Lost post from 2004:
I just returned the library's copy of Kool Moe Dee's 'There's a God on the Mic
.' Remember that report card
that Moe Dee issued to a bunch of his then-rapping peers, and the revisited rankings he did for Ego Trip
? Well, here's more of the same, coupled with short explanatory essays. Listing his top twenty MCs would fall into the category of fair use, right? Sure it would, especially considering that this is a review. Here goes:
- Bo knows everything, from sports to other stuff. But I betcha Bo don't know how to roll a blunt.
19. MC Lyte
- Thirty days a month your mood is rude--I know the cause of your bloody attitude.
18. Ice Cube
- Even saw the lights of the Goodyear blimp, and it read 'Ice Cube's a pimp.'
17. Method Man
- Never ever give my pussy away--and keep it tight, aight?
- It's the longest, loveliest, lean--I call it the leanest. It's another five-letter word rhymin' with cleanest and meanest.
- I got extensive hoes with expensive clothes, and I sip fine wine and spit venomous flows. What, you didn't know?
14. Kool G. Rap
- Makin' veterans run for medicine, 'cause I put out more lights in a fight than Con Edison. Rip the damn cage like I'm on a rampage, so if you want rage, I'ma make front page.
- And don't blame me; I was given this world--I didn't make it.
12. Queen Latifah
- Who you callin' a bitch?
- Verbal assassin, my architect pleases. When I was twelve, I went to hell for snuffin' Jesus.
10. Lauryn Hill
- More powerful than two Cleopatras, bomb graffiti on the tomb of Nefertiti. My rhymes are heavy, like the mind of Sister Betty.
- You ain't have to explain shit. I been robbin' motherfuckers since the slave ships.
8. Chuck D
- I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened and read it. It said they were suckers.
7. LL Cool J
- Don't run from the cops, makin' suckers jock, and I'm only eighteen making more than your pops.
6. Grandmaster Caz
- But she couldn't keep her hand from off my fly. So I made her lock the door, and went to check it. When I came back in she was totally naked. That was my cue to do the do. I took my clothes off and started on the prove. Well I was tearin' shit up, and 'bout a quarter to three, she said, "Caz! Somebody's comin'!" I said, "Yeah, me!"
5. Kool Moe Dee
- I'll ask him who is the best--and if he don't say Moe Dee, I'll take my whip and make him call himself Toby.
4. Big Daddy Kane
- And when my pen hits the paper, aww shit.
- With one and a half pair of pants you ain't cool.
- I don't like to dream about gettin' paid, so I look into my pocket at the money I've made.
1. Melle Mel
- 'Cause it's all about money. Ain't a damn thing funny--you've got to have a con in this land of milk and honey.
Good things about this book: It's filled with old-school photographs, many of them quite entertaining. (Is that a Yo! Pop-Swatch that Lyte's wearing? Damn, I gots to get me one of those.) And, from describing being asked to write a dis record for Antoinette to reminiscing about his battles with LL, there's a lot of entertaining rap-game gossip. While I'd hesitate to call it funke funke wisdom, Moe Dee does bring a unique perspective to the top-whatever format, which has been pretty thoroughly played out by critics and journalists (i.e., haters). And it serves as a good entry point, for newbies into hip-hop history and for heads into debate and second-guessing.
Bad things about this book: It's not even close to objective. When it comes to individual ratings, Moe all but makes things up. Here's a sample: "Based on his freestyle ability and his lyrical prowess, you can just tell that he's an emcee that has the battle skills in him. He hasn't been in any popular battles, but Kurupt definitely has the tools. You can see it on him. You can see he's a battle emcee." Kurupt hasn't publicly battled anybody--just come out and say it. And, as with a lot of books about popular culture, the copy-editing and fact-checking is pretty ass-out. A lot of rhymes are quoted, not always accurately. The bleeping, with asterisks, is inconsistent. And the continual use of the word 'nukka' is just weird.
All in all, I'd say it's one to leaf through at the bookstore, or check out at the library, rather than one to purchase. Apparently, Moe Dee has a greatest-groups book in the works. Bonus information for library types: although his name appears on this book as Kool Mo Dee, Kool Moe Dee is the LC authority form.