earlier comment. If rap is a performing art, and the performance arts are about human acts of emotive expression, Jay-Z is the GOAT. His range is incredible, from braggadocio to sensitivity to swagger to insecurity to introspection to, as you can see above, unrestrained evil. Two years after releasing this brutal track he put out The Black Album - a 14-track victory lap - and "retired", thus beginning yet another transformation, this time to friend of the president, wife of the world's best pop star, owner of the Nets, etc.

Kanye is good, and at times, amazing. But he's got one speed: self-conscious asshole. That's why he can't be the GOAT.
posted by downing street memo at 6:02 PM on February 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Honestly I don't know much of Kanye's music, but everything that I do know I think is great. Can't Tell Me Nothing, Flashing Lights, Gold Digger - I can happily listen to any of these songs many times in a row, and I can't get them out of my head for like a week after hearing them.

The Spike Jonze short film We Were Once a Fairy Tale, prominently featuring Kanye, is pretty great too.

And the George Bush thing: Fuck yeah.
posted by Flunkie at 6:09 PM on February 22, 2013



I sampled your voice, you was using it wrong
You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song (ed. note: !!!!!!!)


That ain't even it, man. Next Jay-Z says that Nas was getting ripped off on his publishing. Jay-Z charges that Nas isn't even getting paid for his own music.


And you ain't get a coin, n*, you was getting fucked then
I know who I paid, god - Serchlite publishing


. . . which is devastating in a rap mythoverse obsessed with who can be the biggest mogul.
posted by chrchr at 6:13 PM on February 22, 2013


Kanye literally did produce The Blueprint. No, not the whole thing, but a few key tracks: Takeover, Heart of the City, Izzo and Never Change.

Yeah, for some reason I always forget this. And Kanye's production on "Takeover" is absolutely instrumental: the choice of "Five to One" gives the track a vaguely martial feel. The part of the Nas verse where Jay-Z does the math on his career ("nigga, I can divide") plus the marching of the heavy fuzz bass makes the whole thing feel like precision bombing. I've never fought in a war but I can imagine this is what it's like for any army unlucky enough to face the American one: the slow, mathematical uncertainty of your own inevitable demise.

So yeah, I'll give Kanye credit for Jay-Z's later career. But Timbaland is a great producer, too.
posted by downing street memo at 6:16 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the article's phrasing it as "greatest hip-hop artist of all time" as opposed to "greatest rapper" is significant. Because I don't disagree with anything being said about Jay-Z here, and IMO Kanye could only hope to rate in a similar sort of equation if his production discography was factored in. Based on sheer writing/MCing ability he doesn't touch Jay-Z.
posted by Lorin at 6:32 PM on February 22, 2013


Anyways, it would have made a more convincing argument if they talked about his tremendous influence as a producer.
posted by Lorin at 6:33 PM on February 22, 2013


Everyone else online is arguing about Nas and Tupac and metafilter is talking about Baphomet. I love it.

This article needs to be about 7 more pages to convince me of anything other than that this guy likes Kanye. I also like Kanye, but there are several versions of this that could be about Jay-Z, Aceyalone, KRS-1, Eminem, or (really!) Snoop Dog.

Lorin: Yeah I felt that was a strong part of the equation: Good rapper, better producer, amazing Kanye-r.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:35 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everyone else online is arguing about Nas

Ha, I brought up Nas way before I brought up baphomet.

TBH I think Ether is a better dis track than Takeover.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:43 PM on February 22, 2013


My inability to connect with Nas for whatever reason relates to why I'm more likely to put on Kanye than Jay-Z: there's just something about his writing that absolutely tickles me like no other rapper. For all the talk about Nicki Minaj's verse on Monster, the best bit of the track is all Kanye. Whatever I wanna do, gosh, it’s cool now.
posted by Lorin at 6:57 PM on February 22, 2013


Prodigy from Mobb Deep also Takes it pretty seriously

Prodigy believes all kinds of interesting things. I keep hoping to see Nathan Rabin from the AV Club do a Silly Little Showbiz Book Club about his autobiography, My Infamous Life.
posted by box at 7:05 PM on February 22, 2013


And you ain't get a coin, n*, you was getting fucked then
I know who I paid, god - Serchlite publishing

