Expert Whiteboy Analysis Monthly 25 January '08

[note: we just wrapped up this bullshit, and it's probably a fair chance this is the last monthly EWA bullshit we'll do, and I'm guessing Mike will slap it all together into a pdf again, but he also just got his lazy ass a job so he might not; basically, this is our year-end wrap-up for 2007, which gives you fucks excuse to be like, "Why the fuck they talking on old shit? We been in 2008 for ten days now."]

RM: This is our sort-of year-end wrap-up bullshit that any self-pretentious type collection of oddball opinionated for you all collection of asswipes would try to put together, to show you how hip we are and to point out shit we were about before other people got on that shit, but also to mock stupid shit you shouldn't be liking as well. 2007 has been a wonderful year for me, and a shitty year for hip hop. I hit personal lows with drug experimentation (crack may not kill, but it definitely fucks with your funds, as well as motivation for non-cracky things), but also personal highs family-wise, which I somehow maintained throughout my turning power tools into riverside speedy highs period. As 2008 arrives, I find myself on a path of seeking self-awareness, and moving towards a higher purpose all while realizing we are all inherently full of shit, even me. In fact, especially me. Anyways, I feel like I'm a step ahead of the hip hop game, because it's still in it's high life stage, even though nobody I know has bought more than like two CDs in the past five years, and I doubt the dude who runs the airbrush shop is giving Papoose or Lil Wayne his proper percentage of that awesome mixtape I bought 3 for $10 from behind the glass case underneath the glass water pipes. Hip hop needs to hit its rock bottom and get away from this eurotrash pseudo-clever muzak vibe it's got on the Kanye-style tip, or this candy-painted Cadillac sipping cognac inside the club bass-heavy muzak vibe it's got on the Southern-style tip, and get to some real grit again. And I don't mean the wacky shit like 19 people on the internet circulate to act like it's the realest most intelligentist shit ever and we are all assholes for not automatically accepting how awesome Underground Flavor of the Month #3718 is. I want some real gritty and smart shit to get popular enough that like, people in real life know about. Like the chubby chick in bootleg Ecko hoodies working the shitty ass independent grocery store with her big ole tits about to pop out through the zipper once shitty the Sri Lankan child labor seams give out will be pumping that shit in her late model Escort with the spinner hubcap covers from Auto Zone. Shit that transcends the computer world into real life, although with the rise of mp3 players, I'm not sure we can go back to that. Fuck, I am old. I still have like 4000 slabs of vinyl, afraid of compact discs. I am afraid of something that is already obsolete. It is now old school to burn a mix CD for a party and write "PARTY MIXXX" on it with a silver Sharpie. Fuck fuck fuck.
MD: I'm Mike Dikk. You may not have heard, but I died a few weeks ago and I am now a ghost. John is trying to spread some propaganda that I died of AIDS, but that is simply not true. I went rather quietly in my sleep. The doctors say I was just too damn lazy to wake up to live another day. I won't lie though, being dead is okay. The high speed internet connection is faster than any in the mortal world, so now I get to listen to even more horrible music in purgatory.
Anyway, this is our stupid year end thing, but you already knew that. On a personal level, my year had it's share of ups and downs. Suddenly dying kind of sucked of course. Plus I added all of this top tier talent to Dumpin.net and we haven't gotten nearly as famous as I figured we would be by this point. It's been a serious kick to the dick of my ego, but I should stop being thickheaded and admit to myself that the only way tons of people give a shit about blogs is if you offer them a lot of downloadable music. Oh well, I'm a ghost now, so fuck it anyway.
KM: Hi, in between scouring Women's Protective services for a new motherboard and winding up in a treatment facility for my latest addiction to huffing paint thinner, I managed to forget 40% of the shit I'd thought up for this. And I have no MC of the year pick, because I don't remember going "holy shit" about anybody's lyrical beatdowns in the year 2007. So if it sounds brain-addled, keep in mind I am typing it out on a Speak & Spell that's spliced to a black & white television while trying to avoid some pushy Muslims. We don't have nice things in D-block at mulatto jail.
JD: We still do these things? I am getting the sinking suspicion that the EWA Top 25 list may be taking the route of the S.S. Minnow and sinking like a motherfucker. I guess it was a good run, if you can call it a run at all. Peace fags.
BWT: 2007 was a year that we will soon forget about but it had some cool stuff in it. We're like in mid Jan. now and probably the last people in the world to do a year in review type of thing so forgive us for the lateness. Plus it was a good idea in mid-December.
CH: Charlie Hyde is a guy that I, Raven Mack, made internet friends with through emails and invited to join our little clique of self-pretentious white fucks who listen to hip hop. This goes to show that, again, I am far too trusting and naive, and Charlie Hyde most likely doesn't actually exist, and is an elaborate trick to try and get me to catch feelings. Except I have learned with the robots (i.e. computers and bullshit) to not have any feelings, because they don't have feelings. Had Charlie Hyde not made the New Year's Resolution to smoke blunts all day every day, he might've came around the clubhouse to write his own blurb. But he's also Canadian, and I'm not sure it's the new year yet there, so he may be at his folks' house for Christmas.

RM: You know, I feel like a complete sell-out chump-ass for even saying this, but the best MC of the year for me was Andre 3000. Now, I have always been of the belief in the basic reverse awesomeness theorem of Outkast greatness, in that each subsequent release they made was just a little bit shittier than the one ahead of it. And I hated The Love Below half of that dual CD gimmick because it was corny as fuck, and personifies great hip hop to hipster white dudes who play in instrumental retro-metal bands with ironic band names that don’t really mean anything other than they sound wacky. I automatically stand against those types in 99 out of 100 cases of popular culture. But dude, I can’t front, Andre came with some crazy ass shit on his plethora of remix guest appearances this year. And not only is he doing some crazy different-sounding flows, he’s got depth to his bullshit that’s a thousand years ahead of the retroactive mentality of most rappers who rhyme of shiny things and how much shinier their shiny things are than those other dudes less shiny things. From the “What a Job” verse he dropped that made that Devin the Dude track one of the best tracks of the year, to even the crazy double meanings in seemingly simple bullshit on “The Art of Storytelling Pt. 4” off the wack ass Drama mixtape CD illegal download, Dre has consistently stepped up with some next level shit, and seems to be fully recovered from the poisonous pollution of Erykah Badu’s twat juice. He has actually tricked me into thinking a new Outkast CD will be something other than an overhyped mass media piece of shit.
MD: I'm going with Ghostface on this one. Mostly because we didn't have a stupid year end awards thing last year, nor an Ultra Elite EWA Committee to create a year end awards thing, and Ghost really deserved to win last year. Plus R.A. The Rugged Man didn't really do enough this year to give him the nod.
I'm not trying to slight Ghost in any way. He still deserves to be called the MC of the year in '07 because he's one of the only dudes in that 3rd percentile of non-bullshit MCs out there. On top of that, he managed to dazzle outside of rhythmic vocal patterns set to music by telling Tony Yayo he could suck a dick and speaking the truth on the Wu Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams album. This guy is still as hot as he was when his first solo album dropped, or possibly even hotter. Longevity is basically a non-existent trait in rap music, so you have to give it up to the guy.
BWT: I feel that due to my selection of Lil Wayne for MC of the year I just might be thrown out of this esteemed group of expert whiteboyz that we claim to be. I'm in trouble since I was already the whitest of all the white boys since I was born and raised almost exclusively in the suburbs, which if you ask some people would make me an expert on today's rap scene since white people are the only ones who are dumb enough to buy today's rap music. So if that wasn't bad enough I then have to deal with my "too cool for school" partners in this homo expert whiteboy thing, who are probably not even white. I am pretty sure Raven Mack is at least 12.39% Powhatan or something, and Keenon seems too hip to be a white dude. Anyway, in this year of shitty rap he was the guy I enjoyed the most so I have to stick to my guns even if it does make me sound like some kinda whiteboy Rolling Stone homo queer editor who only listens to like three rap albums a year and decides to suck the cock of this Lil Wayne guy 'cause he heard that "We Takin' Ova" song numerous times on SIRIUS Hits 1. You guys can say what you want about him but the way he breaks down words to create other words is just insane. Lines like "I am barring a ton like levy" are why I bother to defend him. In the end, lines like that might not have any deep meaning but when Lil Wayne comes out with something new I download it. Plus it's 2007, there's only like seven real rappers left. Embrace the garbage.

