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Pretty much no entertainer, whether they be an actor, musician, comedian or filmmaker, has a 100% perfect body of work. Hip-hop is no exception. Here are a few examples of when great artists had “what the fuck were they thinking?!” moments. A horrific true crime story. When good rappers make terrible albums.
Lil Wayne- Rebirth
Back during his prime, Wayne was on top of the world. He was the hugest artist of 2008 after his modern classic Tha Carter III. He followed up this highly successful record with a baffling decision: to try to make rock music. While his ballsiness is admirable, Rebirth is a failed experiment on almost every level. It sounds like something a white suburban 6th grader who just got a guitar and discovered GarageBand on his computer recorded in his basement. Wayne’s typical lyrical talent is nowhere to be found among the horrible attempts at 2000s-style rock songs that fall terribly flat. Luckily, Wayne has never tried rock again since this trainwreck. Thank God.
Worst Track: ‘Da Da Da’
Saving Grace: ‘Drop The World’
Kid Cudi- Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven
Cudi is one of the most talented and innovative artists of this decade, which is why this album is so baffling and confusing. There are four or five tracks that are surprisingly phenomenal, but the rest of the album is such garbage that it drowns out the few great songs. Most of the tracks are Cudi trying to make rock music. And if Lil Wayne making rock sounds like a 6th grader in his mom’s basement, Cudi sounds like a 1st grader trying to record an album underwater. Listen to ‘The Return Of Chip Douglas’ if you want to see just what a bizarre disaster this album is. This album is proof that drugs don’t always make an artist better. Cudi is releasing a new album this year so I have faith that he’ll bounce back from this one.
Worst Track: ‘The Return Of Chip Douglas’
Saving Grace: ‘Confused’
This is Em’s very first album before he developed his Slim Shady persona and, frankly, before he found his voice at all. It’s before he achieved superstardom through his next breakthrough album The Slim Shady LP and he sounds unsure of himself. His style is blatantly ripping off Nas to the point that it feels desperate, and the boring beats don’t help either. A lot of hardcore Eminem stans (and internet hip-hop heads in general) act like this is an underrated classic to prove how they much they love underground music, but unfortunately it’s dogshit. Luckily, he quickly found his voice and became one of the most influential and important artists of the 21st century after this mild misstep.
Worst Track: ‘Searchin’
Saving Grace: Title track
Views was without a doubt one of the most anticipated albums of 2016. With his epic Meek Mill diss, ‘Back To Back,’ and his ridiculously catchy and highly meme-able single ‘Hotline Bling,’ expectations were high. Unfortunately, the album turned out to be a painfully dull and boring pile of crap. With painfully generic beats and Drake using the same flow on the most of the tracks, everything here feels like it’s on autopilot. On top of that, every song sounds EXACTLY the fucking same. If you play the whole album and don’t pay attention, it sounds like just one long song. A huge letdown.
Worst Track: ‘U With Me?’
Saving Grace: ‘Hotline Bling’
Kanye West- Cruel Summer
Whether you love or hate Kanye, the guy has never been afraid to take risks. I’m probably biased because he’s my favorite artist (yup, he is – bite me). He’s always a step ahead of everyone else in the game, and he’s usually the antithesis of boring, brainless radio rap, which is what made this album so disappointing. Coming off his magnum opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and his certified banger Watch The Throne with Jay-Z, Cruel Summer ended up being shockingly short of any imagination or originality. Instead of the usually bizarre and ballsy ‘Ye, this G.O.O.D. Music compilation album has a bunch of his label’s artists (including himself) churning out generic, forgettable music. Everything about it feels cut and dry. Shallow boring raps like ‘Mercy’ make you feel like Kanye isn’t even trying, especially with that torturous Big Sean verse thrown in at the beginning.
Worst Song: ‘Mercy’
Saving Grace: ‘New God Flow’
Snoop “Lion”- Reincarnated
Back in 2013, in a weird pop culture fever dream that felt satirical, Snoop Dogg briefly changed his name to Snoop Lion. He had went to Jamaica, apparently smoked all the weed in the world and decided to reinvent himself as a reggae artist and walk away from hip-hop for good. While it was a fascinating thing to see, listening to his reggae album Reincarnated feels like you’re being stabbed in the ear with a Rasta-colored switchblade for an hour. Snoop Dogg’s Snoop Lion phase is a like a fist fight at a family reunion — we all remember it happening, but it’s best to just never bring it up again. And I apologize that I just did.
Worst Song: ‘Here Comes The King’
Saving Grace: ehhh…….
Luckily, all these talented artists probably have, or will, learn their lesson. But these piles of garbage are still too stinky to ignore..
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