4 August, 2010@3:13 am
While The Source’s once coveted “5 Mic status” was blown to bits by outlandish 4.5 mic rating for Made Men’s Classic Limited Edition in 1999, the rating has never been taken seriously since, as Source co-owner Benzino was a member of the group. This along with some other questionable ratings forever diminished the magazine’s credibility and it’s been five years since they’ve given an LP the 5 mic rating. To Lil’ Kim’s The Naked Truth, mind you. Yes, really.
The magazine is pumping up it’s next issue which will see an album get five mics. July was an incredible month for hip-hop music, with a slew of quality releases, one of which was rated 5/5 here (Drake’s Thank Me Later, amid criticism). Given that Benzino and Dave Mays are no longer affiliated with the magazine and they have almost wiped the slate clean by not awarding any 5 mic albums in the last five years, perhaps this will be a new beginning. Here are the nominees, along with our thoughts on the matter:
Drake – “Thank Me Later” - This of course is our pick. The magazine has a long history of missing the mark on giving debut albums 5 mics upon release (The Chronic, Ready To Die) and then awarding them later. Considering this album is the one of the most buzzed about records of the summer, and has very long legs attached to it, in the form of several singles (“Over”, “Find Your Love”) and club bangers (“Fancy”, “Miss Me”, “Up All Night”), of all of these albums this has the one of the better chances of catching the 5 mic status. But don’t count on it.
Eminem – “Recovery” – We think Recovery is great, but not classic. The Marshall Mathers LP was Em’s classic album. However after the magazine destroyed it’s relationship with Eminem during the Benzino era (remember the poster featuring Benzino holding Eminem’s severed head and spine?), they may be looking to make nice with the Shady camp by giving Em 5 mics. Considering this album is the summer’s sales juggernaut, it’s the one of the more likely contenders.
Fat Joe – “Darkside” - It’s a stretch, because Fat Joe is a widely respected New York artist, but he doesn’t sell records. With today’s rap game being more focused on numbers than anything else, it’s unlikely they’d give it to Joe, unless they wanted to crown him with some type of achievement award for staying in the game this long.
Bun B – “Trill O.G.” – While we’re all excited about Bun B’s new release today – and in fairness we have not heard it yet – there’s too many other heavy hitters in these ranks for the magazine to give it to Bun. We might change our minds after we hear it though. Review coming soon, by the way….
Rick Ross – “Teflon Don” - Most likely to succeed. Considering that Rawse is the hood’s favorite right now, this is most likely who will get the award. Not just because of the outstanding buzz Rick is carrying with him, but because he went against the grain and made an album that sounds unlike most anything else out there with it’s massive cinematic backdrops and guest appearances from everyone. At only 12 tracks in length, the only thing holding Rick back is the whole “ex-cop” thing and of course the fact that he isn’t strong enough to hold an album on his own, which is why we rated it 4/5.
The Roots – “How I Got Over” – It’s unlikely that The Source wants to win big with the backpackers, as that is pretty much a lost cause at this point. How I Got Over is great, but there are so many other Roots albums that are better than this one that they could “re-rate” instead.
Big Boi – “Sir Luscious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty” - We know The Source has a soft spot for Outkast, but we’re guessing all those people that agreed upon Aquemini as a classic are long gone by now. If Big Boi is going to get 5 mics from The Source again, trust us, it will be with Andre 3000 at his side.
You can vote now at The Source, which also begs the question if the 5 mic rating will be based on user votes, or their actual opinions.
UPDATE: The Source announced today that Bun B’s Trill O.G. got 5 Mics.
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