#2: THE BULLET TRACHEOTOMY (aka the Shut-the-Fuck-Up-Already Award aka Why Couldn’t You Be The D.O.C.)
RM: You know, you would’ve been hard-pressed to convince me three months ago that I would find anybody more annoying than Lil Wayne (and his band of overhyping closeted hipster fuckface fans), but hearing him play a more appropriate role like he did on that Playaz Circle “Dufflebag Boy” song, which was etched into my sub-conscious until they were kind enough to make a really shitty remix of it to wash it from my brain, it made me not hate him so much. Well, I still hate him, but I have found that DJ Khaled yelling “WE THE BEST... NUGGA!” when he’s a fucking secret Al Qaeda fucker. Plus, he’s helped make some shitty ass music (Rick Ross should thank Plies for becoming popular enough to steal the title of Most Lethargically Boring Ass Rapper Who Raps About Seemingly Non-Boring Subject Matter). I don’t understand these DJ record releases on actual record labels where it’s all guest rappers and even the songs are produced by other people so basically the DJ just hangs out and yells something stupid like what Khaled does. I am glad to see some new ethnically diverse dude to have a - wink wink nudge nudge - platonic relationship with since Big Pun died.
JD: Like Raven stated, it is pretty easy to lay into Lil Wayne and his quantity-over-quality philosophy of putting out music, but I will leave that be. My shut-the-fuck-up award goes to every internet message board drone that hypes up every mixtape from the MCs that will never actually make a real record. Some examples of these type of MCs are Papoose, Saigon, and Joe Budden. Joe Budden just put out a mixtape that people were jocking as the second coming of the greatest shit ever, and I sought it out (meaning downloaded) to give it a listen. What I came out with after listening to the mixtape was no wonder no one will sign him to a record deal. His mediocre rhyming over either other people's beats or mediocre beats are not what makes a successful MC. What further makes Budden unlikeable is the wasting of time dissing people who he seems to diss just to get a rep. Budden wastes line after line dissing Jay-Z. Why? Who the fuck knows? What I do know is every nerd behind a keyboard hangs on those lines repeating them in their threads jocking Budden; with the same nerds drooling all over the next Papoose or Saigon mixtape.
As an aside, I really wanted to put Count Bass D in this spot, but I was a member of his online community for a long while and would feel like a betraying ass motherfucker if I spend a paragraph lamenting over how gay it is to beg for money because your Fatbeats deal can't feed your kids.
MD: I'm going to have to go with the obvious one here and pick Lil Wayne. I don't know what goes on in John's head to make Joe Budden the worst dude of the year to him. I understand his "Wah, my life sucks" act can get old, but there are so many people more deserving of the fictional bullet to the throat.
Back to Lil Wayne - I would only want him to get shot in the throat if there were no repercussions in the way of fans martyring him and making him the next Tupac. That would be so much worse than if he were to continue on his path of making 4000 horrible songs and 3 good ones per year. There are a lot of people putting Tha Drought III high on their year end lists and I just assumed this was a record I never heard since I only download one out of every seven of the Lil Wayne monthly mixtape series, but it turns out I do have Tha Drought III and that's where his reworking of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" is, amongst other horrible mistakes and beat jacks. It blows my mind that anyone would think highly of a record with that "Crazy" song on it. I seriously don't want to be friends with anyone like that. You're all assholes.
I'll openly admit to being caught in the Cam'ron Purple Haze internet dickhead wave, and perhaps Cam'ron didn't really deserve all of that internet dickhead praise that propelled him to rap music's King Retard Savant, but he actually, you know, wrote lyrics. Maybe Wayne writes this garbage down, but it doesn't sound like he's taken much time to do so.
That "Georgia Bush" song from Dedication 2 was pretty good, and I'm guessing that was the last time Wayne really gave a shit since shortly after he discovered his cookie cutter Mad Libs style rhymes would keep him financially comfortable for a while so he could lay back and hold parties in his mouth where every dude is invited. (It's okay though, because he's Prison Gay, not For Real Gay.)
CH: (wack music comes in)
(stupid gay voice) harder, faster, something, stronger
(more wack techno)
Kanye West can go join his mama. This is the single worst rap song ever. Am I missing something? Why is everyone so soft now? How could this song become popular? I already realize the illuminati control shit, so I guess I know the answer. I can deal with my slavery to the world but I wish they could have picked a better theme song for world domination. Shit, this is intro music to like 24 NBA teams. I hear this shit on the elevator. I haven't consciously listened to the radio in years, and I swear I still hear this shit like 14 times a day. Kanye West is undoubtedly some sort of puppet and I wish he would have some sort of standard celebrity epiphany where he should help kids in Africa and go the fuck away. Lil Wayne ain't got nothing on this homo.
BWT: Talib Kweli is a dude who needs to chill the fuck out since he sucks. I remember back when his album came out he sold like 42 copies beating out Swizz Beatz who sold like 40 for the #2 album of the week and he made such a big fucking deal out of it. ~WHAT A GREAT DAY FOR REAL HIP HOP~! What a hypocrite fraud fuck. For years, that dude's been all about "lyrical content", not sales and when he finally gets the sales (although not much at all) he makes a big deal about sales. So what are you trying to man make, an album that sells or an album that is chock full of the "lyrical content"? Not only did that album fucking blow but Swizz Beatz made a better record than you did. In fact, when has Talib ever made a better record than Swizz Beatz? I loved Black Star and that "Just To Get By" song but in 10 years will more people know that or the "Tambourine" song Swizzy did with Eve this year? Keep making so called "conscious rap'", Swizzy will stick to making songs that the few remaining African American baseball players will use for batting entrance music, a noble cause that even Jackie Robinson would be mighty proud of.
KM: 50 Cent and his froo-froo sycophant army. The fact is, G-Rule put out an underwhelming album that cemented his status as a guy who will ride goodwill from his first album until the day he dies. Lil Wayne at least knows how to sing a hook, even if I could live with a 90% reduction of Lil Wayne music. Akon and T-Pain are gimmicky and not that good, but they're pop and don't have any delusions of being the best MC on the planet. 50 actually goes to sleep at night believing that not only is he The God MC, but also that most of humanity concurs. The good news is, his album was pretty much forgotten about two weeks after it dropped. 2008 will probably see a new megabeef with someone, perhaps Tony Yayo will get beaten up by a crossing guard, and hopefully we're approaching the end of the days when G-Unit gets anything more than a passing mention in the world of hip hop.

JD: This will really expose my homosexual music tendencies because everyone of my favorites were from dudes I hid behind, not letting my freak flag fly jocking them all over our seedy clubhouse.
#5. Hip Hop Dock-Trine Mixtape CD - This is a promo deal from the Boondocks TV show. Granted there is nothing more expert whiteboy than saying how much you love that show , but I do enjoy it. The mixtape is the Hall of Justus version, and no matter how much I hate Phonte's retarted comments 4 U, I still love me some Justus League music.
#4. Median's Relief in the Making Mixtape - Another dude from the JL camp (which will be a theme through my list), but Median's mixtape is what a mixtape should be: a few "mixtape" tracks, a couple of tracks he did verses on, with a couple of tracks from his album mixed in. Median's album is definitely an acquired taste, and that taste is Cosmo's and cucumber sandwiches, but I liked it, and this is my list.
#3. Oddisee 101 - Here was an album Oddisee gave away for free on his website just getting his name out there. He is a decent MC and even better producer which is a combo I can live with. I gave this mixtape to a lady who I work with who was shocked I love hip hop. She would always call me 50 Cent and shit thinking that is all "rap music" is and I wanted to change her mind. After a couple of hours I walked by her cubicle and she still had this playing.
#2. Kidz in the Hall Detention Mixtape - Mick Boogie is really genius to take a group I had hate for and make me love them. It was a good thing it was released after the album because they would have created high expectations going into their awful full-length after hearing this mixtape.
#1. Blacksun and J.Dilla Donut Holes Mixtape - Some instrumental albums make you wonder if an MC can even rhyme over the beats, and Donuts was no different. Then an unknown MC from the Pittsburgh area just ripped it to shreds. I love, love, love this album and it is my go-to CD when I am driving and don't know what to listen to. To me, there is no higher compliment than being that go-to CD.
RM: I didn't get 7000 mixtapes by every obscure artist ever like John, but I'm on internet welfare, so I have to pick and choose what's worthy and not just soak it all into my hard drive like most of you internet rap megaupload historians do. Plus, I'm a curmudgeonly old man, thinking most mixtapes aren't even technically mixtapes anymore, because you kids with your wacky definition of what constitutes a mixtape... Nonetheless, Cam'ron's Public Enemy #1 double mixtape did something I never thought would happen - it made me not hate Cam'ron. In fact, I enjoyed that shit immensely. And I've always hated me some Cam'ron. I mean, he's still not brilliant, but there's a retarded genius quality to it that I've never noticed before. Maybe he's always been like that and I'm a hater, or maybe I'm just a homophobe who refused to accept pink was the new black, which I think was just an underhanded trick to confuse white crime victims into describing their assailant as a "scary-looking pink guy" and mislead the idiot coppers.
If you forced me to pick an actual mixtape I bought at the ghetto clothing store in the local rundown mall, the one I bumped the most was the Joell Ortiz one I got that I don't remember the name of. Basically, I toss the slim cases and if the CD is worth keeping, I use a Sharpie to mark the mixtape man's unlabelled CD-R hook-up, and the Joell one I marked "JOELL ORTIZ" in my shitty off-brand graffiti writing, but it was whatever mixtape that I think we wrote about in the EWA one month, and I eventually bought a copy of it like two months later. It was as great as Mike DIKK led me to believe, maybe even more so. I really like that Joell Ortiz. It's too bad he's all hung up with that Shady Aftermatch crowd now, which means when his CD comes out, instead of it being just flat out great NYC rap, it'll be like "OVERPRODUCED SONG BY DRE WITH STRING SAMPLES" BY JOELL ORTIZ FEATURING 50 CENT, YOUNG BUCK, AND STAT QUO! Sigh.
KM: Trae's Streets Of The South mixtape is still available online for free. It's got a mix of NEW HOT SHIT, some of the best album cuts from Life Goes On, and then a smattering of random shit here and there that's like whoa. In particular, my brain melted a little when I heard "Rock & Roll" - it comes at the end of a stretch where Trae rips the Shop Boyz' club songs, and then busts a fast freestyle over Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". One of my favorites is "Hood Made Me Like This" - the beat's smooth as shit and I wish I knew where this was from because it's not on the album. Trae also manages to pull the biggest beats out of Florida (think anything with Khaled, Plies and T-Pain) and make me not hate a song like "Shorty" for two minutes. That Bow Wow "Outta My System" shit sounds like a decent single here. The only gripe I have with this is there are too many 30 second I AM TRAE, MY ALBUM HITS IN SEPTEMBER, I AM THE TRUTH cuts, but this is a mixtape and that is what happens on mixtapes. Anyway, this is worth your time if you want to hear something good from Texas on the cheap.

