Being regarded as a great rap artist is predicated on one's ability to consistently create songs that are enjoyable and worthy of running back. Yet even the most skilled and respected rappers don't always bat a perfect percentage. Nobody's perfect. Even the greats have released material that was panned by the critics and the public alike.
These blunders are often forgiven, but for as long as the internet exists, they won't be forgotten.
XXL mined the vaults of various rap icons and rediscovered a few songs that failed to resonate or strike a chord with the public. Here are 10 bad songs by 10 great hip-hop artists that may have been better left unheard.
Produced by Detail, who also appears on the track, this number from Drake's Nothing Was the Same album is torturous, at best. From Detail's unappealing vocals to Drake's uninspired couplets, this selection remains an eye-sore on an otherwise impeccable tracklist.
"Accidental Racist"LL Cool J
LL Cool J's status as an icon is cemented, but this ill-fated attempt at stirring the pot stands as one of the biggest chinks in his armor. This well-intentioned collaboration with Brad Paisley garnered ample backlash for its vapid simplification of a complex issue.
Following a trilogy of classic album releases and a monstrous soundtrack, Eminem proved himself to be mortal with his flawed fourth studio album, Encore. He spoke with Rolling Stone about his mindset during this time:
Around the tail end of [2004’s] Encore, the songs started getting really goofy. “Rain Man,” “Big Weenie,” “Ass Like That” – that’s when the wheels were coming off. Every day I had a pocketful of pills, and I would just go into the studio and goof off.
J. Cole let more than a few fans down with this lackluster offering, which arrived at a time when the Dreamvillian was attempting to find his footing and garner radio airplay. The result was one of the more embarrassing compositions of Cole's career, but one he would ultimately grow from.
50 Cent's The Massacre album saw the rapper avoid the sophomore slump, however, this valiant attempt at presenting Batman as a brazen shooter falls flat on its face. Featuring Eminem, who also scores the beat, this selection missed the mark in a big way and remains one of the more egregious blemishes on Fif's second album.
When it comes to delivering a hot track, few rappers in history have been as consistently reliable as Jay-Z. That being said, the self-proclaimed "Michael Jordan of rap" put up an air ball with this loosie from The Blueprint 3 era.
"Massive Attack" Nicki Minaj
Intended to be the official coronation of Nicki Minaj as rap's new queen, this track, her first single in anticipation of her debut album, was the subject of ridicule upon its release. Produced by Alex da Kid and featuring Sean Garrett, this disjointed salvo failed to garner the reception and airplay befitting of a lead-single, causing the Queens rep to return to the drawing board.
"The Makings of a Perfect Bitch"Nas
For as great as an MC as he is, Nas has dropped a few duds over the course of his career, this atrocity being among them. From employing a faux 'Pac flow on the hook, to the middling production, this Streets Disciple track would've been better served left on the cutting-room floor.
Meek Mill's pedigree as a battle rapper was proven prior to inking a record deal with MMG. Yet the Philly spitta dropped the ball with this anticipated response to Drake's pair of diss records against him. Produced by Jahlil Beats and Swizz Beatz, this selection is the victim of too many moving parts to hold the listener's attention and a subpar lyrical showing on Meek's part.
Not long after unleashing his eight studio album, Ye, West serviced this leak via DJ Clark Kent, which ranks as one of his most head-scratching tracks to date. On it, he claims to lust for his Kardashian sister-in-laws and interpolates his nonsensical lyrics from "Lift Yourself."