Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
I generally find any sort of debate about what constitutes "real" hip-hop to be tiresome, unenlightening, and about a decade and a half too late to be relevant. However I'd agree with most hip-hop pedants that in order to really be considered a rapper one first has to, y'know, rap.
Which is why I'm both amused (slightly) and dismayed (greatly) by this list of news stories that identify young, black, usually male entertainers as "rappers" despite the fact that they aren't known for rapping. (Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Ne-Yo, et cetera.) Yes, some of them have made at least a couple half-assed attempts to rap, but if you want to get technical you could also refer to Debbie Harry as a rapper. And I don't think either of those things is a good idea.