Battle of the Year - Bout 1: Kid Cudi vs Charles Hamilton

In the pink corner, we have the Cleveland born, Harlem raised hypersonic emcee, Charles Hamilton.

In the red corner, we have the Cleveland native extraterrestrial rapper, Kid Cudi.

I chose to kick this series off with two young men that came from the shadows to the forefront with their brand of life. Yes, life. Both of these guys drop introspective lyrics on their mixtapes. Even with the introspective lyrics, they are able to maintain my interest and make me appreciate their musical compositions.

Charles Hamilton:
What can I say about Charles. His mixtape hit the ground with a sonic boom. At first listen, I wasn't sure what to think of the tape. From the opening, I wanted Charles Hamilton to win in this world of popcorn rap. As I listened, he brought the cockiness of a rock star and the heart of a soul singer. His potential to mature into a wonderful and memorable rapper is evident. His fluidity over production is like the smoothness of a young Billy Dee Williams in a lizard lounge. Even with limited subject matter, Charles exposes many dimensions of himself. The compositions of the songs come together in a well-crafted concerto. They do not beat me over the head with repetitive production nor do they drag my mind into no man's land of pseudo-originality. This boy flips flows like flapjacks without missing a beat. Then, there are the freestyles. Wow! He is an actual freestyler. You won't hear his freestyles on his album and you won't hear his freestyles on other radio shows or TV shows. I don't have a problem with dropping a couple of nice written bars into your freestyle, but too many rappers are dropping entire songs into their freestyle sessions. Come on, Hip-Hop heads complain about that bullsh!t.

Download Outside Looking

Kid Cudi:
This kid came out of no where on me. I have yet to let go of his mixtape. I felt Kid Cudi when my eardrum was pierced by Embrace The Martian. At that moment, I wanted to embrace Kid Cudi into the monochromatic world of rap. His colorful delivery and word usage channels a new light through his mental prism. Kid Cudi inspired me to term these "hipster" rappers into a more accurate category. I call these guys "AnMonye" or "ComDrYe" rappers. You know rappers composed of the Andre 3000, Common, and Kanye mixture. Kid Cudi moves over a beat like Jim Carey as the Mask in the bar scene macking on Cameron Diaz. (Check the reference). He openly expresses his differences in comparison to other rappers. He doesn't acknowledge that they are average; he just iterates his difference is what makes him better than those other guys. They can be great, but they don't stand out. I agree Kid Cudi is not only different with lots of talent, but his difference is so well executed that it heightens his rankings in my book.

Download A Kid Named Cudi

Prescription for Greatness:
I want to see these guys bring their worlds together for a mixtape. Apart they are good, together they could be dynamic. In a world of over saturated features and horribly collaborated mixtapes (Juelz Santana and Lil Wayne! Does anyone want to defend this album?), these two guys could bring back The Purple Tape phenomenon?.

I actually cannot decide between these two lyricists. Both are skillful with wit, artful with storytelling, and cockier than Ringo Star combined with Jimi Hendrix. Cudi and Charles will become members of the Extraordinary League of Rappers as long as they continue to make meaningful bars, verses, and songs.



Short on an extensive catalog of timeless material, we decided to dedicate "the best of" MC Breed in one block. These are our two pics...Flint stand up...

Ain't No Future In Yo Frontin
Although it looks like the video was filmed with a camera-phone, this hypnotic party joint still bangs from F.L.I.N.T to L.A....*Classic*

Gotta Get Mine
With a bigger bank, Breed was doing bigger things for the Midwest...with a ft. from Pac and better video quality, he came a long way from "No Future In Yo Frontin'". Nothing deep lyrically, but the exchange between Breed and Pac over this soulful track is infectious. This is HustleNomics 101 years before Jeezy's motivational speaking...A straight Street-Anthem that makes you want to wanna get yours...*Classic*

The Battles of The Year.

Remember when battling was the ultimate determinant on who was a better rapper? Battle rapping is the duel of wits and words or battle royale of syntax and style. Today, rappers are unwilling to battle with rap verses for numerous reasons. (1) Defeat in a battle that is high profile could possibly end your career. (2) Rappers do not want to alienate themselves from other rappers that they would collaborate with in making songs. Never know where people's loyalties lay. (3) They just don't see how the battle is financially rewarding. (4) Battle rapping exposes the lyrical ability of a rapper. If a rapper's skill is measured on how well he flows over a beat with lyrical complexity, then battle rapping probably wouldn't be beneficial for him.

There have been many newcomers or soon-to-be challengers to the crown in rap. I am appreciating them all for what they bring to the table. However, they are making it difficult for me to decide who should be the top dog in their pack. These rappers rise to the occasion at different times. They exude real personality. They are cats that would probably battle if provoked, but they won't battle because of their humility.

For the next few weeks, I am going to place them in a battle royale of skills. This battle royale will allow me to expose them based on their past and present works. I will not grade them on hard to define categories. I am only going to grade them on feel.

We negate feelings when we usually do comparisons. We make them clinical and scientific. With art, you cannot leave out feeling in your comparisons. Of course, I will dissect their works and give my opinion on their skill level and potential. I will even include my recommendations for what they will need to do to make it in rap.

Let the battles begin.



Bonus Freestyle:

Devoid of special effects and extra filling, Common focuses on the basics of a great live show and delivers them with superior craftsmanship and an ultimate level of mastery. With Common, it's more about the tailoring and less about the accessories when rockin' a show. I've seen this cat several times and he consistently delivers Raw Energy...Exclusive Lyrics...Live Intrstruments...and "Off-the-Top-of-the-Dome" Freestyles. When his right arm starts swinging, you know he's about to go in. Hands down one of the top live performers in Hip Hop...


Before Biggie murdered the Best of the West (DeathRow) tracks, Cube in his rawest form Jacked the Best of the East. The video matches the mood of the song closely, and Cube's stellar performance as an angry MC who's out to pay music pirates revenge is Academy worthy (for you Hip Hop newbies, some of the artists whose beats were jacked are named in the video). Dope concept and even doper performance...*Classic*


Always going to be a Nerd!

I have always been a N.E.R.D. because they rule the world.
This is for all those that love great music. Next level ish!


Hip-Hop is King

"For the right price.... I can make YOUR shit tighter."
--- Jay-Z from Ride Or Die
Everyone knows about Prince Charles and Prince Di. But, now England has a new king.
Jay-Z made history. He has not only boosted his sales in the UK by five-fold, but his cover of Wonderwall boosted the sales of Oasis' album sales.

The lead singer of Oasis, Noel Gallagher was skeptical about Jay-Z headlining the show. He said it was the worse decision ever that would leave to utter disaster. Looks to me, you need to split your royalties with King Jay for making Oasis relevant.

Not only were the streets watching, the charts are listening and the news is talking.

Puffy means Satan in Hip-Hop

This video speaks for itself.


Here's a De La Soul throwback from the classic Stakes is High album. Produced by the musical genius of J Dilla, De La speaks on many challenges that Blacks, especially Black men, face (inequality; self-hate; materialism; etc)and how these ills are further propagated through music and media. This sensationalism by real and fabricated Artists brings up the question: Does music dictate real life or does real life dictate music?
After over 2 DECADES, De La Soul still relevant in the game. Yo, Bring the Native Tounges Back...The Stakes is High...*classic*


Natti - Ruled The World

This is a cautionary tale about rappers that are one trick ponies. Those rappers that spit the same melarchy over half-baked repetitive production.


This is probably my favorite joint from Jeru. Although titled "Come Clean", this track and video are grimey like Jeru's beard. The way the dripping water in the torture scene personifies the beat...*Classic*