Posted tagged ‘Madonna’

Madonna is the Worst Rapper of the Decade

December 9, 2008

Madonna 3 by David Shankbone by david_shankbone.
Madonna, you just may be the worst rapper of the decade. This is a dicey issue because you are not a rapper. That’s what makes your rapping on your song, American Life, released in 2003, so confounding. In early 2000, there were reports that made us worry. You’d done a Gap commercial with Missy Elliott, and there were rumors that she was teaching you to rap. We laughed because we assumed that that your rapping would be like your pilates and Kabbalah, something you did in a dungeon in a castle in England. We didn’t think you’d have the gall to actually spit your lyrics in a song. We were horribly wrong.

And you were horribly wrong. At three minutes and eleven seconds into your album, also titled American Life, you unleash your mistake, starting with these lyrics:

I’m drinking a Soy latte
I get a double shot (pronounced shot-tay)
It goes right through my body
And you know I’m satisfied

I’m not even going to address your creation of the word, “shottay,” to have a rhyme with latte. No, because there are bigger things here than me and that word. Madonna, you set rap back twenty years with that verse. You set it back, past Teen Witch, past Larry and Balki’s rapping about T.G.I.F., all the way to the embarrassment that is Deborah Harry’s rap in The Rapture. That nonsensical song from Blondie at least had a couple redeeming qualities. It got rap on MTV, it left us The Rapture’s haunting chorus, and it made rap accessible to an audience that might otherwise have completely ignored it. Your verse on American Dream made people want to forget rap ever existed!

The first time I heard that song, I cringed. My face felt flush from embarrassment. I wanted to call people just to see if they were ok. By the time, you made it to the end of your verse, I’d already organized a charity benefit to support the children of parents who nodded to the beat during that rap. That’s how bad that rap was.

The rap-off in this scene is better than your rapping, Madonna.

And that is the argument for you being the worst rapper of the decade. Your verse lasted only a moment, but that moment was like a black hole that sucked into it all the vitality out of hip hop. That rap was a Death Eater that took all the happiness from hip hop, if only for a moment. Only after that song left the radio were we finally were brave enough to scan our radio stations again. I don’t think there was a single worse rap this entire decade.

Photo by David Shankbone