By Ashley Zimmerman
By Dana Krangel
By John Hood
By Ashley Zimmerman
By David Von Bader
By Sayre Berman
By Steve Brennan
By Ashley Zimmerman
Judging by record and ringtone sales, hip-hop is the most popular genre of music in the country. There's a host of cocksure yet affable rappers out there for whom people can't help but cheer these days. But who needs to go over a list of the most beloved rappers in the game, when there are so many hip-hop jackasses worth writing about? At the risk of needing a bodyguard after this is published, here's a list of the most hated figures in hip-hop. Man, was it hard to narrow this down!
10. Soulja Boy Tell 'Em: Look, anyone who raps like he has Down Syndrome and yells "Yoouuuu" as the chorus of his hooks, is going to wind up on a lot of people's shit lists. This 17-year-old Atlanta-based MC is barely mature enough to have facial hair, and his pubescent rap voice is plain annoying. He's already a platinum-selling artist (via ringtones, not albums), yet anyone will tell you he has no talent. To his credit, he did come up with a dance that's more popular than the moonwalk, but between his wack sunglasses and the songs on his album with titles like "Booty Meat" and "Pass it to Arab," it's hard to think he'll amount to anything more than a two-hit wonder.
9. Paul Wall: The grills are getting to be too much. Here in the South, we have a strong love for teeth that shine, but Paul Wall's diamond encrusted smile is taking it too far. Call it reverse racism, but platinum grills just don't look right on white dudes. His rhymes about candy-coated slabs are becoming passé, and the novelty of hearing a white guy screwing and chopping beats has already worn thin. Eminem manages to reinvent himself; Kid Rock switched to country-fried rock 'n' roll, and, if Paul Wall hasn't gotten the newsflash, white guys have to keep it moving to remain relevant in hip-hop. (We wish this wasn't a double standard, as too many rappers are complacent in general.)
8. Cam'ron: Few rappers in history have ever fallen out of the 'hood's good graces like Harlem rapper Cameron "Cam'ron" Giles. He's teetered on wackness throughout his career, and he's better at creating drama than he is at creating good music. He's ended up on the worst end of his beefs with Jay-Z and 50 Cent, and when Cam'ron got shot last year, he wanted the world to be proud of him for "not snitching" on the culprit. Whatever cool points that may have earned him, he immediately lost by going on 60 Minutes to keep the "Stop Snitching" campaign alive. Does it really need support?
7. Nelly: This dude's raps are so misogynistic, even other rappers had to call him out on it. KRS-One can't stand him (a bad sign), and he's banned from performing at several universities because female student groups shut down his shows. Think about it: The lyrics to his most popular song to date include, "Drop down and get your eagle on, girl!" If that's not enough, his attempt at jacking Run DMC's "My Adidas" and turning it into "Air Force Ones" just further cemented the notion that he's an ass clown who should be banned from making music, permanently.
6. Fergie: You might wonder why she's in the hip-hop category, since Ms. Fergalicious has enjoyed a successful year in the pop market as a solo act. But it wasn't long ago that she was pimping hip-hop with the Black Eyed Peas and ruining one of the genre's most original acts. Before Fergie joined the Peas, they were a respectable three man group with crisp rhymes and hilarious skits on their albums: Just check out Behind the Front and Bridging the Gap for evidence of that. Then the group went from ultra underground to super commercial with one bad decision — hiring Fergie. In some regards, she's the group's Yoko Ono; despite bringing them fame and fortune, she utterly ruined their reputation. What's worse is that it's hard to remember that she was once a part of hip-hop, since she's already moved on and left the Peas in the dust.
5. DJ Khaled: Despite how much we love Khaled in South Florida, the fact is most other people don't feel the same. The general consensus is that he's a self-aggrandizing blabbermouth who is a great radio DJ, but that's about it. Certain Khaled-isms, like "Lissssten" and "We the Best," annoy the shit out of people north of the Mason-Dixon line, and since he doesn't really produce, rap, or engineer any of the tracks on his albums, a lot of folks in the hip-hop know can't figure out what the hell he does. Call it lingering racism from 9/11 if you want, but America isn't ready to hear a big, surly Palestinian bragging on the microphone, and it's what currently makes Mr. Khaled Khaled one of the most hated figures in rap music.
4. 50 Cent: The songs "Piggy Bank" and "How to Rob" have gotten him into beefs with practically every rapper in the industry. The guy disses his own crew routinely, and steroids have made him little more than a hip-hop bully. He flat-out promised to retire if Kanye West sold more records than he did, and when Kanye did outsell him, 50 went back on his word. If folks can't trust you, they won't like you, and that's just a part of why 50 gets the hateration treatment.
3. Diddy: Consider this a hateration of the global variety. You know those sweatshops in Honduras and Burma where your Sean John clothing lines are made, Mr. Puff Daddy (or P. Diddy or whatever you call yourself these days)? The people there would like to make more than 25 cents a day — and they'd appreciate maybe a bathroom break once or twice a week. Or potable water and an end to mandatory pregnancy tests. Human rights come before profits, mogul man. When you let poor people in the Third World suffer under chattel slavery, folks who stand for certain rights, like child labor laws and fair trade, are going to hate you. Sure, you throw a mean party. But way to leave Shine hanging on that gun charge.
2. Karrine "Superhead" Steffans: For starters, your nickname is "Superhead," and you're proud of giving better fellatio than any other video groupie in history. Hey, taking pride in your work is understandable, but don't you think your 9-year-old son wishes you wouldn't boast about this? Kids are cruel in general, and when your mom actually markets herself as the best sucker in hip-hop, the kid is bound to wind up in therapy. Plus, you brag about being the "other woman" that broke up Bobby and Whitney, Usher and Chilli, eventually Shaq and his wife, Shaunie, and who knows how many other relationships. Hip-hop wives across the country can't stand you, and it's what lands you at the number two spot on this list.
1. Suge Knight: Suge Knight has been a menace to hip-hop for a long time. Many folks think he had a hand in Tupac's murder, and he certainly led him down a darker path than necessary after Tupac signed with Death Row. Since Tupac is like the Black Jesus, you might as well call Suge Pontius Pilot. He fueled the senseless East Coast versus West Coast beef that ruined hip-hop's golden era, and after hearing, the words "Suge shot me" at the beginning of Tupac's Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory album, lots of rap fans have been cheering for his demise. (I'm going to need a bulletproof vest.)