I’ve recently been getting back into hip hop. After a few years hiatus, things are looking good again. Phoney rich gangster posturing has been shed and their seems to be more demand for lyricism and creative beats. Another trend that is ubiquitous is the white rapper. Fortunately, white rappers these days seem to be far more advanced than the culturally embarrassing parrots of yesteryear. My one quarrel with the modern white rapper is that they often lack edge. They seem to either rap about marijuana, parties or girls (note; this isn’t including battle rappers). The word play is often complex, punchlines are often humorous but it lacks grime. As a response, here is a list of 5 badass whiteboy rappers to satiate the bloodlust:
Lil Ugly Mane: I’m obsessed with this West Virgnia based rapper right now. His super ominous lo-fi productions are a beautiful testament to the Three 6 Mafia beats of yesteryear. His voice (though arguably a bit forced) is deep and evil. His lyrics are gritty and violent and his cover art designs look like charmingly crappy “Pen and Pixel” styles from back in the day. He is basically the antithesis of MacMiller.
Essential Tunes: Bitch I’m Lugubrious, Twistin’, Throw Dem Gunz
Ill Bill: Often overshadowed by his controversial brother Necro, Ill Bill is the real deal. Growing up in New York during rap’s golden era, his flow (especially early on) reflects a deep inspiration from Kool G Rap (one of the most technically skilled rappers of all time). His voice, which started out theatrically gruff, evolved into a booming punch that was the perfect vehicle for his wordplay. His legend status was cemented when he and his hip-hop group Non-Phixion released their classic debut The Future is Now, which featured production from Dj Premier and Pete Rock.
Essential Tunes: Futurama, Rock Stars, The Most Sadistic (w/ Necro)
Eminem: Little is known about this independent rapper. Some internet sources claim he grew up in Detroit and used to battle rap.
Essential Tunes: Infinite, Guilty Conscience, Kill You
Cage: From what I remember, Cage was known best in the mainstream for his brief beef with Eminem back in the day. It makes sense that they were fighting because in many ways they were doing the same thing at the same time; clever, drugged out, whiteboy psycho rap. His debut album “Movies For The Blind” was a minor sensation. I used to have it in the discman all the time. It was gloomy, harsh and hallucinogenic- reflecting his serious addictions and troubled past. The last I heard Cage is sober, hangs out with Shea LeBouf and wears sweater vests. At least he was a former bad ass.
Essential Tunes: Radiohead, Among the Sleep, Too Much
R.A. The Rugged Man: Though R.A. never had a huge hit on the charts, he’s made a decent living for almost 20 years touring, releasing albums independently and being featured on tunes. Amongst rappers he carries a lot of credit, with none other than Notorious BIG saying “I thought I was the illest,” in regards to R.A. On top of working with some stellar old school names, everyone I know who has ever seen R.A. live says it is absolutely ridiculous. Open hand smacking fans, throwing women over his shoulder while rapping, groping, smoking, spraying beer on the crowd- basically, he lives up to his name.
Essential Tunes: Chains, Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story, Lessons
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