MD: I am a weird dude when it comes to talking about an album of the year. I pretend like my opinion matters and I devise this crazy set of qualifications in my head before I go around calling any album the album of the year.
Besides a record being good, the most important thing to me is that the record pushes some kind of boundaries or moves the genre forward in some way. I don't think it's healthy to orgasm over all of these throwback records just because it sounds like something that's sentimental to you. Given, some years music just sucks so much that you have to choose some things you're comfortable with, and I feared 2007 would be one of those years, but luckily something came along kind of late in the game that gave me that feeling of forward progress.
I usually do like to sit on records for a few months before I completely gush over them, so maybe it will come back to bite me in the ass, but I'm naming The Cool Kids' Totally Flossed Out EP my record of the year. They have a totally fresh sound as far as rap music goes, and they still manage to give a nod to the old school in the process. Beats-wise, they are what would have happened if The Neptunes somehow went unnoticed and they stuck to making gully shit for N.O.R.E. instead of doing love ballads with Gwen Stefani, but kept evolving at the same time. Lyrically, there's a lot of flossing, but it's done playfully enough with a Camp Lo/EPMD kind of vibe where you don't walk away thinking these dudes are douchebags. I fear that once they end up on a "big" label, they might fall victim to the singles-minded Hit Factory mentality, and there's no doubt in my mind Pharrell will take them under his wing at some point since they're obviously big fans, but for now I can enjoy this one EP for what it is.
My silver medal goes to Dizzee Rascal's Maths & English. It was Dizzee's third LP, and the first he's done that I felt had a really solid balance between rap and dance music. I know some people wouldn't even consider Dizzee rap music, but seriously, if you took a time machine back to 1988 and played someone "Crank Dat Superman", they wouldn't think that was rap music either. You have to evolve at some point, and Dizzee Rascal is a better evolution than where we're currently headed. Ironically, the official title of this award is "Shit That Was So Good I Almost Actually Bought A Copy At A Store", and this CD wasn't even available in American stores. The record label decided it would be best if this was released as a digital download only in the U.S. I'm not saying the record would have sold millions of copies if it was in stores, but it didn't even have a chance to from the jump. I have no idea how it sold in the U.K. though.
I'm giving the bronze to Devin The Dude's Waitin' To Inhale. Mainly because I DID almost actually buy it in a store but I missed that one week window Best Buy gives you to buy CDs for actual human prices, and not some overblown shit price that keeps everyone from buying CDs.
RM: I am going to just give up right here and say Kanye West's thing was the CD of the year, mostly because I have to give up. Good music is gone, done for. Albums were physically a continuous groove that spiralled towards a center hole, just like Indian frybread, and both sides had their own spiral, so the shit was connected and that would cause the mind to think in that way when dudes made music. Cassettes mimicked that, also spinning, also side-to-side, and compact discs sort of fucked up the yin/yang of two-sided affairs, but it was still basically a circular amount of encrypted information to be translated by a cybertronic laser. But now, shit is all fucked, with mp3s and downloads, motherfuckers don't even think about songs being connected into albums being connected into contributions to a regular motherfucker's life. So I chose Kanye's overhyped piece of fucking garbage because this is basically the future of music, sounding like European robots having rhythmic gay sex by splicing two male connectors together with some sort of fiber optic tape that they don't have at the Radio Shack in my little town yet. The new Lupe Fiasco continues this trend to a tee, sounding like something I'd hear through the cinderblock bathroom walls as I popped an amyl nitrate and stroked my lover's dick. And all the so-called independent shit lacks any grime as well, composed on laptops with software, making the music all shiny and disjointed. This might've been the best-selling "rap" CD of the year, which would be great, because I'd love for music to move in this direction harder, faster, stronger, all that, so that the record industry either will crumble completely, or maybe I overestimate humanity and all you secret cyber-faggots will buy into this crap and go shop at Target in your fucking Prius while pumping this type of stuff on your in-dash mp3 players. But that's great too. It drives me further away, deeper into the backwoods, where I probably ought to be anyways, far away from you fucks, sitting up on the hill, making my mountain goats listen to boom bap bullshit running through coathanger wires connecting dumpster found speakers from 1982. Keeping it real.
If I was forced to pick a record of the year by what I played the most in my ride, which is the true test I'd think, honestly, it'd be KRS One & Marley Marl's Hip Hop Lives. But as much as I enjoyed that, a year where some nostalgiac gimmick album like that is the best is a year where I'd just prefer to abstain from taking the idea of a record of the year seriously.
BWT: Enough of that "blahr blahr blahr hip hop is dead" and all that shit, 'cause this was a year with some pretty good stuff. Well pretty good for 2007 rap standards at least. I was a big mark for American Gangster, even though I am pretty sure I am the only one of us to download it, and or play it more than one time. I also really dug the new Ghostface album, especially that "White Linen Affair" track. "IT WAS AMAZING I SEEN ROBIN THICKE AN ROBIN LEECH, ROBIN WILLIAMS, ROBIN GIVENS AN MERYL STREEP". But my album of the year would have to be Spell My Name Right: The Album from Statik Selektah. Built in the style of those old Funkmaster Flex mixtapes, it's a great mix of dudes and the beats are sick. Also it gave me a little bit of hope that Cormega might one day put out an album that people give two fucks about.
KM: Fuck it, the fanboy honeymoon is over and I still think UGK's Underground Kingz is the best album I heard all year. For a double album, it does have a little fat to trim but I would say less than 25 percent really needed to go. To think that Pimp C died after having his biggest success to date, both with this album and with being a cantankerous loose cannon is both sad and kinda cool. Think about it, if you had the choice between dying in jail or in the middle of a fight to get your magnum opus released, or dying after you've put said work out and it was well-received, you had fun talking shit about whatever floated your boat, and you pretty much have your life straightened out after a hellish five years - wouldn't you rather go out on top? Underground Kingz has everything I was looking forward to hearing. Guest spots were on point, production was solid, and UGK brought it lyrically. To gripe about Pimp getting repetitive after a while is to ignore what he's good at: drawly hooks, smooth beats, and ridiculous inspirational odes to hoes on the grind.

#5: THE UNFOLDUPABLE (aka Hip Hop Living Legend Award)
MD: We originally did an early version of this award in one of our monthly 25s and it was one of the few things to ever get cut from our lists because we have absolutely no quality control. The Unfoldupable Award is for someone who deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award. Those things are hard to give out as far as rap goes because every rapper is bound to take a wrong turn at some point and become a big loser in the eye of the internet.
I am giving my UNFOLDUPABLE Award to Biz Markie. He's the only I guy I can think of in the rap world that I'll get emotional over if and when he dies. THe only kind of questionable thing he's done in his ENTIRE CAREER was appearing on that Celebrity Fit Club show on VH1, but it's The Biz and you have to expect him to do dumb shit like that.
Honestly, I don't see many people outside of The Juice Crew ever getting our coveted Unfoldupable award. Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, and Masta Ace are the only other dudes who really deserve some type of Lifetime Achievement Award that haven't made some bitch moves in the past. Biz wins this year though, because he's often overlooked as far as stupid good legendary dudes go, because he never had the lyrics, but he'd always make you crack up, and that's a lot more important than being a gangstafied ladies man with a parking lot full of cars in my mind.
RM: I think anyone who does not like Biz Markie is an anyone who should catch the AIDS, and then when dying of the AIDS in some fruity clinic next to an effeminate Puerto Rican dude who refers to himself in the third person as La Fiera, the clinic is blown up by Fred Phelps and Osama bin Laden working together to clean up the earthball's surface. Biz Markie is a national hero, a big ugly beatboxing treasure for the ages. I have heard a story of a friend of a friend who tried to buy weed in the park in NYC getting busted and being part of the same chain of busted weedheads trying to cop in the park as the Biz, and both the cops and the other weedheads were asking for his autograph. Also, I met the Biz once myself while I was drunk, and Jay-Z was signing autographs for a bunch of homeschooled Mennonite chicks at the Marriott, and the Biz looked like he was pregnant with a watermelon. Oddly enough, nothing about that story is untrue, nor caused by drug-induced delusions.

#6: WE ARE SO DIVERSE AWARD (aka best non-hip hop CD)
RM: This is a category Mike created so we could show how hip and alternative we are and all the great wonderful things we know about. Like, this blog could just as easily have like an Expert Whiteboy Analysis 25 every month about the best any fucking thing on earth, because we keep ourselves minorly knowledgeable on just about anything. That’s why sometimes you get some sports shit, or celebrity gossip. We know everything.
So yeah, we all listen to other stupid shit than hip hop. In fact, doing this blog makes me listen to less hip hop probably, because having to force myself through some of the crap we review or mock condescendingly kinda ruins my hard dick for the rapping music. The jam I pumped the most this past year non-hip hop was Mavado’s Portrait of a Gangster. I am a sucker for stupid dancehall, and when you give it more of an old school reg-gay vibe, but keep it dancehall vocally, that shit will trick me into really liking it. Mavado’s got a nice voice, and if he’s not some sort of Jamaican felon, which I think most dancehall artists have to be, he should probably be flown into America to do all those stupid R&B hooks that stupid T-Pain is getting gigs for with his bionic microphone.
MD: I used to be a pretty eclectic dude when it came to music, but I've slowed my roll a lot in 2007, and I basically listen to rap music with the odd indie/metal/dance album thrown in there every once in a while. Metal and rap used to peacefully co-exist in my world, but as I get older, I find it harder to listen to a lot of purposely abrasive music. I don't know what it is. I mean, I'm generally an angry person, and I used to love angry music, but there's only so much you can take when you get to a certain age.
Regardless, my Diversity Award goes to M.I.A.'s Kala. It's not at all a far stretch from rap music, but I haven't really listened to enough other stuff this year to totally blow your mind with some obscure Hardcore 7" that was limited to 100 copies.
Kala is just as good, if not better than M.I.A.'s debut record, which I also cited as the best record of whatever year it came out (2005 I think) so this was a no-brainer for me. The rest of the EWA Clubhouse like to make fun of me about liking M.I.A. so much because they're all apparently dudes who dip Skoal and do manly things like put up dry wall and chop wood all day and wouldn't be caught dead listening to some fag shit like M.I.A. I am the type of guy who breaks out into a cold sweat just thinking about doing any form of manual labor, and I can maybe lift 20 pounds over my head on a good day, so world-minded dance music with female vocals is something I can enjoy while admiring my smooth hands and nicely manicured fingernails that haven't seen a day of real work, the kind that puts hair on your chest, in over eight years.
BWT: My pick for favorite non-rap album might even out gay Mikk Dikk's pick, and that's saying something. Living With The Living from Ted Leo and the Pharmacists is what I've played and enjoyed the most this year. Oh, that and the new Mark Ronson album. I played the shit out of his "Toxic" remix with O.D.B. on it. And I guess with this news you will be seeing a replacement EWB after I get whacked for being so gay.
KM: I didn't listen to a goddamn thing I enjoyed that wasn't rap this year that came out in 2007. I guess you could count the Mastodon that Mike hipped me to last month. However, I will take this opportunity to say the new Witchdoctor is something outside my normal sphere of listening that I did like a lot.

