Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jealousy #1: The Voice

Sometime last year I put together a list on a whim. It was during a heavy hip hop listening binge where I was going through entire discographies of different artists on the daily. I was taking in every aspect of all of my favorite emcees and trying to understand what specifically stood out to make them as unbelievably dope as I thought they were.

The first and easiest distinction I made was that Black Thought's voice was made by God for him to rap. Point blank. As I've come to find out because of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, dude can also carry a tune if he needs to for a hilariously placed cover song to intro some actor/athlete/musician/douche bag. But the slightly gruff, calculatedly lazy, and powerfully stern inflection that he uses to drop knowledge any given day of the week is where it's really at. He could have jumped out solo from The Roots anytime he'd wanted, but he knew his voice was gonna be heard and respected regardless. That's what makes it even more special when he hops on an independent feature. And kills every other rapper's bars in the vicinity. Sure, dude's got wordplay and concepts and smarts and awareness, but it's his voice that throws him in the forefront to me. I'm jealous.

... but do take my word for it.

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