That's MC Serch from 3rd Bass
posted by Ad hominem at 7:12 PM on February 22, 2013


Serch put Nas on before he dropped the 'Nasty' (and then Big L's 'Devil's Son' did 'I'm wavin' automatic guns at nuns' like Jay did 'I'm out for presidents to represent me').
posted by box at 7:53 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


They also had MF Doom on The Gasface when he was Zev Love X.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:43 PM on February 22, 2013


What I love about Kanye West is the feeling I get that if I, a white dude rapidly approaching the hipness event horizon, past which questions of my cultural relevancy will be all but moot, were in a room with him, Kanye West, the Greatest Of All Time, I could tell him I didn't much like his music, and it would really bother him.
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:05 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Any argument for Jigga needs to rest on Reasonable Doubt, not The Blueprint.

That said, Nas is still better than J, and I have been making this argument in Kayne's favor for two years. At this point, from a creativity standpoint no one else come close.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 9:29 PM on February 22, 2013


Is the Stillmatic Freestyle the same beat as Hit Um Up?

That is pretty brazen.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 9:32 PM on February 22, 2013


It was originally from Paid In Full
posted by Ad hominem at 9:50 PM on February 22, 2013


Fair enough, but given what ended up happening to Pac and Big, I thought that was an especially provocative choice.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 9:55 PM on February 22, 2013


De La Soul.

Every argument this article makes for Kanye's greatness as an artist could be said doubly for De La. The introspection and vulnerability, the constant re-invention, the massive influence on the artform, the skill and artistry. The way they toyed with, re-imagined, criticized and celebrated the conventions of hip hop is seen in the work of any other artist you might consider as being in that top spot. From The hardest gangsta rap the most indie backpacker, De La's fingerprints are still all over the genre. Macklemore's "Thrift shop" has been sitting atop the Billboard charts for the past month. It's basically a De La song that wouldn't be out of place on 3 feet High and Rising, except for that 24 year gap. In a genre that isn't known for longevity where everything that isn't cutting edge fresh is quickly discarded, that gets a strong nod for me. Time may prove me wrong, but I just don't see Kanye's music being as influential 20 years from now as De La's still is to this day.

And Outkast is a very close second in my book. Like photo-finish close. Their innovation and artistry is mind-blowing. Their albums just keep getting better with time. Seriously, go check out Aquemini again, or Stankonia. And they wrote the best pure pop song of the past 20 years.

And say what you will about The Takeover but in hip hop slang ,"Ether" is now a verb. As in somebody getting ethered, meaning verbally knocked the fuck out.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:20 PM on February 22, 2013


. . . which is devastating in a rap mythoverse obsessed with who can be the biggest mogul.
posted by chrchr at 6:13 PM on February 22


"For real: A hustler purchased my reins
niggas throwin dirt on my name"
Nas -- One Mic

De La Soul. (... and Outkast ...)
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:20 PM on February 22


I think you mean Prince Paul.

Outkast/Goodie Mob were similarly backed by Organized Noise.

Not disparaging either group, but both were talented high school rappers who were made a group by talented producers.

Same thing with Illmatic: Nas (Nasir Jones) was a crazy talented rapping kid, but he was put in a studio with Serch, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Large Professor, and L.E.S. and made a classic (and comparatively short) album.

Jay-Z's first video was in 1990, with The Jaz. 5 years before Reasonable Doubt, and 11 years before The Blueprint.

Kanye got his break with _that_ album and found a lot of commercial success from that album. I don't care for his music, but I think he is talented and certainly can make music that sells.

Greatest in _hip-hop_? Of _all_ _time_?

He is a good producer, but no mention of Dr. Dre in the article?
Seriously, the guy brought to mainstream Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Snoop Lion (nee Dogg), Tupac, Eminem, 50-Cent, XZibit, The Game, even recently Kendrick Lamar.
(Yes, many of them had albums and followings before Dre, but did not get crazy pop appeal until after getting his production imprint).

'Dismissive' doesn't even begin to describe this.