JD: I am going to break this up into two jams because it is my opinion.
First Jam (AKA FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR JAM): "What a Job" by Devin the Dude with Snoop and Andre 3000. I really don't know where you can go wrong with this track. The laid-back beat meshes perfectly with Devin and Snoop's flow, and Andre 3000 just tears his verse up. I know Raven said Andre 3000 is his MC of the year, and I am not too sure about that, but I do know that his verse on this song might be the best verse of the year. The shit about coming to your job and taking your corn on the cob and the people telling him they got high to him in high school and made love to him in college was mind-blowing. Even Snoop decided to not mail in his verse as well which is a feat in itself.
Second Jam: "Alex (Stolen Script)" by Ghostface. This was a nerd orgasm for me; Ghost on Doom beats no matter what will always get my nerd radar bleeping like a mofo. The story in the rhyme is just insane as well. I know Ghost has said that it is a true story, but I don't even care. I don't there there is anyone who can touch Ghost in storytelling rhymes, and that shit is important to me. One of the reasons I am what I am today is how hip hop gives an MC the opportunity to paint a picture of a place where I never have been and never will be. That is what attracts me to an MC, and adding a dope beat behind it is icing on the proverbial cake. I think in the game now having that ability to paint with your lyrics is a thing that is becoming slowly endangered.
MD: There were probably a few jams I played more than the one I'm going to select (including Devin's "What A Job"), but I have to go with Aesop Rock's "None Shall Pass". I've never been much of a fan of Aesop, and outside of a few songs, I've hated all of his albums. There were always too many bleeps and bloops and a glazed topcoat of general sci-fi nerdery going on in his past releases to ever catch my attention. Then you throw on his overly wordy essay-like lyrics that were almost exclusively rapped off beat and you have a potent recipe for me not giving a shit.
With that said, there were a few songs where it all came together (mainly "Daylight" and "9 to 5'ers Anthem", both from Labor Days) and it was like the late '90s/early '00s underground rap movement was really justified in it's smarminess and Star Wars bravado. Aesop had the backpack game sewed up, but there was such a spectacular amount of worthless, overly perceptive shit in his catalog that I just wanted him to go away.
Then this "None Shall Pass" song came along. It originally appeared on the Adult Swim/Definitive Jux comp and I liked the beat, but kind of zoned out the lyrics on instinct. From then on, I'd hear the instrumental in odd places (Adult Swim, MTV, and I think it's even on the MF Doom DVD for some reason) and it made me want to listen to the song again. By the time Aesop's actual album came out, I was fist deep in "None Shall Pass". Aesop is still wordy of course, but he's really shaved down the unwanted bits and learned to control his flow with expert precision. The entire album is great, since it's almost 2010 now and every producer has chilled the fuck out with the abstract spaceman beats, so he's got a lot of honest head nodders backing him up this time, but "None Shall Pass" shines above the rest.
Honorable Jam Mentions go to: Devin The Dude et al "What a Job", UGK/Outkast/Three 6 "International Player's Anthem", Freestyle Professors "Hear What I Hear" and Dizzee Rascal "Sirens".
CH: Although I would attest 2007 was a solid enough year for rap, there wasn't one particular jam that smacked me in the face like it used to. I was feeling the fuck outta that "Nostalgia" jam for a while but just realize I forgot about it until trying now to think of one. I loved that SP/AZ, the hardest, but again wasn't listening to that shit a ton. That's kinda what I always try and compare stuff to -- shit like "Jazz (We Got)". I would listen to tracks like that over and over again. Am I different or is rap different? I'm older; however I'm still smoking the same amount of blunts and doing basically the same things, so I'm going to venture (yeah, welcome me to the party) that rap is just so different then before. I’m not even going to say worse – although it clearly is. It’s just completely different. It just seems like there's so much that keeps coming out that there's no time to sit and listen anymore, 'cause I'll miss those 18 mixtapes that came out that week and fall behind. Which isn't to say those mixtapes won't be solid but they're just that - solid. Nothing more, nothing less. I miss those tracks that were like crack. That said, my jam of the year goes to OutKast, "The Art of Storytellin' (Pt. 4)" which shocked me not because I thought Outkast would come wack but because both of their raps were fucking ridiculous. I thought Dre slayed Big Boi for the longest time (like two days) and then realized the Big Boi verse was just as dope. I can't call it now.
BWT: "International Player's Anthem" is so good that if rap magazines are still alive by 2010 and not just like doublexl.livejournal.com it will be the #3 on the best songs of the '00s. Even the video was amazing...
DJ Paul: "Why you dressed like Roddy Piper?"
Andre 3 Stacks: "I got Scottish in my blood!"
RM: I have this dork rule that started ever since we thunk up the EWA Hot Jamz 100 list for All-Time (which we never finished of course, because this is the internet, where everyone has ideas but no one has execution, which is why so many fags like us end up with "blogs" instead of "gigs") where I feel a Jam can't be a Jam unless it has a certain amount of pop appeal. Like, anyone can make a list of their favorite bullshit because they got a blowjob from a hot slut while listening to some random Mobb Deep song, but that doesn't make it a fucking jam for the world-at-large. Anyways, I started off the '07 painting the inside of this cavernous 3-story warehouse in downtown Richmond at night when the business wasn't operating, so I was there by myself, in a known crack locale, alarm system in effect but the reality of drug-addled fuckers jacking me for all my shit as I loaded up the truck at the end of the night (which was like 2 or 3 in the morning usually) being a reality. Not to mention it was a creepy dark warehouse in Richmond where fucking ghosts circulate like mad from Civil War and drug murders and all sorts of fucked up hopeless shit, and I had to ride a freight elevator up and down between floors with my ladders and shit, just a tiny little window peeking onto each floor, with a flashlight in my hand, fully expecting to see a face peering in at any second causing me to shit my fresh work khakis. Well, I tempered the fear by playing the shitty Power 92 rap station real fucking loud at night, which had the Bad Boys - DJ Foote and Big Nat, who are extended members of Kayslay's Streetsweeper crew, and their obnoxiousness and pop rap jam mixes would help me not freak out and run home like a scared bitch. So a lot of what effected me jam-wise came from that period, although not entirely. It also seems to me that every awesome song that I could think of has something sort of holding it back as well to keep it from being timeless. "What a Job" has that unnecessary ass Snoop Dogg outro. I dug the shit (from the warehouse times) out of that "Zoom" song by Lil Boosie, but Yung Joc drags anything down with his retarded mute rhyme style. "International Player's Anthem" was the closest thing to perfect, but then Mike DIKK had to nerdily ruin the perfection by pointing out to me how Project Pat had used the same beat, and how it was a very uncreative interpolation of an old Willie Hutch song. (That did, however, make me start keeping an eye out for Willie Hutch singles for my jukebox, which is kinda like my ipod, except it only holds 200 songs, and it's really giant and has wheels like a refrigerator.) What I ended up choosing, even though it has something holding it down as well, is Richboy's "Throw Some D's". I heard some Jim Crow shit in the past, so I already knew Polow da Don was stupid, so his dick poster thing was expected. But something about the way Richboy drawled through that song... and such a perfect song, about nothing more than buying rims for a Cadillac. What a great fucking song to keep me less afraid of ghosts and crackheads in a stupid Richmond warehouse that I ended up getting ripped off for $1500 for my work by the owners. Not crackheads or malevolent spirits, but the fat-faced white owners.
I think once I saw a picture of Richboy and how he looks like a Darfur refugee with Downs syndrome that an old Jew adopted and put some fresh clothes on to see if he could make a music star out of him, probably in a dollar bet with his brother.
Also, to be honest, if I was gonna decide jam of the year by what song I would actually press up a 45 to put inside my jukebox, I'd go with "Gonna Be a Good Day" by the Nappy Roots. But I'd put "Throw Some D's" on the b-side.
KM: UGK's "International Player's Anthem". I wanted so badly to include something off Scarface's new album, but truth is I still bump that UGK on a regular basis. It's just that good. The only thing that could make it better is mashing in the Three 6 verses into one gigantic megamix. I'm sure someone has already, it's just something that kicks around in my brain every time I hear it on the radio.

MD: I've never been affected by rapper deaths too much. Too much hub bub and jibber jabber surrounds them if you ask me. The only real ones that stick out for me are Trouble T. Roy, Poetic of the Gravediggaz, and of course J Dilla.
Trouble T. Roy was mostly because I was young and it was a freak accident. It's not like I personally gave a shit about Heavy D's dancers, but it was the first time I really knew of a dude dying that I had seen in rap videos, so it was pretty real for me when I was 12 or whatever.
Poetic's passing was a little more fucked up, because he had been dying of cancer for two years and did not have the health insurance to help him along. I remember rappers briefly considered unionizing because of it, but the record label slavemasters were having none of that.
J Dilla's hit me hard. Well, as hard as a death can hit you when the deceased is someone you never met. It was just days after his Donuts album came out and no one (as in, rap nerds) knew he was dying and that he made Donuts while he was laying up in the hospital wasting away. I still think Donuts is his best work, even after the hordes of posthumous albums hit the streets, and it must have been some real serious shit for him to think he was most likely going to die soon, while constructing his seminal masterwork in a hospital bed with a rinky dink sampler and a fraction of his record collection.
You guys probably want jokes though, so I'll stop bumming myself out thinking about dudes I don't know who died and instead make light of some fresh passings. It's been kind of a slow year as far as top-tier rapper deaths go. Pimp C was the big one of course, but I was never the biggest UGK fan, and usually when a dude is real known for smoking mad PCP, his lifespan isn't that long. Big Moe from the S.U.C. died, and I'm sure at least one of my southern EWA brethren will mention him, so I'll skip over him. I guess I'll have to go with Stack Bundles, just because no one else is. Stack Bundles was so low on the Dipset totem pole, I'm not even sure I ever heard a song by him. He was mainly a guy who popped up on mixtapes here and there, and mortality finally failed him after some hood squabble over jewelry or something. Don't feel bad though, because Stack's murderer mysteriously got murdered himself a few days later.
Anyway, R.I.P. Stack Bundles. Heaven needed a guy to make uninteresting appearances on other people's mixtapes. I'm sure Jesus is rocking that collabo you did with St. Vincent right now.
BWT: They still don't have the cause of death back for Pimp C but I think we all know it's going to be some kinda super drug overdose that would have offed the dude in Motley Crue who claims he used to shoot Jack Daniels when he ran out of heroin. Awhile back I was at the bar with friends when "Big Pimpin" came on. I went off on some drunken rant about how much I hated Pimp C and I wished all sorts of horrible things on the man for dragging down Bun B with his shit. Looking back, I feel bad about that night even though Pimp C did suck. So just in case there's some higher power out there who listens to me, can you please take out Vladimir Putin, Skip Bayless, DJ Khaled, any past and or former frat boyz, and last but certainly not least all fans of the Boston Red Sawxx especially those who have no affiliation to that sorry excuse for a city.
RM: Every time somebody dies who I never knew and actually effects me, other people ruin it with their melodramatic nonsense. Like with Sean Taylor dying - as a lifeling Redskins fan, that shit bothered me. I mean dude had changed with the birth of his first kid, which as much as a corny ass story the media made it, that's some real shit. I'm not nearly the ridiculous-minded fool I was before I had some offspring; it grounds you because you know you're not just fucking yourself up, you're potentially fucking up someone else who doesn't even have a chance. But shit, it wasn't even a week later and motherfuckers had petitions to retire his number, even though no Redskin number has ever been retired ever. Not Sonny Jurgensen, nor John Riggins, both of whom were far bigger more imposing legends than Sean Taylor.
Still, the spiritual magic of the Redskins somehow making the playoffs with airbrushed undershirts of Sean Taylor on, and beating the Cowboys by 21 points, that shit got me fired the fuck up. It also makes me believe even lesser than I already did in Heaven and Hell. I mean what the fuck, does God have an american football team league with Buddha, Allah, Zarathustra, and the rest of the spiritual elite, and God needed a hard hitting safety with ballhawking abilities when he could refrain from senseless personal fouls? When people die, are they froze in eternity as whatever they died as, which would suck for vegetables that get life support pulled from them; or do you get to pick your pinnacle form, like going into the baseball hall of fame? Or do you get to pick your highest potential form, like if you're a five-year-old killed in a car crash or some shit? Because if you can take any form, you'd think they'd have mad good football players up there for God to choose from, or he'd take an old dude like Ronnie Lott. But if you get frozen at how you die, then you'd think more football players would be dying to make the team's better. (But also, you'd think most other deities would be more into soccer, so this american football shit seems kind of a stretch.) Also, with so many wrestlers dying young, I bet all the deities are just huge wrestling fans, and they keep picking all these awesome wrestlers for their individual fantasy promotions. And Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit might be able to do faggy super-fucktard shit off of the highest clouds in heaven, but whoever fantasy draft struck down Ernie Ladd got the real shit. And that's who I give fresh grave daps to. Ernie Ladd gave up his prominent role as a defensive lineman in the NFL to be a wrestler back in the '70s, and basically he was a bad guy because he was a black dude who talked with big words and confidence. He also was a for-real black Republican, not a pretend "haha isn't it funny we pretend to be Republican when Republicans hate black people but we're so rich now we can hate black people too even though we are black isn't that ironic that's just how rich we are" Nas/Jay-Z black Republican. Rest in peace Ernie Ladd. I can't remember if you technically died in 2007 or not, but who the fuck cares? Heaven needed a scary intelligent black guy to make people jeer in vaguely racist knee-jerk ways.
KM: Big Moe's still not going to ever sing a song for me again. This still bums me out. I mean there were bigger, more awful things going on in 2007 no doubt - Pimp C's death also sucks a whole fucking lot but at least he went out on top. Put down the drank, people. My only concept of promethazine is when they've given it to me in the hospital as an anti-nauseal and those are really small doses so I cannot imagine enjoying it in a recreational setting.

