Eminem vs. Weezy: Who's the King of these rude, ludicrous, lucrative lyrics?

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EminemWayne

In a previous post we suggested than Eminem might be the most technically proficient rapper of all time (The MTPROAT™). We basically argued that Em’s “Renegade” verse sounded better, but Jay’s was “deeper” — meaning more stuff for Rap Genius to explain.

There is no doubt that Eminem’s verses on “Renegade”, and his verses in general, are beautifully constructed. Here’s what we wrote about Em’s first “Renegade” verse:

Classic Eminem, the verse concentrates on assonant rhyme; the end rhymes are unimpressive, but what you hear when he raps is the first and third syllables of each of ludicrous, lucrative, youth in hys, views and his, you to just…the lines are peppered with similar iterations of the “you” sound, creating a bomb ass flow (rude/spew/beautiful/disputed)

But flow is merely the stepchild of metric composition; a rapper is a musician, and there’s more to good music than technical proficiency (otherwise Twista would be considered a good rapper). Jazz vocalists get credit for their ability to fall behind the beat or race ahead without losing the groove. Eminem sometimes lags or races because he is cramming in an extra syllable here or there, but the effect is unsettling; we hear a tolerable mistake.

Take this couplet from the end of “Rock Bottom”, where Eminem has to rush to fit all his words on the beat. The brilliance is technical, not melodic:

And them rings you wearing look like they got a few rocks on em
And while you flaunt em I could be taking em to shops to pawn
em

More “musical” rappers thrive on their ability to use pauses; not Eminem. He’s like a shark: if he stops moving, he dies.

There are, of course, exceptions. In “Rain Man” off of Encore Em does nail the musical part: he experiments with non-staccato dynamics, uses space masterfully, and fits everything neatly within the rhyme and rhythm scheme. Listen:

Let’s ask Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre? (What up?)
I gotta question if I may? (Yeah)
Is it gay to play Putt-Putt golf with a friend (Yeah)
And watch his butt-butt when he tees off? (Yeah)
But, but! I ain’t done yet
In football the quarterback yells out “hutt-hutt"
While he reaches in another grown man’s ass
Grabs on his nuts but just what if
It was never meant it was just an accident
But he tripped, fell, slipped and his penis went in
His teeny tiny little round hiney but he didn’t mean it
But his little weenie flinched just a little bit
And I don’t mean to go in into any more details but
What if he pictured it as a female’s butt?
Is that gay? I just need to clear things up
‘Til then I’ll just walk around with a manly strut because…

So Eminem clearly has some range to go along with his off-the-charts technical skills and tortured sexuality.

For fun, let’s compare him with a rapper of lesser technical skill (but greater range): Lil Wayne.

Lil Wayne’s range is insane — compare the Jamaican / melodic “Mo' Fire”

I raise mo fire to the man up higher
I lick a shot to let him know that I’m a rider
Yea, my dreads hang to let him know that I’m a lion

to the speedy perfect diction of “Oh No”

Get too deep up in that water and they can’t save you
Me, I come out of that water like I was just bathing
And watch my step on the wet pavement
Yea I’m from the hood, so I rep ‘em where I can’t take 'em
“Hollygrove, Hollygrove” was his last statement

to the muddled menacing register of “Hit ‘Em Up”

Pistol lie inside of the armrest, um yes
Lay a nigga down in his own mess, don’t mess

That “um yes” seems superfluous, but it makes the line — Eminem rarely has moments like this because his rhymes are so deliberately constructed.

Around the time of Tha Carter II, people started taking Wayne’s “Best Rapper Alive” claims seriously. But no one ever argued that Wayne was on Eminem’s level technically. So his “bestness” had to stem from something else (range, charisma, musicality).

Is he the best? Is Eminem? Or is Jay-Z going to remain the best until he ACTUALLY retires? Maybe Cam'ron is the GOAT…it doesn’t matter! Stop reading this tripe and go enjoy “No Love”, with hard verses from Eminem AND Wayne, off Eminem’s leaked “Recovery” album. It’s like surf and turf!

Their best lines (imo):

Eminem:

When I’m not even in my harshest
You can still get roasted because Marsh is not mellow

Wayne:

Money outweighing problems on the triple beam
I’m sticking to the script, you niggas skipping scenes

GANGSTA GANGSTA GANGSTA!

Of course, it’s not like Eminem and Weezy are really competing against one another: as many, many commenters have informed us, they are both MEMBERS OF THE ALL-POWERFUL ILLUMINATI!

But that, my children, is a subject for another blog post altogether..