Say What, Say What? Joe Budden

Thun: Okay, T.R.O.Y. Nation, get a load of this shit. Vibe.com, that renowned purveyor of controversial rankings, is running an NCAA-styled tournament media stunt titled “The Best Rapper Ever.” In the video you see embedded above, sorta famous but not especially popular one-hit-blunder Joe Budden expressed extreme disapproval. Being the self-absorbed half-wit that we all know him to be, he takes his #32 ranking within his bracket as some kind of insult and goes on a ten minute rant which culminates in the claim that he is a better rapper than the majority of those ranked in the entire tournament. Needless to say, I’m not co-signing this, and his twittered caveat about considering how these artists would fare on the mic “now” is not convincing in the least.

Philaflava: Is this the guy who recently took the L from Saigon or the one who blamed Def Jam on his lack of success due to the way his name (Buddens) was marketed, because sometimes I confuse the two.

Thun: I dunno but I’m pretty sure this is the guy whose voice was actually improved by developing polyps in his throat. Now he’s on YouTube accusing Vibe of not knowing hip hop history or the craft of emceeing in the same breath he claims to have never heard of Cowboy from the Furious Five. That’s the thing about self-serving, heavy-handed agendas – they make you look dumb.

Philaflava: In any event, I think he is looking at this Vibe bracket all wrong. Sure there are some weak opponents and sure there are some questionable rankings, but to imply he’s better than “half” of the list (64 rappers) is just asinine. He’s practically saying he’s better than Puba, AZ, MF Doom, Black Thought and Method Man just in that 10 minute clip.

Thun: Puba? Really? Budden – you have a song better than “Wake Up?” A party classic better than “360”? A club song more memorable than “I Like It”? Say what say what? AZ? You can flow better than his verse on “Life’s A Bitch?” It must take incredible willpower to NEVER exercise that option, dun!

Philaflava: The difference is Budden has two albums to his name, both were nothing to write home about while the others catalogs run circles around him.

Thun: Budden has two albums out? Not mixtapes … not Imeem play lists … not vidoes of his wife and kids doing household chores … but albums? Was this news made available beyond his first cousins and weed connect?

Philaflava: Unfortunately, Budden is gonna go out like Stephen F. Austin of this tournament, but hey, there is always the NIT of Rap tournaments to look forward to. Either way, Joe should check himself if thinks he’s better than half that list.

Thun: This video is maddening. Now, don’t get me wrong – any respectable rapper should be offended if they are ranked lower than Lil’ Bow Wow and MC Hammer. But that’s where Budden’s legitimate grievances end. But, no. Instead of being thankful he was even acknowledged at all, he passively aggressively mutters names on the list and makes faces at the camera, implying but not directly stating that he feels that he is a superior rapper to people like Melle Mel and Chubb Rock, who tour and rock guest appearances to this day. All this delivered with the level of maturity and poise commonly associated with a flustered second grader who was picked last for the kickball team.

Philaflava: We got your back Quincy J. Oh , and Blackout 2 is out there now – the plot thickens.

Thun: To all aspiring young rappers who are witnessing such lunacy and don’t know what to make of it: learn from this fiasco. Shit-eating smugness is not flow. Asshole-ishness is not lyricism. Twitter is not a respected discography. Tricking on a video model is not creating memorable lyrics. Tattoos are not genre-changing albums. Challenging rappers who paved the way for you and have no need whatsoever to even acknowledge your punk ass to some imaginary war of hackneyed sports punchlines is not a good look.

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