What Does It Take To Be An Emcee?

Back to be today’s guest blogger is Corner Politics resident Hip Hop album reviewer, RAIN, so ladies rub on your t*tties if you love Hip Hop.

So as i was getting ready to write my next review, the last three weeks kept replaying over and over in my mind. This Controversy has made me think about almost every convo I’ve had with someone about hip hop. The convos that have plagued me the most are the ones which the emcee/rapper are discussed. “That dude is the truth cause he has gwap.” “He’s not street enough.” “Son got bars for days.” “That n*gga is some ass cheeks.” These are some of the statements that you here when you at work, at the crib, getting your fresh cut, or out with your people’s.

What Does It To Be an MC?
What Does It take To Be an MC?

So I ask myself the age ole question; “What constitutes a good emcee?” Is it the money? Is it the lyrical content? Is it the emcees ability to handle a instrumental? There have been many formulas made by not only the artists themselves, the media covering them, and us, the consumer aka fans. I know what many of you are thinking; RAIN do you have a formula? The answer is of course!!! Quite frankly I think my formula is the best there is. Why you ask, well I’ll tell you.

My formula starts with lyrical content. Whether he/she is talking about starting a revolution, shooting it out with Johnny Law, or how nice they are on the mic, an emcee needs to be able to paint a vivid picture in the head of the listener. The words used to paint the picture must rhyme and make sense at the same time. If you are fan of the art like I am, I know there have been times you popped in some new ish and wondered to yourself “What the f*ck are they saying?”. That’s cause that “emcee” did not take the time to master their craft.

My next part of my formula is versatility. My definition of versatility is not about can the emcee flip it fast or slow on, on or off beat. It more simply means can “Emcee such and such” display an ability to discuss a broad range of topics. Case in point is fellow NJ native and one of my favorite emcees of all time, Redman. Now many perceive him to be Mr Spark it Up and nothing else. Now if you know like I know, Red is a very good story teller and his Soopaman Lova series is evidence of this. Nobody wants to spend hard earned dollars on 10-18 tracks that are about the same damn thing.

The final piece to my equation is originality. Now before you jump down my throat on this one hear me out. Ever since the first two schools of hip hop, every emcee since should be considered a biter. What I mean by that is if you grow up listening to someone then part of their style will rub off on you when you start flowing. The trick is to use parts of your idol but create your own lane to drive in. If you bite someone’s style right on down to the undies, how can the listener distinguish between you and the emcee you bit? The answer is they can’t and they’ll push your ish rite to the side. You must be yourself!!!!!

Now you may have noticed I didn’t include lame categories like album sales, impact on the game, and “street/not street”. The reason why is these things don’t matter in the grand scope of things. Case in point, Pharoahe Monch is highly regarded as one of the dopest emcees all time. Now if we added album sales to the picture, he wouldn’t get any dap. Master P had an incredible impact on the game but he will never be considered one of the heavy hitters. The he’s not street enough will never make way into my formula cause it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters if you got the flow.

There you have it peeps, RAIN ‘s formula for judging emcees. Put it to use and get at me regardless to let me know what you think. You can reach out to Rain @RAINofBP.


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