Why Kool G Rap Is The Undisputed

When 4,5,6 collaborator T-Ray declared that, “G Rap is the realest. Nas, Pun, Raekwon – all of them owe their styles to him. He’s like the Muddy Waters of hip-hop” – he summarized exactly why the Kool Genius of Rap continues to influence the style and technique of today’s finest rappers. By combining a wicked sense of humor (‘Operation CB’) with flawless brag rap credentials (‘Kool Is Back’) and a gift for engrossing narrative (‘Streets of New York’), G Rap proved to be far more versatile than his contemporaries during the eighties and light-years ahead of other gun-talk rappers through-out the early nineties.

His whole persona brings together street-level wit with the verbal aptitude of a bookworm, bridging the gap between high-brow lyrical nerds and head-nodding tough guys in a manner that has yet to be duplicated effectively – all with a lisp that would end the career of lesser mortals before it even began. ‘Men At Work’ stands as perhaps his finest moment in terms of pure vocal dexterity, as G stretches the limits of what any MC had done before him in terms of the use of metaphor and simile. Comparing his crew to clothes designers, chefs, high-rise architects and construction workers at various points in his whirlwind of verses, boasts of being, “Raw like sushi” seem primitive by comparison. Even when his focus became ‘guns and guineas’ later in his career, Kool G Rap continued to impress with complex multi-syllable rhyme schemes which would later become the blueprint for Big L and Big Punisher, while his dark wit (“I’m givin more flat lines to niggas than loose-leaf”) is a precursor to Jay-Z’s clever taunts (“like short sleeves I bear arms”). But all of that aside, Kool G’s true genius is the fact that he can make even the most ignorant, anti-social record sound like a masterpiece thanks to that impeccable flow.

Kool G Rap & Akinyele - ‘Break A Bitch Neck’ (original test-pressing version)1

Kool G Rap - ‘Men At Work’ (accapella)

Originally published in HHC #232 as part of the GOAT Rapper article.2

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  1. 1. Courtesy of Maze from Vinyl Addicts.[back]
  2. 2. Rejected titles for this piece: ‘Unkut Hearts G Rap’, ‘Stan Status’ and ‘Truly Yours 2009′.[back]

19 Comments so far
Leave a comment

GRAP=GOAT

Comment by BurDenDEr 05.11.09 @

Yes. Respect Due!

Comment by Frost Gamble 05.11.09 @

WHY G.RAP CANT STILL MAKE RELEVANT MUSIC ?
LIKE NAS SAID : WHERE THEY ARE NOW ?
NAS IS THE GREATEST !

KOOL G RAP, RAKIM, BIG DADDY KANE …

Comment by R 05.11.09 @

RA, KRS, KANE, G.RAP
hiphop’s first legends
NAS, PAC, JAYZ, BIGGIE
hiphop’s first icons
SCARFACE, UGK, TOO $HORT, E40
southnwestern legacy

Comment by R 05.11.09 @

go old head, go old head!!

Comment by nation 05.11.09 @

the genius is one of the few originators who
is still relevant and spittin nice.
dopeman ever since.

Comment by swordfish 05.11.09 @

And don’t forget ‘Train Robbery’, which is an outstanding mini-movie/song in its own right. I swear Biggie must have studied that song to learn how to create vivid storytelling rhymes.

Comment by Vincent 05.11.09 @

Everytime I hear that track “Blowin’ Up In The World” I am reminded of why Kool G is in my Top 4 slots.

check these lyrics from that track (from 4,5,6):
Back in the days was kinda crazy, kid I started out with nothin
Wasn’t livin like Thanksgiving, I was turkey without the stuffin
Sometimes I sweared to God that I was headed for the poorhouse
Say mama caught the drama, she would bleed tryin to feed 4 mouths
Wasn’t rockin Girbauds, I barely had clothes, and when it snowed
and temperatures droppin below zero, you know I froze
No CD’s, a black and white TV, a seat is a rubber tire
with a hanger for the antenna, turned channels with some pliers

Comment by CENZI 05.11.09 @

“Bridging the gap” – that’s funny, considering that wicked lisp G Rap has…

Comment by Dave 05.11.09 @

Men at work is on sum other shit, but my vote for the GOAT still goes to Tha BlastMaster.

Comment by CStyle 05.11.09 @

I love Kool G’s classics and all- but seriously, Unkut is about one post away from crediting this man for starting civilization… I mean, wow.

Comment by DANJAMANIA 05.11.09 @

KOOL G RAP MURDERED EVERYBODY ON THE SYMPHONY AND THAT KRAZY JOINT SHOW PRODUCED FOR BIG PUN…WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU COULD DO THE UNBELIEVABLE..THIS DUDES IS HAND DOWN #1 LYRICIST BACK THAN AND STILL IS IN MY BOOK!

Comment by DJ Spins 05.12.09 @

The last sentence says it all for me; no matter how ignorant the subject matter, that flow made you listen and love it. G Rap is def an all-time great, him Schooly D and Just-Ice were the East’s standard bearers of gully, with Bumpy Knucks and MOP carrying on the mantle. “Men at Work” is a fuckin’ masterpiece of lyricism (the full version), I still believe he doing a little lyrical sparring with Rakim in response to Ra’s “Lyrics of Fury”. G Rap did father alot of emcees styles, no question on that.

Comment by bronxbred 05.12.09 @

Yes boss! He’s nice but what was his latest edition again? Half A Klip – don’t wanna go against the grain but G left a lot to be desired. And he he just threw #1 with a bullet on at the end!?!?!

Comment by pig bodine 05.12.09 @

KOOL R RAP ARE THE LETTERS mix i did

Comment by E-MECCA 05.17.09 @

KOOL R RAP ARE THE LETTERS mix i did Kool G RAP Dj Premier Mix You Know What Time Is It (Teriyaki Boyz)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNGXdzPOfoE

Comment by E-MECCA 05.17.09 @

G Rap still spits great verses. He showed up as a guest on “The Extravaganza”, a Just Blaze production for Young Chris from the State Prop camp out in Philly, you know, Beanie Sigel’s click? He slaughtered it. G Rap is still burning things, he has some collabos with Styles P and UGK floating around that prove it as well. And his joint for Marco Polo of course.

Big Daddy Kane and Rakim are both still excellent too, but not to the same extent.

Robbie, would you ever do a post that contains your entire top 20 or 25 or 50, with two or three-sentence commentary for each? I wanna see the whole list. And the same from Noz.

Comment by Supreme Neck Protector 05.17.09 @

“Up up Up and away cause i don’t pay clown
Buck Buck Buck! Take that witchu on the way down!”

When we heard this we lost our minds! G Rap still is the biz! It’s a Demo on Cold Chillin was one of the first singles I bought TWO of! I rocked that funky drummer shit till ni99as was like, “Uhhh you got some Prince?!?!?!” LOL!

Comment by Qrush 05.20.09 @

BTW I know them lyrics are from Ill Street Blues but It’s a Demo takes me back to sweaty high school jams in the gym with big ass plastic tarps on the floor.

Comment by Qrush 05.20.09 @



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