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Hip Hop is a popular form of music that has allowed artists to make deeply personal tracks filled with meaningful lyrics. It is a genre of music filled with smart and successful artists, however it’s also filled with a majority of bad artists.
Before I start, I wanted to point out that art and music is all subjective and my opinion is obviously not the say all be all, and while I make a lot of harsh comments on these artists, I do have respect for some of them.
What can qualify an artist to be on this list is the contribution to the genre, respect to the culture, lyrical content, rapping ability, and their beats. However, I will not be adding artists who didn’t take the genre seriously, so no Jake Paul.
DJ Khaled: He’s not a rapper, he’s not a producer. He’s just a guy who knows a lot of famous people. Let’s be honest, his only talent is stealing finished music and shouting his name so he doesn’t forget it. DJ Khaled started as a radio host and eventually formed a lot of industry connections which allowed him to start producing. The problem was that he would often put little effort into his beats, having others produce for him and then taking the credit.
As aforementioned, his only musical contribution is constantly shouting his name on tracks, which often takes away from the vibe of the song. Not to mention, DJ Khaled also has a bad attitude. This was shown in 2019 when his album didn’t make it to number one on the Billboard charts, so he started drama with Tyler of the Creator, whose album did. The reason of contention for many listeners was that DJ Khaled had one song on the entire album that wasn’t produced by multiple other people.
Vanilla Ice: Largely regarded as the first “industry plant,” a term used to describe artists who are made by industries to capitalize off of trends, Vanilla Ice is most famous for making that one song that’s played at school dances and on Ice Breakers commercials.
Vanilla Ice was never able to really succeed outside of his breakout track, “Ice Ice Baby,” which was used to garner fame off of the popularity and growth of hip hop. Many rappers of the time saw through him though, as he was never truly accepted or respected in the game, because he winded up getting dissed by acts like 3rd Bass and Del Thee Funkee Homosapien. Today, Vanilla Ice is known mostly for being a one hit wonder, a star in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, and starring in That’s My Boy with Adam Sandler.
Chingy: You guys remember Nelly, the rapper from the early 2000s? He popularized white air forces, put bandages on his face? Well, this is Nelly’s worse clone.
Coming up with Nelly in St.Louis, Chingy was part of a generation of artists known as “ringtone rappers.” These musicians often made songs where they focused solely on the chorus, so it could be used as a ringtone. Naturally, many of these artists fell off due to natural selection and, sadly, contracts that completely controlled musicians’ art.
Chingy, while having a few hits, was never able to amount to much with his music, sounding like a derivative of Nelly and featuring little in quality while focusing more on making choruses that would get stuck in your head. While Nelly was able to develop his style and persona, Chingy never did this, leaving him to be an afterthought who just wanted to make repetitive radio hits. To be honest, I could have put any ringtone rapper in place of Chingy because they all had the same pit falls, making the same repetitive music, but Chingy had the ability to make it past one hit, so that’s something.
Insane Clown Posse: A duo of rappers that paint their faces like clowns should let you know why they’re on this list, but just hang with me here.
In technical terms, they’re not the worst on this list; sometimes their edgy, clown-like sound can be fun but oftentimes gets annoying. This group’s lyrics are usually a mixed bag with the occasional witty bar sprinkled onto the elementary-level rhyming you’ll regularly hear. Their overall music just feels like a letdown with nothing to really offer listeners besides some corny horror-core themes.
What they lack in musical ability, however, they make up for in fans, as they have a loyal cult of fans called Juggalos, who paint their faces like their favorite musicians and are widely considered to be “crazy.”
I also feel like I should note that they have a song called “Miracles” where they question how magnets work, because apparently science just doesn’t offer a good enough answer.
Nick Cannon: I honestly question how Nick Cannon got famous. He can’t act, he’s not funny, and he definitely can’t rap. There’s really not much to put in here.
He’s boring all the way through: he has a bland beat selection, his rhymes are mediocre, his hooks are unremarkable, and he’s often plagued with stupid bars that don’t make sense. Most of Nick Cannon’s music has only gained success due to be carried by features. He’s more famous for fighting with Eminem, getting divorced, and hosting Wild ‘n’ Out, where he’s the most forgettable act even though he created the show.
If you ever want a quick laugh, look up Nick Cannon’s worst hair cuts, and if you ever want a challenge find me a Nick Cannon fan. He honestly needs to leave music like Mariah left him.
NF: I’m going to annoy a lot of emo kids with this one. NF is a rapper who tries to copy Eminem, and there’s not much to say about him besides that.
Eminem is an influential artist to say the least. The problem is many of the rappers who are influenced by him decide to make no discernible difference between their music style and his. NF is one of these artists. NF is not half the lyricist Eminem is. NF’s bars are often bland, his hooks boring, and his wordplay is uncreative to say the least. NF carries himself as a “real” hip hop artist, but the problem with many of these “real rappers” is that they’re just not good. While NF regularly touches on mental health, and sometimes he succeeds in that, his tracks feel very shallow as he is a poor story-teller who writes songs that feel like he’s just describing the dictionary definition of depression.
