Many cynical rap fans complain that today’s new rapper dudes are bufoonish clowns and a disgrace to hip-hop, but perhaps we should be more appreciative of these attempts to inject a little humor into the post-Fat Boys rap landscape. Here are eight rapper’s who are no joke:
Perhaps the driest MC of all time. There ain’t a funny bone in this dude’s body, as he has declared on virtually every record since his debut. ‘I Ain’t No Joke’? Damn skippy! The 7th Letter was Stone Cold before Steve Austin ever jumped off a turnbuckle, and when he reminded you that, “Nobody’s smiling” you understood immediately. It’s probably not advisable to be messing with whoopee cushions and trick gum while you’re astral traveling, but the world is also a poorer place knowing that Rakim with never make a song about pulling the head off a kid’s Ninja Turtle for interrupting some MILF time.
2. Professor Griff.
It was important that Public Enemy’s Minister of Information took his role a serious as a heart attack – who else was going to counter Flav‘s Coke and a Smile antics? To his credit, Griff tried his hand at one-liners in 1989 – unfortunately his entire repertoire consisted of inflammatory Jewish jokes. After having to take a break from his duties with then PE, Griff did what any ex-leader of the S1W‘s does and flew to Miami to work as a bouncer at titty bars. In between shifts, he also recorded a couple of LP’s for Luke before returning to the fold with Chuck and co. after promising to never again utter the phrase “Jew-York” in front of a microphone.
Sean Combs like to pretend that he’s a riot, what with getting funny white guys to cameo in his videos and making insane web videos about his Twittering habits, but this calculating bastard is all front when it comes to shits ‘n giggles. It’s safe to assume that he has a team of ghost comedy-writers toiling over his every droll comment in an attempt to fool the world into believing that he’s just ‘regular people’ when in fact he’s an evil android sent back in time by SkyNet to destroy us all…or at least convince dames to shave half their hair off.
4. Reverend Run.
This might be Run’s House, but the most incredible thing about him becoming Born Again and his transformation into a man of the cloth is the fact that it somehow made DJ Run take himself even more seriously – if that was at all possible. If ever there was an MC lacking in hubris, humility and the ability to take the piss out of himself, it’s Run. That being said, the Tougher Than Leather movie still managed to be hilarious.
No time for jokes here. X is known to shoot straight from the hip and telling it like it is. Impersonating an FBI agent at the airport might seem like comedy in retrospect, but I bet you no one was giggling when they tried to slap the cuffs Darkman X. Sadly, the interviews where he mocks the name of Presidential candidate Barack Obama and the video where he’s introduced to Google in 2012.
6. Kanye West.
If ever proof was needed that this character takes him way too seriously, then South Park’s ‘Fish Sticks’ episode was it. Not only did the show lampoon Ye’s persona with pin-point accuracy, he actually issued an official response which was virtually identical to the one his character did! Minus the part about being a gay fish, sadly.
7. Rick Ross.
The bawse of the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet is everything that Biggie Smalls was, minus the natural gift for rapping and the sick sense of humor. Thanks to his good taste in beats and ever-improving delivery, Rozay can now share a track with Nas without shaming the city of Miami but still seems to be lacking in the knack for wry humor that separates good rappers from the greats, with the exception of that hilarious “failed drive-by” gag from the other week.
God’s Son may have been blessed with a superior pen and is widely regarded as one the greatest of all time, but he’s also notorious for taking himself way too seriously. Seeing as though he was hailed as “the second coming of Rakim”, it’s appropriate that Nasir doesn’t have time for clowning around, unless you count those Esco magazine ads, the pink suit from the
“Got UR Self A Gun”“Street Dreams” video or the Nastradamus album.
Note: This is an updated version of a piece from 2010.
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