Bun B Fires Back At Source Rating Critics... Including Ours

"I get 5 mikes, you say The Source ain't shit. If your favorite would've won, would you say the same shit?" - Bun B, "B.M.F. Freestyle"

Photos by Marco Torres
Bun B at House of Blues, August 4; see here for our review and slideshow
Whoever came up with that saying "if you've got nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" must have been a rapper at some point. Rappers are allergic to criticism. If you remotely utter anything negative about a rapper's work, there's a term reserved for you in hip-hop circles: Hater.

Never mind that the word denotes hostile actions motivated by deep resentment. This attitude, when applied to all criticism, is detrimental to hip-hop as a culture, but we'll get to that later.

Following the debate over his 5-mike award for Trill OG, a debate that Rocks Off was part of, Bun B issued this statement:

"For every album labeled a classic, there are dozens of others that people feel deserve the honor. So I realize that people now feel they have to place my album next to others that they feel were more impactful, and argue their case."

Bun has a legitimate point here. Hip-hop is an engine fueled by passion. Rocks Off would know; we've spent countless nights arguing in parking lots and street corners with friends, trying to convince them that their favorite album ain't shit. Emotions run wild during these debates. That's hip-hop.

Bun B also came out swinging atop Rick Ross' "B.M.F.," hurling missives at unnamed detractors: "These muthafuckas mad they 5-mike'd me. Hating so bad, make 'em wanna fight me."

Wrong. No one wants to fight Bun B. We made it abundantly clear in our Battle Royal that he's one of few Houston rappers you shouldn't ever fight.

It's important to note that no album is perfect, not even the 5-mike albums we juxtaposed with Trill OG. The Blueprint had a forgettable song in "Jigga That Nigga," Stillmatic's B-side lacks replay value, and we could go on and on about the other 41 5-mike albums, but you get the point.

An album doesn't even have to be perfect to be 5-mike-worthy. It just has to be compelling enough to make the argument stick. What stirred up the massive online debate is that The Source awarded its highest accolade to an album that few hip-hop heads deem as Bun's best work. That said, an award is an award is an award.

As much as we loved Martin Scorsese's violent thriller The Departed (we even own it on DVD), it's far from Scorcese's best work. But it was The Departed that nabbed Scorsese his first Best Director and Best Picture Oscars. Scorsese was so surprised by the honor that he jokingly asked the Academy to double-check the envelope.

Just as Scorsese had been the greatest living American director without an Oscar, Bun had been one of the greatest living MCs without a 5-mike album. Trill OG is Bun B's The Departed. But Scorsese didn't go around flipping haters off because someone suggested that his Oscar should've gone to Raging Bull or Goodfellas.

This is where hip-hop needs to grow.

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