SOHH Whatcha Think: Can One Man Truly Be King Of Hip Hop? [Click Here & Speak]
Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011 12:00AM
King/kiNG/Noun - 1. The male ruler of an independent state, esp. one who inherits the position by right of birth. 2. A person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group.
[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH.com]
Titles should never be thrown around lightly.
King of Hip Hop? The term itself is flawed: Em is one of the best to do it, granted. And while rap has its fair share of court jesters, poets and fools, Hip Hop is a culture, not a monarchy. By declaring him King, Rolling Stone pulled an "Eric Williams" (ex-baller turned disgruntled reality star) in the face of the remaining elements of Hip Hop: DJing (Music), B-Boying (Dance) and Graffiti (Art).
This is an "Eric Williams", in case you're wondering.
MCing may be the most lucrative of all these elements, but it is not all inclusive.
Which leads to our question of the day -- Is it fair to declare any single artist the King of Hip Hop?
Let's argue for a second that there can be a king: Album sales are irrelevant. The people that the music matters to most -- the fans -- never see a dime of an artists' money. While its great to see an artist shine, once the cash is gone, the gold is pawned and the women get ghost, both artist and fan are left with one thing -- the discography.
Not that Marshall has to worry about running out of dough anytime soon, but bankruptcy in Hip Hop does exist.
Em crafted a great album in 2010, but between Recovery and The Marshall Mathers LP (arguably still his best to date) there were a few releases that were decent at best. That's not to throw shade on Shady: Even his half-assed efforts are respectable, but king? Nah son, can't do it.
Every decade has their champion. Rakim, Tupac, and Eminem deserve their prize; but no one man deserves the crown.
Especially within a genre in which two men claim to share the same throne.
SOHH Watcha Think -- Is it fair to declare any single artist the King of Hip Hop?
Rapper Kanye West also made Rolling Stone's list of Hip Hop royalty, check him out alongside Pusha T and Young Jeezy on the new track "Amen"
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[Editor's Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH]