In a recent episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, Dr. Umar challenged the notion of Eminem as one of the greatest rappers, questioning the longevity of his impact compared to other artists. While acknowledging Eminem's classic albums, Dr. Umar emphasized the importance of cultural background in determining greatness, asserting that the heart of hip-hop and rap lies in African and Black American culture.
Cultural Roots and Hip-Hop Origins
Dr. Umar argues that being the greatest in hip-hop is intrinsically tied to one's cultural roots. He critiques the tendency of Americans to label anything as world-class without considering diverse global perspectives. According to him, participating in the conversation of hip-hop requires a connection to African and Black American cultures, the true origins of this influential music genre.
Dr Umar is an Africanist for most Americans, hip-hop originated from Bronx, but the reality is hip-hop originated from Africa.
"No non-African can ever be the best of anything African. It an insult to the ancestors. It an insult to the race. It’s an insult to every Black person."
"Do you think I can go to Palestinian and be the best of anything of Palestinian culture? You think I can go to Israel and be the best of anything Israel whether it be a cook, an instrumentalist, a dancer? Hell no!"
Dr. Umar's Perspective on Vanessa Bryant
In a separate instance, Dr. Umar expressed strong opinions about Vanessa Bryant, urging her to invest Kobe Bryant's wealth in the Black community. This reflects his broader stance on the responsibility of influential figures to contribute to their cultural communities.
Complex Brackets Debate: Joe Budden's Preference for J. Cole
During a Complex Magazine debate, Joe Budden, host of the podcast, favored J. Cole over Eminem in discussions about the best rapper alive. Joe emphasized J. Cole's consistent output and likened him to a versatile basketball player excelling both on the court and in the studio. He questioned Eminem's recent works and his standing in the top 10 greatest rappers of all time.
"Cole! Em has been…He left earth one time though but that needs to be more consistent for me. J. Cole is doing this while playing in and out of Italian league basketball. Or wherever the f**k he’s playing basketball. It was in Africa? He doing all this while hitting he baseline three. And Cole’s last album for me is Chef’s Kiss, I have not got that from Em in a little bit. Not saying that he’s incapable doing that but I have not gotten that. I’m going Cole."
It's evident that opinions on rap legends, including Eminem, vary widely, leading to spirited debates within the hip-hop community. What is your opinion on Eminen being in the conversation of Greatest Rapper of All time.