This year's VH1 Hip Hop Honors has come and gone and many are already trying to figure out who will be chosen for the esteemed honor next year, present company and Erick Sermon included. SoulBounce gathered together a vocal group of hip-hop heads to get their picks on who they think should receive Hip Hop Honors in 2008. For some extra added fun we even threw the question out there about who amongst today's hip-hop artists should be honored 10 or 20 years from now and that's when things really got interesting.
E. Green, Podcaster, The Hip Hop Digest
This is my fantasy format: I'd love to see Slick Rick, OutKast, Pete Rock, DJ Premier and EPMD on there next year. That would be a hot show, right?
As for who "could" be on there 10-20 years from now from TODAY? Whew. By then I would hope to be in the best nursing home that money can buy. I'd much rather that than to have to answer this question. But, since I've started, it looks like if they don't throw Lil Wayne in there prematurely (does dude have ONE solo project yet?) he should make it on the strength of his mixtape presence. Then you gotta think about crunk producer Lil Jon. And for the rack my got-damn nerves award, you gotta throw that to Soulja Boy. Do I need to say why? And probably Diddy (another that may prematurely be added) for his hustle.
Even 20 years from now if you don't put Kanye in there he'll be in some nursing home spinning his cane around at the nursing assistants complaining about not getting in, and how he ain't gonna show up at the cafeteria because of it.
nOva, SoulBounce Managing Editor and Publisher:
I think J Dilla, De La Soul and EPMD should get some love next year.
Dilla had a pretty decent wingspan in the game even though he didn't have name recognition in the mainstream.
De La Soul should be honored because they are long overdue. Even to this day, they are consistent and relevant. In fact, dedicate the whole damn show to De La Soul!
EPMD deserves it because, although Erick Sermon jumped the gun a bit with his rants, he's right!
I would also like to see DJ Premier get something in the (near) future. I think he's the best hip-hop producer and he's worked with all the greats.
I feel like they should've waited at least another 5 years to do Missy Elliott. Although her sound has had a great influence, it was mostly on R&B. If they really wanted to pay homage to that era or sound, a better pick would've been Timbaland. Personally, I don't want to get ahead of myself with respect to artists like Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Common, because I feel like they have a ways to go. And none of them have put the smackdown on hip-hop yet, although Common's "I Used To Lover H.E.R." is a classic.
Oh, and how could I forget? The Roots! Yeah, HONOR THE EFFING ROOTS!
Felicia Pride, Blogger and Author, The Message: 100 Life Lessons From Hip-Hop's Greatest Songs:
I can say that VH1 Hip Hop Honorees aren't as random as the MTV Greatest MC's of All Time designations. I was cool with the selections for this year, except--and call me crazy--I haven't felt Snoop Dogg since Doggystyle. I have this whole D.O.C. ghostwriting conspiracy theory. But back to the matter of hand. If I had the corporate power to nominate artists for next year's show, here are my picks:
De La Soul--So underappreciated.
Krush Groove--For nostalgic reasons alone.
Queen Latifah--Come on, she's representing hip-hop lovely, even when she's singing jazz.
Dr. Dre--The man behind the great white rapper.
Marley Marl--The mastermind behind the great posse cut.
Slick Rick--There's only one Slick.
The Roots--Our favorite hip-hop band.
Pete Rock & CL Smooth--Quite possibly the finest hip-hop duo, ever. No disrespect to EPMD.
EPMD--Is the dope two-man crew bordering on extinction?
GangStarr--See above and hip-hop could use a group like GangStarr right about now.
OutKast--See above and they are definitely originators.
And, oh yeah, Jay-Z.
I'm a little fearful to see who would be honored 10-20 years from now. I definitely need more time to really think about this. But off the top of my head: Kanye West (please, VH1, don't honor him before that; he needs some time to be humbled), Little Brother, Talib Kweli, and Eminem.
Quentin, SoulBounce Contributor:
Three words: De La Soul. They helped helm the whole alternative movement along with A Tribe Called Quest. I know it would be impossible, but P.M. Dawn's mixture of soul, hip-hop and social commentary was another thing worth representing. Those are only two I can think off the top of my head for now. As far as today's artists receiving this honor in the future, I'd say Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West--of course--and Common, as well.
J. Brotherlove, Blogger:
I'm confused about why De La Soul hasn't been included yet. Their influence on hip hop is undeniable. I'm going to need VH1 to rectify that next year. Also, Nas should get honored for his legendary lyricist skills. There still isn't anyone in the game putting it down in the same way, and I respect that. I have a perverse desire to see MC Hammer inducted. His music, particularly his concerts, brought a Broadway-type showmanship to the genre that caught the attention of the non-hip-hop community.
By the way, I know they saluted New Jack Swing this year but they should have included the movie New Jack City, as well. "Rock-a-Bye, Baby!"
Butta, SoulBounce Editor:
I've had this conversation at least twice before since hearing about the 2007 Hip Hop Honors honoree list and questioning why some folks were included and not other, so discussing this one mo' time won't kill me:
I think that next year they HAVE to honor Queen Latifah. Yeah, she's been doing the Dana Owens jazz schtick for the past few years, but she started out draped in kente cloth outfits, rocking door knocker earrings and spitting hot fire as part of the Native Tongues posse. No diss to Missy, but I'm still cramming to understand how she got honored before Latifah.
And speaking of the Native Tongues, De La Soul definitely needs to receive some props. They ushered in the Daisy Age, man! And lest we forget that they came before their homeboys and one of this year's honorees, A Tribe Called Quest.
I'm surprised that Dr. Dre hasn't been honored yet when NWA, Ice Cube and Eazy-E have, but maybe next year is the year. The same could be said for Detox dropping.
Believe it or not, I can see Diddy being honored sooner than later. Not necessarily because he deserves it but because two things that he's had a hand in have already been honored--New Jack Swing and The Notorious B.I.G. He could be next year's random choice.
On the non-artist side, I can see Yo! MTV Raps receiving the honor. It was a groundbreaking show for MTV, and I have to admit I kinda miss it.
And I may get clowned for this, but I'd give Hip Hop Honors next year to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. They were a commercial hit and won the first Grammy for rap. Yeah, they (well, Will Smith) could be corny at times, but when they were hot they were hot ("Brand New Funk", "Summertime"). Plus, to this day Jeff is still one of the dopest producers around.
Ten years from now I can see the usual suspects Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Kanye West getting Hip Hop Honors accolades, but I'd also argue that Mary J. Blige (she is the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, after all) and Lil Kim (queen of female raunch) need to be recognized as well. As far as the class of 2027 is concerned, if the show lasts for 20 years--and that's a big if given the interesting place hip-hop is in right now--then I could potentially see acts like Lil Mama or the Black Eyed Peas getting the honor. Perhaps my crystal ball needs some Windex.