I don’t doubt NF’s struggle in life, but there are artists such as Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and XXXtentacion who touch on mental health so much better. NF also walks the line of completely stealing Eminem’s flow, where on some songs it’s completely indiscernible between the two. He often shows the potential for talent, but with every album he drops, we get songs that lack luster and contain unoriginal content.
Blueface: Blueface is a west coast rapper who gained fame on the internet in late 2018 with his track “Respect my Cryppin.” The song gained so much recognition due to Blueface’s off beat rapping style. This style also garnered a large amount of debate from the hip hop community on the legitimacy of Blueface and his raps. Many, however, thought that offbeat rapping would become a new style in hip hop and take off, especially after the huge success of Blueface’s track “Thotiana.”
The only problem was that offbeat rapping doesn’t sound good. After the success of “Thotiana” and its subsequent remixes, Blueface fell off almost instantaneously as people began to find his style annoying and hard to listen to. Listeners found his flexing antics boring and his music lacking in diversity, or any noteworthy content for that matter. These where all fair complaints, as Blueface had nothing to offer, with an overwhelmingly boring mixtape release Find The Beat.
Blueface seems to have no future. He did, however, leave a good reminder for young artists. Don’t get quick internet fame and long-term music success confused, because most of Blueface’s success was due in part to his status as a meme and as a point of contention in hip hop.
Lil Xan: Not much to say here. With many artists I could go on about how they make bad music but still have skill, this artist is just bad. Plain and simple.
He raps about nothing, copies the popular emo-trap wave, has poor beats, and his voice sounds awful. There’s nothing good to this artist. Not to mention, he has a generally awful, childlike personality that just makes him hard to deal with. The only reason he’s not number one on the list is because he has stopped dropping music.
Today, he’s really only seen as a joke, which is sad, but he did have to go to the hospital once because he ate too many Hot Cheetos, so it’s kind of warranted.
6ix9ine: I didn’t really want to write about this guy, because he has respect for nobody and will do anything for clout.
6ix9ine is an artist who became famous mostly off of his internet antics. While a select few of his early singles with his gritty voice sounded good, it’s hard to really take them seriously as the man behind them is so terrible. His whole gangsta persona is fake and the songs were written by other people. After his release from jail, due to him testifying against his gang members, 6ix9ine decided to continue music, something which many were surprised by.
His music, however, has seen a large dip in its already poor quality. The reason for this is that the people responsible for writing his lyrics and creating his gangsta persona have been arrested or left him. All that’s left is 6ix9ine’s huge ego. His music now sounds very repetitive as he tries to copy the sounds that once bought him fame, but his fame was mostly due to internet clout, and many people are tired and annoyed by his notoriety.
6ix9ine is doomed to fail in the future as his quality continues to dip with his relevance and the people who care to react to his repeated reprehensible actions stop paying attention. The lesson here: clout is one heck of a drug.
Honorable Mentions: Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Pump, SmokePurpp, Lil Mosey, Jibbs, Huey, Shop Boyz, D4L, YK Osiris, Waka Flocka Flame, Puff Daddy, Nav, Stitches, and Soulja Boy.
Hopsin: Hopsin, a rapper who gained fame via internet notoriety in the late 2000s, a common theme on this list. What made Hopsin so entertaining at the time was not just the colored contacts he wore, but his constant barrage of diss tracks on popular rappers.
Hopsin was essentially a hip hop elitist who believed he was saving the game from mediocre rappers. Two problems, all the rappers he dissed where better then him and Hopsin was an awful artist. Hopsin tried to mimic the style of Eminem, utilizing witty bars and horror based elements, while dissing everybody. However, Hopsin was no Eminem; he’s just a sadder copy who constantly complained, had a very poor selection in beats, and called cringy oftentimes disgusting bars lyrical.
I would argue, and many would agree, that Hopsin has yet to put out a good album. His music is laughably bad as he berates people who annoy him. In his quest to crush meaningless artists who supposedly can’t rap, he became his own worst enemy.
That’s what I never understood about artists like Hopsin; they believed they were supreme in the genre of rap but gave and received no respect, claiming that artists who rapped about a fast lifestyle were destroying the genre.
Hopsin and artists like him failed to see that hip hop has always featured rhymes about parties and women since its golden age. They also dismiss artists like Future who rap about not only the fun times, but also the downside to their rockstar ways.
Hopsin has contributed nothing to rap, hip hop, or the culture, simply filling his fans and other musicians head with the idea that “real” artists must act a certain way. At the end of the day, many of these artist turned out to be better rappers than Hopsin, who focused more on bragging than putting meaning into his words.
Nonetheless, Hopsin has a cult following of edgy kids who think Hopsin embodies “real” hip hop. Sadly, as long as 7th graders who like cursing out Drake exist, so will Hopsin’s fan base.