#9: LATE FOR DINNER (shit that was supposed to come out but didn't award)
CH: I remember buying Grand Pu's 2000 and Rae's Cuban Linx the same day. I flipped a coin back in the day when I couldn't make a choice and the dime said Rae was leading off. I don't think I even listened to Puba till a week later. Maybe it was my impressionable age, maybe it was the era itself, but that shit hit me harder than any other album up to that point. I had heard 36 and shit like that, but once I heard "Incarcerated Scarfaces", it was over. That fucking beat permanently scarred my brain till this day and I love it. Nowadays there's hardly anything that I get excited to hear, so, after seeing the cover art circle its way through the scores of blogs on the internet, I was officially on watch. I'm still on watch. I'm still waiting for a leaked copy. I'm watching Rae diss Rza and give a mail-in performance on the new Wu and then getting me open as fuck with his Big Doe verses. Big Doe proved to me that Rae can still kick it, so this album better come the fuck out.
MD: There were an incredible amount of records that were supposed to come out this year that didn't. It could just be a weird coincidence or it could be a serious sign that rap doesn't have a stronghold over the music industry like it did a few years ago. There were a lot of records that got pushed back into oblivion (Mike Jones, Three 6 Mafia) and then even more that are almost completely fictitious (just about everything else). I'm sure a more high profile fake record deserves this award, but I'm choosing the long-rumored, probably never going to come out Madvillain II Project just so I can bitch about it a little more.
For the past few years, Stones Throw has sent out a "Future Releases" newsletter for the coming year, and every year Madvillain II is on that list. The hype for Madvillain II calmed down pretty early in the year, but Madlib and Doom managed to throw out a couple songs keeping the dream alive. It was more activity from Madvillain than the two years prior, but the album never materialized. There's all these rumors floating around about Doom. Some say he's dying in a hospital somewhere but I find that doubtful. It is kind of weird that a guy who was previously putting out 500 records per year only popped up with a handful of verses and some producer credits. Madlib has been busy throughout the year working on a lot of projects I don't particularly care for. The Percee P record was pretty underwhelming. I never bothered listening to the last Yesterday's New Quintet record, and I have no interest in his Erykah Badu collabo. Hopefully 2008 will be the year Madvillain II sees the light of day, assuming Doom is not dead by then and Madlib doesn't fall victim to the Badu Curse.
RM: I am sad for the Mike Jones album never coming out. Shit, his "My 6-4" song I meant to mention as one of the great singles of the year. That weird way they scratch the hook was like the most weed-induced mind-blowing moment of the year for me personally. And for all the intelligentsia rhymebook academics blogospheric fuckfaces fellate, there's something to be said for straight goofy beautiful ignorance. I mean, music is sensual, and so is sex, and would you rather have sex with a dissertation on the linguistic fallacies inherent in Rap-a-Lot's early catalog of releases, or would you rather have sex with an ignorant slut with big titties who likes when you insert a dildo into her ass while you fuck her doggy style? Mike Jones' style is that ignorant big-tittied slut, and it can bounce up and down on my lap all day anyday, especially on Friday nights, but always with protection, because I ain't making no kids with that style.
KM: Ditto on Mike Jones. They got a banger for a lead single, his agent got him a guest spot on that show The Game, and then his album will probably see the light of day in 2010. Slim Thug used to be the one who got the shaft all the time, now it appears to be Mike's turn. If anyone had told me in 2005 that Paul Wall would get two whole albums of his bullshit out ahead of Mike Jones, I would have laughed in their face.

JD: I was having trouble coming up with the right way to piece my thoughts together on the rap beef that I felt was most important in 2007. It isn't really a "beef" in the traditional sense, but more of a backlash against someone - the MF DOOM vs. the underground shit that is going on now is interesting, but I don't think it is that big of a deal. Why is there some sort of double standard with hip hop guys? I was listening to a radio show the other day where mothers would come down to a radio station and get naked for tickets to Hannah Montana. Do you think that show is 100% live? Do you think if Britney Spears did a comeback tour, she would do all of her vocals? Fuck no. So why must every hip hop rag get in a huff over Doom first sending an imposter to do a show and second allegedly lipsynching a 30 minute set?
I guess since I am not a hip hop artist, I don't understand. But I do think it is stupid for the promoter to give out Doom's phone number and refunds for the whole show based on a shitty 30 minutes. I also think the hip hop world is letting people not doing live vocals on a grander scale slide. Has anyone ever watched an MTV awards show when a hip hop dude performs? Eminem is more concerned with having his one pantleg pulled up than doing his own vocals.
This shit is all gay, but anyone using the term beef is gay as well.
RM: I couldn't agree more with John, not about the nonsense of the Doom shit, but with the term "beef" being gay. There's a lot of shit we're throwing together here for this year-end fagstravaganza that's gay, and some of these categories stretch more than yoga pants on 40-inch plus asses. I think we hit our peak around the middle of the year, because me and Mike neither one will ever stay focused on a project long enough to take it all the way. We are attention deficit fucks who will probably always waste whatever talent we may or may not have on stupid shit like a list of the greatest car chases in movie history or great hip hop sort of things monthly. John and Keenon, bless them both, were part of the 100 Jamz committee, and got dragged into this, and I don't think either of them were ever gay in the same way me or Mike would consider ourselves an "aspiring writer" (which is even gayer than "beef" to say), but they were game, and they've showed well. It became like group sex though and we lost our hard-on, so we started dragging in new people, hoping to excite things up, but then we start sounding like each other more, or we act like people give a fuck what we think, or I don't know. But this shit sucks compared to some months. And yet, motherfuckers will show up in the cbox and be like, "Awesome write up like always, you guys are the funniest, but you know that." I don't know that bitch. This shit is pathetic. If you sat around and got high a couple of nights a week in front of an open word file on your nutwarmer machine, I'd hope you could do better than this crap. Beef of the year? Great lines? What the fuck is this shit?
CH: There was no beef of the year. Shit, you want me to nominate some bitches like Joe Budden and Ransom for having a gay e-beef for four rounds. 50 and Kanye? Come fuckin' on now. I don't want fake contrived beef. I want fuckin' shit to go off in '08 boy. I predict 2008 to be the year I finally get to see the long awaited Wu Tang beef where they split into fractions - including all the b-listers. It seems like the only reason this hasn’t happened yet is because they need each other to make that dollar; but that breaking point seems to be coming where none of that shit matters. Nobody seems to have really liked each other for a long time, so what you have is a solid foundation of genuine indisputable hatred which can become manifested into a real fuckin' beef. And it finally seems to be getting closer to fruition now with various interview jabs and peeps actively going at each other. This is the only thing that can save the Wu, since their golden boy rap image has seemingly disappeared.
I kinda see Ghost and Rae being the first to drop out and join forces. Seems pretty obvious if you know their deals. Raekwon also changes his name to Raeza just to fuck with the Rza. Rza gets one of his 88-year-old Shaolin boys to resurrect Dirt and Gza also joins the fray. I see nobody wanting U-God’s bitch-ass and him going off to join Dipset; Meth doing his solo thing. Once these foundations are in place, I see the rest shaping up with INS and Masta Killa joining forces together and releasing a mixtape called Rebel Time, before deciding that they’d be better off with Raeza’s crew. Killah Priest and Cappadonna - who is asked back after serving his stint as a cab driver/homeless man - are the only B-listers who are asked to join up. Nobody seems to like Rza, so they both go with Raeza’s all star crew. Meanwhile, while all these groups are put into place, mixtapes are being furiously dropped with scathing disses such as, “Rza’s ass is meant to be fucked with”; “I’m the real Raeza”; “GZA's an old black fuck”; “Bobby Raezital”; “Rza is a bitch, I’m Ghost mothefuckin face” etc. Embrace the Wu beef.
KM: MF Doom vs. rap nerds is the carniest, most awesome thing I've read about in a very long time. To pull a Gallagher on people in 2007 takes a different type of balls, and gives me a newfound respect for a guy who didn't quite set my world on fire in the past couple years. I hope he puts out a whole album where his body double raps and they sell it as MF Doom. This is not a new schtick, but sometimes the best jokes are old ones.

#11: THE NEXT HOTTNESS 4 THA FUTURE (aka Hype for the Next Shit)
JD: Yo, that next shit will be the dopest shit ever, son - I am talking about Disney rhymes. Naw son, not just rhyming about the Magic Kingdom and shit, I am talking straight rap crews named after the Seven Dwarfs and shit. MC Sleepy is a name that is just begging for some Devin The Dude type southern MC with that slow drawl. Maybe once Jay-Z signs Superhead to a record deal she can be the Snow White of the crew?
Then what will dominate the rap game for the next dozen years will be who will take the title of MC Mickey Mouse. Imagine Ghost, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Nas, and every other MC in a giant battle on Space Mountain just straight rippin' shit to get the title of God MC, Mickey Mouse. I predict much murder, murder, murder, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG in the next hot minute as the new hype shit.
MD: You may be confused as to what this award is for since John went on some kind of temper tantrum because he had originally chosen Showbiz and A.G. for this honor until Raven reminded him that Showbiz and A.G. have been around since we were in grade school (well, maybe not Raven because he's old as fuck; though, I would bet a healthy sum of money that Raven had a rat tail in grade school), so he changed it some silly crap.
Anyway, this is kind of a combo award for the dudes on the come-up, and the dudes who have been around for a couple years that aren't getting the recognition we think they deserve. I mean, the whole purpose of blogging is to talk out of your ass about something you like in order to get other people to like it so you can in turn hate it because too many other people like it now. Ya smell me?
I'm giving my Next Hotness nod to Apathy. I'm not really sure why this dude hasn't caught on more by now. His debut LP was pretty good, and it was even on a major label. Then for reasons unknown, he bounced from Atlantic and released two pretty strong mixtapes (and a mediocre collabo LP with Celph Titled) in '07. Still, he seems to get lost in the deluge of anonymous white MCs whose downloadable mixtapes litter the blogosphere via the swift fingers of anonymous bloggers who don't even bother to put a goddamn album description with the download.
Either way, I feel he's the guy most deserving of the Joe Budden Great Rap Underdog hype, but he's obviously being overlooked by the mainstream, and somewhat ignored by the "underground" (i.e. dudes who read and write blogs.). Hopefully more people give a shit about Apathy in '08.
RM: Yeah, I'm not quite sure if John's new fake blurb was supposed to cut to my heart or not, but fuck man, Showbiz & A.G. are older than fuck. That being said, I think my pick for Next Hottness may already be jocked by the internet rap nerds, or may already be passe for them, but I don't pay attention to that shit. Because I know that regular dudes I work with who like rap music have never heard of Brother Ali in the regular world, but when I saw that motherfucker live this past year, it was the best performance I ever saw. Dude was so on fire it made his CD, that I illegally downloaded afterwards, seem tame in comparison to the live show. And with him having gone on tour at the end of the year with Rakim and Ghostface, I can only imagine his regular world street presence grew, as well as his own personal abilities. I mean, for me, Rakim is the all-time greatest, and Ghost is the current greatest, and to be this independent label MC on tour with those two for a couple of months... nothing bad can come from that. I'd like to see dude break away from the ultra-closeted indie rap world and make steps into the mainstream, so that more people can know about him and stupid sorority girls can talk about him loud enough that I overhear them, and then I can hate on Brother Ali for being a chump ass sell-out, with his stupid ass song with Akon on the hook and shit.

