Why Kool G Rap Is A True MC’s MC Who Is Criminally Underrated (Video)
Kool G Rap is currently gearing up for his first album in more than five years, The Return Of A Don. Said to be featuring Raekwon, the late Sean Price, and Saigon, this LP already promises to appeal to lovers of lyricism. 2017 marks 31 years of the Queens, New York MC putting his distinct voice and flow on wax.
Having already made a strong case for Rakim’s place at the top of MCs for all times, The Foundation produces a new video that makes a case for Kool G Rap at the upper-most crust of rappers. Host and historian JayQuan (who also produced and edited the great footage) dives deeply into why the Juice Crew MC belongs up there in the circle with Ra’, Big Daddy Kane, and KRS-One.
JayQuan also pulls no punches as to why some Hip-Hop Heads withdraw G from the top. “People say that he didn’t have any hit records. People say that he put himself into a box, and he never really got out of that box, as far as subject matter. People have given him negative points [regarding] his stage show, just as they have [done with] Rakim,” assesses JayQuan from some critics. Kool G Rap never earned a plaque for an album (which Kris, Rakim, and Kane all did), or cracked the Top 40 of the popular charts. Songs like “Erase Racism” or “A Thug’s Love Story” are often played far less than “Ill Street Blues” or “On The Run.” Last month, G Rap & Big Daddy Kane went for song-for-song in a crowd battle during an impressive Pennsylvania concert.
Using “strictly lyrics and poetic value,” he celebrates Kool’s wit, compound rhyme schemes, and level of innovation. Especially in the lose ’80s classics, there are some lines that need isolated and analyzed to be appreciated. Furthermore, G Rap was a pioneering gangsta rapper, who was just months apart from Schoolly D, Just-Ice, and Ice-T. Later in the 22-minute documentary, 1998’s The Roots Of Evil is examined as the audio equivalent to a gangster flick. Even as G Rap slowed his flow (at times) and stopped working with Marley Marl and Large Professor, he maintained his place as an originator, and true author to clever verses.
As Kool G Rap motions to a another album (something that Big Daddy Kane and Rakim have refrained from over the last seven years), he is still making a case for himself, and keeping the Heads waiting and debating.
#BonusBeat: After working on King T’s Thy Kingdom Come album originally intended for Aftermath Entertainment release, Kool G Rap and Dr. Dre made this demo of “First Nigga.” Although on Giancana Story promos, this version never released (as the album was delayed several years). This Dre beat was later used for Ice Cube’s “Hello,” which reunited Cube, Dre, and MC Ren in 2000. Notably, “First Nigga” is G Rap stating some of his own best qualities, just as JayQuan has.
The later released Rawkus Records 12″, produced by DJ Premier:
This version did not appear on the final 2002 album either.