Who would you rather rap at your birthday party: Lil Wayne or Kanye West? Keep that question in the back of your mind during our brand new Bracket Madness for the Greatest Male Artist. It’s going down, folks. Vote for the one that you think deserves the title.
Every genre is represented in the lineup. For now we’re going to focus on hip-hop. Ye and Weezy couldn’t be more different as rappers. Mr. West’s Chi-town upbringing by a single mom with a PhD heavily influences his rhymes. Down in New Orleans, Wayne was growing up poor knowing only the ways of the street. Kanye’s breakout hit “Through the Wire” was recorded with his jaw wired shut from a car wreck. This sound would outlive any damage done from the collision. Weezy’s southern drawl paired with traditional southern beats would become Wayne’s signature sound until his mainstream crossover.
Wayne’s been rapping longer. That’s a fact. He literally signed to Cash Money Records as a kid. In fact, he was so young he didn’t curse in his rhymes. Ten studio albums and countless mixtapes later, Wayne is still making poetry. Tha Carter III sold a million in its first week in 2008. In the words of Danyel Smith, editor extraordinaire in Wayne’s VH1 Behind the Music, “Who else is doing it?”
But what Kanye is doing is producing classic albums consistently. With less material than Wayne, of the five solo albums in his catalog, Ye hasn’t made a bad album. His production skills are widely considered musical genius status. Kanye’s music touches your soul. Whether it’s one of his socially conscious verses or the sound, Ye makes you feel something. Yeezy also has to be credited for coming in the game at a time where rap was dominated by stories of street life. He entered rap with a style impeccable enough for NYFW and rhymes distant from any type of hustling or killing that had dominated radio. His mom had a PhD. He read books. This was clear in his music.
This is not an obvious choice, or maybe it is? Vote from Monday, September 17 to Wednesday, September 19 at 11 a.m. Make sure to vote and check back to see who is in the lead. There can only be one.