#12: DOO DOO BUTTER (aka Most Shit-tastic CD of the year)
JD: It is getting late in 2007, and the worst shit ever just vomited all over my ears. Lupe Fiasco's new album The Cool is some of the most godawful shit in the history of hip hop music. Lupe sounds like he made an album to be played over the loud speakers at Old Navy; it is so gay/weak/lame/spineless that those adjectives fail to properly describe how awful the music is. Also adding to the new trend of having some white singer doing the hook on your track, is his single... I honestly don't fucking know because when I see the video on MTV, I go into a seizure-like state where I turn the TV ASAP.
Lupe's new album really makes me angry that I defended his last album to Raven as hard as I did. I had the wool pulled over my eyes and that wool is Lupe's one, long pubic hair because he is not man enough to make any music with balls.
BWT: That Beanie album was easily the worst rap thing I've played all year. And man that hurts to say since I used to love that guy. His previous album was so good at one point I considered him to be my favorite current rapper. Now the dude is making songs with James Blunt and I feel betrayed. Please get back on the pancakes and syrup and find your edge again man. Write a song about your step-pop's getting burnt to death. Hell find religion or something. Anything would be better than The Solution.
MD: This is an award I take seriously, because I am not quite 30 yet, so I'm still expected to ironically like really bad things like Ed Wood movies and generic neon t-shirts that say FLORIDA on them with a flamingo drawing.
There's a good god damn chance that 2007 was the year I listened to the most current music (meaning from that specific year) in my lifetime due to the technological advancements and conveniences made in downloading and portable iPod machines. Unfortunately, I don't enjoy music as much as I did in my younger years, and now I resemble some kind of gluttonous music robot, gobbling up gigabytes of mp3s at will until I vomit and sift through the anonymous chunks and undigested carrots to find something worth keeping.
Because of this, it takes something really shitty to stick out. Without a doubt, the worst thing I've heard in years was that Ali & Gipp Kinfolk CD that we talked about several months back. Fortunately, I think the EWA braintrust were the only people to actually hear that CD. I wish I had more to say on the subject, but that would mean going back and listening to the CD again which is definitely not happening.
Another shitty CD that seemingly slipped under everyone's radar was that Raekwon Presents: Ice Water Inc. garbage. Their leadoff single was pretty good, but the rest of the CD was like some kind of thug rap parody album. I mean, I'm sure those dudes are hard and all, but they really sucked at rapping. I'm assuming their little foray into rap music didn't distract too much from their UPS jobs, which is good, because they probably have benefits and stuff.
KM: Motherfucking Graduation. Curtis was just as bad, but I didn't have to deal with it that much in my real world part-time DJ life. On the other hand, people were trying to hear Kanye's shit all the goddamn time. I liked "Flashing Lights" and could deal with "Can't Tell Me Nothin'", but that was about all I could stomach. One of the biggest things that stumped me about this album was how Kanye managed to put out a huge single ("Stronger") with that line about the gay shit and nobody blinked. Eminem had to hug a homosexual on national television for less. One would think in a year that saw people get extra-sensitive about every other politically incorrect message in hip hop, someone would have caught feelings about this. It is entirely possible that he's managed to slide under the radar by throwing it into a song with Daft Punk electronica and wearing those tight-ass pants. The homosexual community may have no qualms about one of their own talking shit.

RM: Although I think the whole "making it rain" is absolutely ridiculously retarded, to pretend you are so rich that you can throw $5000 for a stripper to pick up with her ample ass cheeks, it didn't win out for me. Because first off, everybody who does that shit is gonna one day be like, "Damn, I was throwing money away." Like, buying stupid shiny shit I understand, but just tossing money away, it's fucking retarded, although I wish the trend existed back when Richard Pryor made Brewster's Millions because then that would've been a much better flick to jack-off to when I was a teenager self-discovering myself. But the absolute stupidest shit to ever happen is these extra reflicted print hoodies that are like pseudo-holographs of Ben Franklin's giant face all over them, as if the wearer of said hoodie is so fucking rich he just emblazons all his clothes with Franklin faces. I mean, all over print hoodies were retarded enough when dudes thought they looked hard wearing jackets made from old Wonderbread bags and Pee Wee's Playhouse fabric samples. But the giant shiny money bullshit is just too ridiculous, especially since whoever wearing it is usually some broke ass wearing some barely matching Starburys shopping at the flea market. And don't get me wrong, I am not completely against stupid money clothes, because them old brown leather jackets with the embroiderings of dollar bills... that shit was tight. Being a white dude, I couldn't really rock that shit right, but I'm white, we carry our money on the inside not the outside. I do anxiously await the day I see some homeless crackhead-looking fucker pulling the ol' "my wife has cancer and our car ran out of gas can I borrow five dollars?" con with an empty gallon bleach bottle on Jeff Davis Highway in Richmond in one of those holographic $100 bill hoodies at some point in the future.
JD: I think this was one of the easier things to write and I am suprised that none of the other dudes on here jumped on this quick. But then I thought of who we are dealing with: Buttpirate Dikk - waiting for some fantasy job editing something to do with porn; Raven - paints houses; BWT - college kid; Charlie - some asshole's secret identity; Keenon - fishing through the dumpster at a woman's shelter to find a computer. So I knew no one would find this so easy, but here it is: the most annoying trend of '07 is the Soulja Boy dance becoming the Electric Slide of wedding, corporate events, and wherever else intoxicated white people gather with the potential to dance. None of these other dicks thought of it because none of the other dudes have office jobs like I do. To clarify the intro written by Mike last month on my behalf, I go to college full-time and work part-time at an insurance company, so I am lucky enough to have to attend an annual Xmas party. This year's party was highlighted by the IT dudes, who are all 21 to 24 year-olds, teaching the people I work with that lame fucking dance. I am proud enough to say I have not heard the whole song and do not know what the dance is like because even in person, I was smart enough to have walked away from the fucking white clusterfuck that was going on during the party. Now I am not the biggest fan of dancing in general. Once I dance, it is a sign to me that I am at least a half hour from either vomiting and/or passing out, and in that condition I sure don't want to do some choreographed dance to some awful song that is proving to be the 2007 Macarena.
BWT: While John is right about Soulja Boy and white people beating that horse well past death (it's a lock to become a future fixture at block parties while the little kids get pink eye in the ball pit), all the remixes of it keep it going for me. This year's worst trend is obviously the T-Pain voice. As if T-Pain wasn't bad enough we now have everyone doing it. Lil Wayne put out a whole mixtape using the T-Pain voice. Snoop Dogg's lead single off his new album was in the T-Pain voice. This is the AIDS of hip hop and I hope they find a cure in 08'.
CH: You know, I could probably stand to do without these fake publicity stunt shits that seem to be all the rage. Saigon had me. I was all on that kid for a good while after he released those dope ass mixtapes. I ain’t lying - my white skin was getting all rosey and crackerish and I was even vouching to people to check him out. It’s not that he suddenly turned wack, 'cause I’m sure he’s still got them good raps but shit, I just lost interest when he started acting a fool. From his stupid shit with Prodigy where they both end up looking like chumps, to the retirement talk – this guy just has to try his hardest to stop looking like such a bitch all the fucking time. He had that buzz because he could actually rap and then he started doing that stupid shit. Everyone is going to just download your album anyway, so it’s not like you’re going to get anymore dough acting like a fag for 15 months. Saigon could have just kept dropping the dopeness while his album was getting delayed. So yeah Saigon, you got me bitter boy. Fuck you.
KM: Andre 3000 summed it up best in the "Walk It Out" remix - those goddamn gigantor t-shirts that look like the shit teenage white girls wear at slumber parties have got to go. I have family that mocks me for wearing shirts that fit because they think I should walk around looking like I stole shit from my fat uncle. Maybe this is a sign that I'm getting old, but fuck it.

#14: BEAT-KING OF THE YEAR (aka The Super Producer Award)
JD: If we did this shit a year or so ago, there would have been at least a dozen people that would have easily popped up in my head who to give this award to, but in my mind, hip hop has been more about the MC in '07. Producing now seems to be more about doing the best cover of some other dude's sound, so I am going to go with the dude who is the best J. Dilla cover band out there now, Black Milk. Really, saying he is a Dilla cover band is discounting the guy because he can stray away from that, see the Caltroit mixtape where he made some obscure Cali MCs sound dope, but Popular Demand was his big release of the year and is full of the mix of Dilla and gritty hip hop shit.
Maybe the producer is going the route of the point guard in basketball? They don't necessarily have to be the star, but they make everyone around them better and they would only become big names if they are really good. Black Milk makes dudes like Guilty Simpson and Phat Kat sound good when on their own they suck ass the same way you would put Shawn Marion on the Bucks without a dope PG like Nash to set him up.
CH: John is kinda right on with that point guard analogy. There only seems to be a few out that consistantly make me go, "Shit, he right did it again boy." I'm clearly generalizing but most producers shit is so formulaic that even if it's dope as a motherfuck, it still sounds the same. Being some random faggot who's dabbling in the art of making beats over quite a few years, I can probably narrow down some of this beat monotony to those wack break compilations/discs culprits; you're ruining shit so let me sound off on that before I drop my pick. Nowadays you can go to ebay and just order up digitally some famous producer's drum sounds; you can then load them into your fancy computer and make beats. This kid the other week from around the way looked at me crazy when I asked where'd he find this certain record cause I recognized the snare. He said it was on this disc. That same break took me years to find. Call me an elitist fag but producers who don't dig for their own breaks are like girls who back in high school didn't give up that sweetness - good for nothing. I would punch my new kitten right in her nosebone before using something like that. Fuck, that shit is straight up violating. phatdrumloops.com can fuck themselves too. What happened to those unwritten rules where you don't jack shit and be a man? Fuck you if you're reading this and you don't dig for your drums. Also fuck you if you smoke blunts with a fake blunt wrap. Faggots.
That said, Alchemist is clearly the producer of the year. From those dope as fuck Return of the Mac beats, to those tracks he laced boring ass Evidence with, to those rapper's best friend beat CDs that even make me wanna catch wreck, he's straight killing shit.
RM: I say Static Selector, because he makes new shit that sounds new but has that old griminess that I have come to love about the commercial industry known as hip hop. Too much about the commercial industry known as hip hop is too poppy sounding and electronic. I prefer my shit to have some train tracks and abandoned warehouses type grime, even when it is commercial bullshit. Luckily, the hip hop industry is dying out, so people will stop caring, and hopefully I won't have to listen to so much Eurofag instrumental amyl nitrate sped-up vocal sample anal sex soundtrack shit no more.
KM: For the Year? Polow da Don, believe it or don't. He put out a bunch of hot club shit and truck bangers, so it may fly contrary to the internerd rap logic to pick him. For my money, the guy did "Get Buck" and "Boy Looka Here" with some sinister marching band shit; he made me like Eve & Kelly Rowland on "Like This"; he gave Ciara her first good song that wasn't done by Jazze Pha, and had Chamillionaire there to do his thing - nobody even knew his name two years ago.

