The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Real Hip-Hop

Michael Turner | Friday, December 3, 2010

Mac Hendrickson,

Your review of Kanye West’s album (“No exaggeration necessary for Kanye West’s new masterpiece,” Dec. 1) made me legitimately angry. It didn’t bother me how you absolutely gushed over the album (by saying “Nobody is claiming the album is perfect” but then using the word “perfect” three times in the article), or how you broke down your descriptions of the songs. It was how you easily dismissed all-time-great rappers and producers without mentioning the albums or songs that made them legends. Have some respect for the game and specify the albums you think don’t even compare to “Fantasy.”

The other thing that bothered me was that you separated rap fans into two groups: thugs and non-thugs. What constitutes a thug-rapper or a ghetto song? Let’s take away any rapper that committed a crime or talks about the ghetto. There goes Biggie, Pac, Jay-Z, N.W.A, Eminem, 50 Cent, Big L, Big Pun, Wu-Tang (including RZA), Mobb Deep and the Clipse. Wait. Wasn’t Pusha T part of the Clipse, the Hip-Hop duo who became famous for rapping about the drug cartel they ran? Is that the same guy who is featured on “Runaway,” which, according to you, is the greatest Hip-Hop track of the last 30 years? Is he a thug or non-thug? Those of us who like the “harder” stuff from the 1990s need to know.

Whether he is one of your thugs or not, those who rapped about the ghetto produced some of the greatest albums of all time. I’d stack “Illmatic,” “Reasonable Doubt,” “Ready to Die” and “All Eyez on Me” against Kanye’s latest any day. Hip-Hop exists today because of the guys from whom you want to snatch it.

One last thing: maybe you didn’t hear Kanye say this on Hot 97 a couple weeks ago: “No one is ever gonna be bigger than Eminem. He’s the No. 1 greatest rapper of all time.” Too bad you’ll never give him a chance because he raps about the “morally-repugnant” subject of drugs. You can have your non-thug rappers, but keep your hands off my music. Get back to me about Pusha T though.

Michael Turner


Morrissey Hall

Dec. 1