The Problem with Comparisons

As the new Rappers try to find their lane and the veterans try to redefine theirs I’ve heard a lot of comparisons between rappers, emcees, and “entertainers”. Rappers like Drake and Kanye West have been compared to people such as Swizz Beats or a Puff Daddy when in actuality nobody thinks of producers like Diddy and Swizz as emcees. Drake and Kanye want to be one of the greatest emcees to ever do it but can’t be because of their “group project” approach to writing songs. You can’t compare Beyoncé or Michael Jackson to any of them because they are singers/entertainers. Singers have been covering songs for decades but it doesn’t work like that in Hip Hop/Rap music. A lot of you might wonder why Rap music has to have all these “rules”; why can’t people just make the music. Rap music has always been about truth and honesty, writing your life in the rhymes you speak so how can a person be trusted if they can’t even tell me the truth about who they really are?

Dr. Dre, Diddy, Swizz, Drake, Kanye, and the rest use writers sometimes and will never be and could never be on the GOAT list. I always thought it was obvious with Dre and Diddy simply because their rhymes weren’t that lyrical it always sounded like something anybody could have written if given the opportunity. Apples and oranges are fruits but you can’t compare them to each other. For the sake of an argument you can’t just throw out names if it doesn’t at least prove your point. A lot of young people haven’t been taught their Hip Hop History so it may be easier to have that debate with someone under the age of twenty-five. All Rappers are not the same. The Lox are not the same type of group Migos is and there’s no way to compare the two. Talib Kweli isn’t the same as Rakim just like DJ Jazzy Jeff isn’t the same as DJ Mustard. Different types of Hip Hop/Rap exist because people are different. Most of the time when people are comparing Rappers to other Rappers it’s because they’re trying to fit them into a box.

You can have your own style but that doesn’t mean ignore forty years of history. If you knew the history behind the success of Puff Daddy, Dr. Dre, and the rest of them and it would be clear that they aren’t comparable to other Rappers. Lil Uzi Vert is not a Dr. Dre or a Puff Daddy just because they don’t have prolific rap verses. Kodak Black is calling himself the greatest Rapper alive, why? Another problem with comparisons is that it makes some people feel empowered and they become disrespectful. They think that they’re on the same level as others when in fact they are not. A little fame can go to anyone’s head but we have to keep our heads on straight.