#15: BENCHWARMER AWARD (aka Guy Who Should've Kept Carrying Another Man's Weed)
JD: The easy answer to this is anyone from Dipset outside of Cam, but I will take the whiteboy expert route in my answer. With the insurgence of J. Dilla mixtapes, tribute albums, and albums made of throwaway beats in order to make his moms some loot, I was exposed to one dude who really has NO RIGHT to make an album. That dude is Guilty Simpson. I heard probably more verses from him than many of the other "mainstream" acts this year, and over Dilla's beats, he sounded dope. Upon scouring the net for free music, I came across his mixtape and was hyped to hear it. It wasn't good at all. Well, let me change that - the tracks that weren't Dilla tracks were awful. Some dudes were meant to ride the jocks of others. Shit, P. Diddy had no right to release an album on his own when his only MCing skills were based on doing ad-libs on Biggie records, but he did it. If and when Guilty releases an album, it will more than likely get shit on by everyone, but unfortunately not have the legacy of Dilla to milk into a career like Diddy did with Biggie.
RM: This is one of the stupider categories we came up when brainstorming, because enough regular shit sucks to worry about digging into their crews to find who sucks even more. I could give a fuck if every shitty rapper ever had shit out tomorrow, because there's seven million rappers and producers who think they should be Jay-Z or Dre if only the right person would listen to their perfect bullshit, and almost all of it is redundant derivative bullshit. But that's music.
Instead of talking about what obscure MC has metaphorically taken off his glove and slapped me in the face General Beauregard style by trying to have his voice on a musical offering, I'd prefer to just talk shit about the EWA panel. We were real hot there for a while, but then I'm not sure what happened. I think me and Mike lost interest because there wasn't enough music we liked being forced into our ears to make it worth the trouble. I'm not sure what goes on with John. He gets all loud and defensive at times, like he thinks I'm this giant full-of-shit dick, but then he acts like he doesn't care about anything. I think basically there's conflict because John loves a lot of shitty obscure indy rap, but he feels like I or Mike judge him for that. But I think it's great. People should love things, and rap music needs more people to be honest about what they love in it than more internet fags full of bullshit opinions to complain about what they don't love. Furthermore, in the EWA group, Keenon disappears as often as he is around, and never writes shit when he's around. Maybe mulattos have worse internet than my rural dial-up, due to the racist infrastructure of America and older white men's fear of black mandingo penises, or maybe Keenon has never left the shitty girlfriend he always complains about, so he has no free time to work on trifling thankless shit like the monthly EWA list. I am still not convinced Charlie Hyde is an elaborate hoax someone is playing on me, to try to make me open up and admit something even more personally foul than my crack addiction was (which would be hard, to be honest). I think really, the future of the EWA lies in BWT, who seems to be excited for the idea of it more than the rest of us, but doesn't really deliver real heavy each month. I would hope if I do one of my trademark bi-monthly "the internets are evil fuck you all" trips and quit the EWA, like I always plan to do, he will take it over, add some of his stupid fag friends who are like 23 and think crap like Kanye West is great will run with it, and let this great 10-month long tradition continue to grow, or at least exist.

BWT: So let's say you had a boss who wronged you and in your field when someone does that it's common for you to come at them, that's what Joe Budden dissing Jay-Z is like. I could understand if he spent all of Mood Muzik 3 crying over how Jay didn't give him the proper budget or whatever his gripe is (Budden really doesn't have a leg to stand on since he didn't even put out an album while he was on Def Jam unlike countless other dudes who bitched about Jay's management style), but he really only went at him on one track. And it's not like he's saying anything that any number of people aren't saying about Jay. Anyway, Budden is the best dude out there who will never make it big but does that even matter? I think he's the most personal rapper out there and that has to count for something. He's also the best at rhyming the same word again and having it mean something totally different. Download Mood Muzik 3 right now and judge for yourself.
RM: I say Lil Wayne, because I am forcing myself to write second blurbs for all the crap nobody else wrote for, and Lil Wayne epitomizes the mixtape rapper to me - throwaway bullshit that everybody has but says is an exclusive. I don't trust mixtapes anymore as being mixtapes though because I never hear anyone juggling back to the dope ass start of a song, nor even people having an actual cut on a mixtape. I do hear a lot of stupid assholes yelling a bunch of shit like second-generation DJ Clues though. That's always fresh. Other things I find fresh: bootleg football jerseys bought at the flea market, camouflage shorts, and when you get a girl on all fours for the doggie style giving her ass a quick ten-second lick before you stick your dick in her cooch just to coax her into liking how her ass nerves feel when stimulated. Pirate swords are pretty fucking fresh too, as are brushed chrome pistols that match your toaster oven when you leave it in the kitchen.

#17: THE GNARLS BARKLEY AWARD (aka Most Annoying Single of the Year)
BWT: That piece of shit "Smack That" turd of a song. It might have even come out in '06, but I've heard it about 9,286 times this year, which is 9,286 more times than anyone needs to hear a single Akon or present-day Eminem song. I hope Akon gets locked up for throwing that poor kid off the stage and right before some huge motherfucker is about to lay his pipe to Akon's tender fake ass African buttocks, he breaks out with
"Smack that, all on the floor/Smack that, give me some more/Smack that, 'till you get sore/Smack that, oooh."
RM: I go with the fag French vocoder dance troupe sampled for hook Kanye song that was everywhere, mostly because not only was it annoying as fuck, but it's the one song most geared to be annoying me for the next 20 years at minor league hockey games, NFL pre-game player feature intros, and playing really loud on those carnival rides that delinquent kids ride, like the spinning wheel that turns sideways and shit. Kanye, who never gets enough credit, now gets credit from me for making the one rap song most closely in spirit to Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" than will probably ever be made. Congrats homeboy. (Haha, typing "homeboy" made me think of "Lounge homeboy, you're in the Danger Zone". People used to think Erick Sermon was the gay rapper, but the green-eyed bandit is like Ron Jeremy with three penises compared to Kanye West. Ahh... I am old, because I always think everything is so gay. Yet all these gay things will not be gay and they will in turn procreate newer things that seem even gayer to me, thus confusing me and making me more full of hate.)
KM: "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)". I hate it every time I have to play it, the edited version manages to make it sound even more retarded with the OHHHHHHH jumps, and every white person wants to show off how they learned the dance. The comp Cocaine Blunts had was comical, there was that one funny Barney youtube video, and that's about all the nice things I can say about Soulja Boy. He provided two other singles that each have callbacks to the previous singles - they're both awful as well. The only song I hated worse than this was the one where Jermaine Dupree pretends to be T-Pain, but nobody's in shock when JD puts out a shitty song.

#18: THE HESTER (aka Newer Rap Dude Who Came Out Of Nowhere)
BWT: These Playaz Circle fellas are probably never going to be able to top the success of "Duffle Bag Boy", but in the year 2014 at some Disturbing tha Peace after-Oscars party to celebrate Ludacris's best supporting actor Oscar victory in some shitty movie based soley upon the white guilt of the Jews who run Hollywood, Tity Boi will chat up some studio groupie with a huge ass telling her about how in the year 2007 he had the #15 single in all of America and it will all be worthwhile.
MD: He technically didn't come out of nowhere, but I doubt many people outside of incredibly ferocious rap nerds were checking on Marco Polo before '07. Right before his debut LP, he released one of those obligatory Mick Boogie mixtapes, which I guess are almost mandatory at this point, and it showcased his past work while previewing some shit that would end up on Port Authority. Outside of a Masta Ace song, Marco almost exclusively worked with washed-up rappers (Grand Daddy I.U., and one half of Das EFX) or total no names. He somehow managed to get Rawkus' promotional dollars behind him, so his name was on the tip of every blog nerd's fingertips by the time his album was available for download, and now he's virtually a household name (as long as your household consists of at least one mildly out of shape pasty white dude furiously downloading indie rap CDs).
It's a good thing too, because Marco Polo is the real deal. Port Authority came out at the beginning of the year, and I'm pretty shocked that he hasn't been tapped for more projects by now. I just saw he did the production on the new Granddaddy I.U. record, but who the fuck is going to listen to that? Hopefully the dude lands on something I'd be into hearing before I completely forget about him.

#19: SOME SHAKESPEARE/SKAT KAT SHIT (aka Best/Worst Lines of the Year)
BWT: Best line - "I'm in my Lambo maggot, my 44 faggot" - 50 Cent on "Straight To the Bank".
Worst line - "Damn right I kissed my daddy" - Lil Wayne on "We Takin' Over (remix)".
RM: I don't think anything is more retardedly great than that Cam'ron shit about not wanting to work, saying "I'm like Biggie - I lazy." You see, the "I" doubles as "eye", which is what Biggie had, especially when he looks like a beached reverse bleached whale snorting his last breaths into his fat belly talking about money problems in that one song on Bad Boy about money and problems. That's great. As for worst line, who knows? I prefer not to highlight the negative and keep it positive, knowwhatumsayin?
KM: Worst - Kanye West - "Flashing Lights": "I'm just saying, Hey Mona Lisa/come home you know you can't Rome without Caesar."
Best - Lil Wayne - "Duffle Bag Boy": "I ain't never ran from a nigga and I damn sure ain't bout to pick today to start runnin'." That was easily the best shit to come out of Wayne's mouth in 2007, and one of the dumbest lines Kanye had on that whole album.

