TRAP RAP* TOP TEN
1. Lil' Wayne
From: New Orleans
Last album: Dedication 2 (mixtape)
Also known as: Weezy
Easily confused with: Lil' Boy Wow, Young Jeezy
Style: Casually virtuostic, competitive.
Quote: "Money on my mind, money money on my mental / Super-super soaker, wet a nigga like a swimsuit / I think that they sippin' on that I-can-fuck-with-him juice / Test me if you wanna bet man, I'll knock a limb loose / I ain't never scared, I'm protected everywhere / And if a nigga disrepect me then he shall be buried there / That's my word / Got an urge to hear nigga and swerve / And them birds in the tree get shot down to my feet / It's me, motherfucka, what's better to see? / And when you're greeted like me ain't nothing better than beef / See I would meet each one of you niggas in the street / Then eat / And pick you little bitches out my teeth"
Notes: adopted son of Cash Money cofounder Birdman, who rapped on "What Happened To That Boy" and has a net worth exceeding $300 million. Rumored to have a fondness for painkillers.
Last album: King
Also known as: T.I.P.
Easily confused with: African rapper Ty, Las Vegas casino Treasure Island
Style: Triumphal, swaggering. Calls himself a "stand up guy"
Quote: "See me ridin' through Atlanta in a Phantom wit' the double door / Make these bitches wonder what he be in so much trouble for / I'm touching folk, anytime they trying Grand Hustle folk / I'm busting folk, what the fuck we arguing, fussin, cussin' for? / You lucky ho, couple of years ago I'da probably cut your throat / Fuck it though, what I'm spending somethin' on a nothing fo'?"
Watch: What You Know
Notes: On the come-up since 2001. Jailed in 2004 for violation of parole stemming from a previous drug charge. Achieved even more massive success upon release. Starred in 2006 roller-skating comedy-musical A.T.L. Originally called himself T.I.P. but shortened name to T.I. to placate Q-Tip
Last album: Contact Sport
Easily confused with: DJ Sneak, Rob Da Bank
Style: Bizarre, seductively spazzy. Sounds like he has a throat infection.
Quote: "I'm higher than A.T.A. / Poppin' thizzle Washingtons, rest in peace to Mac Dre / Cutthroatin' with my niggas from the Crestside / Think it's over? for my nigga, yeah I'ma ride / Like there ain't no tomorrow in a Dodge Phantom / Franchise Boys stole my anthem but I'm goin' platinum / Diamond with the bootleg / Servin' benedict, don't make me have to poach an egg"
Watch: 3 Freaks
Notes: Claims to have invented the word "hyphy." (Story: people called him "hyper" when he was younger and he parroted it back as "hyphy.") Appeared on DJ Shadow's unpopular new album.
4. Young Jeezy
Last album: The Inspiration
Also known as: Young Jizzle, the Snowman
Easily confused with: Weezy, Jay-Z, Young Buc, Young MC
Style: Jovial, populist. Lyrics peppered with motivational slogans and meaningless yet catchy interjections
Quote: "It's Young Jizzle from the bottom of the map / got a 50-round clip on the bottom of the strap / Ayyyyyy!"
Notes: Signed to Def Jam under Jay-Z. Claims he's first and foremost a motivational speaker. Calls it "trap music."
5. Clipse - Pusha T & Malice
Last album: Hell Hath No Fury
Easily confused with: Mitsubishi Eclipse
Style: Cold, distant. Insist that they're coke dealers, not rappers
Quote: "See I was sixteen, I was full of hope / Bagging up grams at the Hyatt though / The news called it crack, I called it Diet Coke”
Notes: Neptunes protegees, critical darlings. Finally dropped long-awaited 2nd album in 2006 after years of label drama. Mixtape 'We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2' woke up heads everywhere to the possibilities of mixtapes vis-à-vis "albums"
6. Diplomats - Jim Jones, Cam'ron, Hell Rell, etc.
Last album: Dipset: More Than Music, Vol. 2
Easily confused with: Diplo, actual diplomats
Style: Cretinous, thuggish. So inarticulate, you actually end up believing they ARE gangstas merely dabbling in rap
Quote: "Roll the haze, let's get higher and higher / but you, sell me coke? / I supply your supplier"
Notes: did a surprisingly dope collaboration with turntable-nerd superstar DJ A-Trak. Ringleader Jim Jones released an unsurprisingly cheerless Christmas album featuring beats jacked from Run DMC.
From: New Orleans
Last album: Reality Check
Easily confused with: ancient Roman poet Juvenal
Style: Stripper-friendly, inchoately responsive to Hurricane Katrina.
Quote: "With the strap on my lap, other one in the dash / On the way to drop this nigga off a fo'-and-a-half / Last time he put my shit on his tongue / He frowned up, cause the boy was NUMB"
Notes: 31 years old.
8. David Banner
From: Jackson, Mississipi
Last album: Certified
Easily confused with: Hulk alter-ego Bruce Banner, magician David Blaine
Style: Gruff, shouty.
Quote: "Bootleggin' cocksuckers, in my face, you a fan, ho / Get up off my nuts and start your own fucking band, yo / Grab some fucking drum sticks, GET OFF OF A NIGGA'S DICK / Even if you had a pussy I wouldn't splurge, trick"
Notes: Likened to the "street version" of Kanye West. Top-notch producer. Responded to Hurricane Katrina by sending his own tour bus to aid in relief efforts, as well as organizing a benefit concert. Appeared on DJ Shadow's unpopular new album. Government name: Levell Crump.
9. Paul Wall
From: Houston, Texas
Last album: The People's Champ
Also known as: The People's Champ
Easily confused with: Prince Paul, Sean Paul
Style: Amiable, funny. Southern drawl thick as molasses. Constantly refers to his diamond fronts.
Quote: "I'm showin out and pullin stuntz / say cheese and show my fronts / more carets than Bugz Bunny's lunch"
Watch: Internet Goin Nutz
Notes: Originally a jeweler who made custom fronts for rappers. Has face only mother could love. Inspired my friend Mondro to remark, "Paul Wall really is the people's champ. I thought i was the only one on the search for cybersluts. I was wrong."
From: Staten Island
Last album: Fishscale
Also known as: Ghostface Killah, Ghostdini, Iron Man, Tony Starks
Easily confused with: no one.
Style: off-kilter absurdity mixed with novelistic real-life detail.
Quote: "I'm like the deuce of diamonds, cutting spades on a glass table / half a mil on my left ankle / terrycloth Guess shorts, robes is comfortable / Bring me a nice bitch, that means I'll fuck with you / My swagger is Mick Jagger, Stones is Rollin' / Prestige is cut to a tee, sparkin' weed went up / The cocoa leaf is slightly damp / Sproutin' in the backyard next to Gran' duke's tomato plants"
Notes: Fishscale refers to high grade cocaine. Name apparently derives from shiny and reflective quality of such cocaine.