Ghostface.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:20 PM on February 22


Also - sorry, but Kool Keith in all his guises is the GOAT.
posted by symbioid at 4:35 PM on February 22


You're both right.
posted by lkc at 12:52 AM on February 23, 2013


DJ SCREW
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:20 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hell, I'll take Pimp C (RIP, sir) of UGK over Kanya twelve times out of ten.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:21 AM on February 23, 2013


What I love about Kanye West is the feeling I get that if I, a white dude rapidly approaching the hipness event horizon, past which questions of my cultural relevancy will be all but moot, were in a room with him, Kanye West, the Greatest Of All Time, I could tell him I didn't much like his music, and it would really bother him.

This is what I don't get about complaints about Kanye's ego; it's so clearly a mask to hide someone with deep self-esteem problems, and it's not even a good mask. He's a guy who spends way too much time rapping about his deep inner pain to have a puffed up ego that's anything more than tissue paper thing.

There's this Aziz Ansari stand up bit about how Aziz introduced his 18 year old cousin to Kanye West, and his cousin really liked the song "Amazing" so Aziz forwards an e-mail from his cousin about the song to Kanye. Kanye's response, as given by Aziz, is "YAY! New fan! More people that don't hate me!" Now, I'm guessing the words aren't actually what he said, but the attitude of caring deeply about whether or not an 18 year old Indian kid in Georgia likes his music seems very Kanye.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:21 AM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't know if he is the GOAT, because that's just a popularity contest since music is fundamentally preference-based. But, that said, I've been in a major Kanye West phase ever since Late Registration and am still obsessed with his music.
posted by scunning at 9:54 AM on February 23, 2013


I think you mean Prince Paul.

Outkast/Goodie Mob were similarly backed by Organized Noise.

Not disparaging either group, but both were talented high school rappers who were made a group by talented producers.

Same thing with Illmatic: Nas (Nasir Jones) was a crazy talented rapping kid, but he was put in a studio with Serch, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Large Professor, and L.E.S. and made a classic (and comparatively short) album.


No, I meant De la Soul. I'm aware of Prince Paul's contribution. The only reason I even knew about De La in the first place is because I was a big Stetsasonic fan and heard he had a new side project. It's well documented that the work they did together was afully a collaborative effort, and Prince Paul was basically the 4th member of De La Soul. The concept behind "De La Soul is Dead" wasn't Prince Paul telling them what to do, it was the group as a whole making a meta-commentary on their own fame and place in the world of hip hop. Nobody in hip-hop had really stepped so far outside of themselves to that degree. For a genre that's mostly people talking about themselves, Hip hip didn't become fully self-aware until De La.

Same goes for Outkast. The production of Organized Nioze is ahuge part of the Outkast sound. But the full artistic statement of the group is very much Big Boi and Andre. That combination of street cred and experimentation and the interplay between the two is what allowed them to do all that they did. And "Hey Ya" was all Andre.

But it's all a matter of opinion. I can totally dig what you're saying about Dr. Dre It's impossible to have this conversation without throwing his career into the mix. Personally I just don't see him as having an artistic vision outside of "I make hits".
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:37 PM on February 23, 2013


I hear ya, billyfleetwood, I think we're on the same side on this.

I'm not even a Dre fan, but this article is just a linkbait troll, pretty much all the arguments are strawmen and it comes off as smug preening fanboy-ish bullshit. He defines his own characteristics of "GOAT" that match the things he likes about Kanye, sets up a bunch of strawman arguments and then has a cavalier condescending attitude to anyone who might think otherwise.
posted by lkc at 1:07 PM on February 23, 2013


I've known goats. Goats are friends of mine. Kanye is no goat.

This is The GOAT.

Kanye is a douchebag.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:26 PM on February 23, 2013


Kanye West Blasts MTV's 'Hottest MC List'
posted by Lorin at 7:43 AM on March 7, 2013


I JUST WANTED TO TELL EVERYBODY I GAVE SWAY HIS FIRST TV. AND HE NEEDS TO REMEMBER THAT. [Hangs up.]
posted by box at 6:07 AM on March 8, 2013


They just can't handle Kanye in a kilt.
posted by Lorin at 9:30 AM on March 8, 2013


Hell, I'll take Pimp C (RIP, sir) of UGK over Kanya twelve times out of ten.

Wait. Is calling Kanye a cagna a thing? Because it totally should be.
posted by The World Famous at 1:42 PM on March 8, 2013


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