RM: I know on the internets, we're all supposed to pretend we know everything about all shit and nothing has been lost on us so that when some dude is like, "Whoa, this Linc Continental & the Suede Fresh Crew's 'Fresh Waxed Cadillac' song is the greatest most undiscovered gem ever?" we can be all like, "Fucking jackass, everybody was rocking that shit back in the day, so much so, we stopped rocking it on purpose because we knew in the future herbs like you would be all about it. Faggot." But in the reverse spirit of discovering some shit newly that always existed without us knowing about it, we have this bullshit category.
You know, considering how much I've enjoyed Rap-a-Lot Records over the years, and how much I love happy-but-poor self-deprecating rappers, it's amazing that I had never even listened to Devin the Dude before John flipped me onto him early this past year. I mean, I had rocked The Odd Squad back in the day, but I mostly just remembered them having a blind DJ (second greatest gimmick dude on Rap-a-Lot, only topped by Bar Nunn the midget white rapper dude in Too Much Trouble when they were "the Baby Geto Boys"). But having gone immediately through the entire Devin catalogue (thank you internet bunny! BOCK BOCK!), including his new release featuring the dreaded Vaporizer pictures, I am left instilled with great hope that Devin the Dude is the one person who has the potential to make the Greatest Rapping CD That Raven Mack Has Ever Heard & That Speaks To Raven Mack In Ways No Rapping Music Ever Has Before. He's scratched at that potential here and there, but needs to get in that zone where it's awesome as fuck, with no corny shit like "Broccoli & Cheese". Also, thanks to you Devin the Dude, for filling the hopeful spot for the future or rapping music that used to be occupied by David Banner due to the bizarre perfection of "Cadillac on 22s", but that Banner sort of put the final nails into this past year with his generic ass singles from his latest jam, plus too many pics of him with that ugly ass white t-shirt bitch who runs Ozone.
MD: Last year around this time, we started our top 100 hip hop jamz list that never got done (but it will someday, when you least expect it). If you paid attention to the list, you might remember that Goodie Mobb's "Cell Therapy" placed pretty high on it. I had to admit to the other folks that I wasn't really familiar with the entire Goodie Mobb Soul Food album, and really only knew that one song. I was urged by the rest of these turds (actually EWA Commitee 1.0 that only slightly resembles EWA 2.0, or I guess it's more like 2.5 by now) to download it and listen.
It was one of the few records I kind of slept on that I felt like a moron for doing so. usually I'm too full of myself to admit my mistakes when it comes to ignoring certain music groups, but I had to bow down to this record. Coincidentally, around the same time I discovered the album, a bunch of "best slept on" or "best underrated" lists popped up on the internets and magazine and Soul Food was on all of them, so I guess everyone discovered Soul Food in 2007. Probably because of Gnarls Barkley or something. Who knows, with the kids and their internetting these days.
KM: Reh Dogg. Motherfuck that AIDS patient for telling me I was behind the times, but he must have brought that to the EWA table during one of my stints in solitary. It was presented to me recently, and there was no end to laughter for a long, long time. See, he's got to be shoot retarded and he sings about this scandalous bitch named Tammie Starr who had twins by him (but needs a paternity test). His two videos are revolutionary - Reh Dogg busts verses while showering, driving his Tempo, pointing an air pistol at his head, and running around in the woods in scenes reminiscent of Johnny Depp in the movie Dead Man. Plus, you get footage of what I assume is his son and then a bunch of other kids from Tammie's cursed cracker womb. I dunno, just go look up Reh Dogg on Youtube if you haven't already.
I will take this opportunity to mention I told my peers about Coolio's run performing concerts during porn shoots, but it fell on deaf ears.

RM: I never could make this work to my liking with chicken, but I had some flounder fillets the other day, and hooked that shit with bread, cornmeal, spices, and crumbled up corn flakes, and the shit was gooder than fuck. I am always disappointed whenever I see some homo-ass gentrified neighborhood "soul food" restaurant open up somewhere along my travels, because invariably it sucks, has tofu entrees, and nary a fucking fried battered fish or poultry product to be eaten. Soul food restaurants are not soul food unless they are within three blocks of a Salvation Army or a check cashing place. Soul food restaurants in pastel painted 'hoods with wine shops across the street, that's soul food for whitey. And I should know, because I'm white. Except I grew up poor and white, luckily, which can be confusing because I was raised to say "homestyle" instead of "soul food". But using corn flakes as breading has been good because my children refuse to accept cereal as a for-real breakfast. They pretty much expect a warm breakfast of homemade pancakes or egg sandwiches on bagels or some shit like that, and if we give them cereal, they consider that shit a snack until either me or the wife actually makes the real breakfast. Back in my day, cereal would be lunch sometimes. My kids don't know how good they got it. Luckily, I haven't worked in like a month, so they'll get a taste of how bad it can get. I'll bet they'll like a bowl of cereal after three weeks of white rice and dry beans flash boiled after work while I'm drinking my nightly quart of Natural Ice. Haha, just kidding. I quit drinking for the most part, although I did buy a case of Miller High Life cans because I was dazzled by the blaze orange cans with black print that they were in. That shit was dope, and were this three months ago, I would've drank three hundred of them by now.
KM: What the fuck kind of soul food place doesn't have fried food? That's like a Chinese joint without egg rolls. There's not a place here where I can go, but whenever I manage to get out and visit my kinfolks they feed me. A real soul food place should at least offer some variety of dead pig, fried fish and/or chicken and/or okra, some vegetables that have been prepared with dead pig (preferably greens), and sweet potato pie. Otherwise, you are eating some white people shit. I've had cornflake-breaded porkchops but they were baked. It was a lot better than I expected. My breakfast food of choice is scrambled eggs plus something, whether it's bacon, sausage or potatoes. The weirdest thing I ever did was make breakfast spaghetti with scrambled eggs, bacon and then noodles and hot sauce. It sounds absolutely stupid, but it was most awesome.

KM: I had a couple of these this year. Boyz N Da Hood's "Everybody Know Me" ranks, as I know nobody who enjoyed that song, much less played it in public. Maybe it's because I've had less exposure to my hood folks in 2k7, maybe it's because at the one time I performed in front of real live black folks was a Too Short show where he was running late and the fucking idiotic show MC wanted me to play nothing but "Wipe Me Down" and "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)" over and over. It's a throwback to No Limit posse cuts with drill sergeant yelling. Some would classify Snoop's "Sexual Eruption" as a guilty pleasure, but they're wrong - it's just fucking awesome. Everything about it rules, the throwback Roger Troutman impression in the song AND the video, the shitty VHS effects, all of it. This is the only vocoder bullshit that makes sense and doesn't suck because it actually gets the point. Yung Joc is another dude I probably shouldn't enjoy as much as I do, he's really good at those 70 bpm snap joints though. Probably the most embarassing time, where I'm like "What are you, 12?" was when I heard Lil Mama's "G-Slide" song - I can rationalize it because girls in the club love that shit, but at the end of the day I'm okay with playing a song that uses "The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round". It was a huge hit at the shelter, by the way. I crashed one of their computers looking for the video on youtube.
RM: I had suggested this as a category, with some bullshit in mind, but I forgot. Mostly I just wanted to have Mike start talking more of his fag shit about how awesome MIA is, but since this all started going down, some terrible homefront developments have happened. I play all sorts of music for my kids, to see what they like and encourage them. And it seems that my almost 9-year-old daughter is into weird dance-ish music, thus "Bird Flu" has gone HEAVY rotation around the crib. Like, that shit knocked one of the lesser known Gnarls Barkley songs off my daughter's Best Shit Ever perch. Also, when playing the "Irreplaceable" remix (which was probably the most played song in my house this past year, for better or worse) with Ghostface, my kid talked about how she thought Ghost wasn't a good rapper. Of course, I went into defense mode, explaining how rappers don't really get to shine on R&B songs, how Ghost is the best going, all that. She was unswayed until she found out Ghost used to be tight with "the Shimmy Shimmy Ya" guy. It's probably quite disturbing a reality that my other kid - a 4-year-old girl - pretty much knows the whole lyrics to "Shimmy Shimmy Ya". Although, as an expert whiteboy who loves the rappitty musics, when some little half-you comes strolling into the living room with a box of raisins, going "GIVE ME THE MIC SO I CAN BUST A WHOLE LOT!" loud and like Mary Poppins, you know you're doing some good shit as a parent. I get to unleash them on the world at some point.

KM: You may think this was tailor-made for Lil Wayne or T.I., but the most interesting arrest of the year for me was Yung Joc. At no point in the last 20 or 30 years was it a good idea to try this, but post-9/11 America is a bad time to walk into an international airport carrying a semiautomatic weapon in your bag. Seriously, how fucking stupid do you have to be? I used to make jokes about them asking if anyone's handled my luggage without my knowledge, but I damn sure keep my hands on it after that last go-through at home. "Whoops, I don't know how that got there," does not seem like an excuse that works with gats. If this is a fix, if someone in TSA or maybe Joc's entourage or the dude who took luggage from the car is trying to bring him down, whoever it is has found a fairly airtight way to do so.
RM: I still am very amused by the whole Michael Vick saga. My favorite is when people basically go through the following rants: "Fuck Michael Vick for what he did to those animals. No punishment is too harsh for him. They should lock him up and beat him like an animal." All without even noting their own hypocrisy. Again, I am not for the Dog-Hitler's of the World, but fuck, I also am not gonna take sides with dogs - especially stupid fucking pit bulls - over men. Also, dog fights are great fun. Not nearly as dynamic and wonderful as the cockfights, but still, it's not bad. Kind of like minor league cockfights, and with black people instead of Mexicans.

#24: WILL SMITH AWARD (rapper who should give up and stick to acting)
KM: I am so torn here. Ice Cube has a new joint out, and while the content and video are interesting - Cube as a cranky old gangsta has as much intrinsic appeal as Andre 3000 as MC Bill Cosby - his actual rhyming is not so hot. Furthermore, he's acting in more shitty-ass movies like First Sunday. My gut instinct is that he should lock himself in a room somewhere with a copy of AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted and work on his shit until what he spits matches what he's spitting about. So I will give Cube a pass and hand this award to an actor who should never pick up a microphone again: Stringer Bell. In case you missed the bus on this, Idris Elba (of HBO's The Wire) has decided that what the game really needs is a shitty cockney Dizzee Rascall one-off. That, and he has extreme alter-egos: DJ Driis (Stringer Bell in a vest, I guess) and the animated Mr. Me Innit. No, I am not making this shit up, you can find it on Myspace.
RM: RZA. He should just do soundtracks and be the hip hop generation's John Williams. Fuck him doing real music anymore. He's become an industry hack, celebrity society hobnobber anyways. Is there another Spears girl he can knock up or some shit? Or maybe he can allow Quentin Tarantino to be the cuckold he is and plant seeds inside Mrs. Tarantino so that fucking Quentin Tarantino can have a little half-negro baby like he really really wants deep down inside, and he can make Samuel L. Jackson the godfather and have some hokey overdone ceremony to do so (hopefully Pam Grier will be the godmother though), and his kid can grow up being a spoiled piece of shit Hollywood brat. Congratulations RZA. Welcome to success. Stop trying to pretend you're still hungry and have even a sliver of grime to your mindframe.

#25: MARK RONSON & RHYMEFEST'S MAN IN THE MIRROR MIXTAPE (aka wasting the last space in "25" subject matter)
JD: I am not sure who Mark Ronson is, but I have heard his name thrown around hip hop circles as a producer or some shit like that. He just put out a mixtape with Rhymefest that is a tribute album to Michael Jackson where he mixes Rhymefest's vocals into Mike Jackson songs and does tracks with MJ samples. It is really an awful piece of shit because no matter what, I still think PEDO as soon as I hear Michael Jackson. Ronson does his best to get you off that scent by doing an interlude with Rhymefest and Mike talking about getting pussy. If pussy means little boy cock, than I can buy it, but Rhymefest throwing in Brooke Shields name in there led me to believe that pussy did not equal boy cock. I have grown to loathe "mixed" hip hop albums after the Grey Album, which I believe only got press because they went right after the pinnacle of white man music. Using Jackson 5 beats ain't that shocking and mindblowing enough to make it worth a damn.
RM: I always meant to steal that Mark Ronson CD off the internets, but then he's also a fucking British dude, so I never really tried that hard. As an expert whiteboy into rap music, we are always apt to point out in a derogatory manner how "white" someone else is, meaning they don't get it as much as we think we get it. British people are like ultra-white in that sense, so I have trouble thinking what this dude has done is worth a shit. Then again, none of us have done anything worth a shit either, other than forcing out another month's worth of crap like this. If you made it to the end, congratulations, you've probably done even less worth a shit than us in life.