What if Poppa Doc would have went first?
This past Saturday night I entered my apartment
inauspiciously, as I always do. After checking behind the door, under the couch
and in the closet for a potential robber, another thing that I always do, I
kicked off my shoes, stripped down and plopped onto the broken in section of my
couch. It is the end of my work week and seeing how I know that there is nothing
more relaxing than having a lonely Saturday night on the couch, I decide to
flip through my free cable channels until something catches my attention.
Sportscenter… Jackass 2… some ridiculous BET movie… Nothing special.
After passing VH1 in my normal run of favorite channels, I
turn back, hoping that the commercial that was on earlier was over and just
maybe The Temptations would be on (not like I don’t have the DVD, but there’s
something about watching a movie on TV that makes it better to me… I digress).
Even better, the last round of 8 Mile is just starting as the channel number
fades away on my flatscreen. I scoot towards the edge of my couch in
anticipation like I haven’t seen this movie two hundred and fifty thousand
times. Eminem begins to get the crowd hype by forcing them to raise their hands
and I clear my throat… “Look, now while he stands tough.. notice that this man did
not have his hands up…” By this point I am rapping as if I wrote the lyrics
myself. None of this is out of the ordinary, in fact, the only thing that was
weird was what came next. As Jimmy began to spew on about Cranbrook I paused.
My mind took a sharp left and I asked myself; what if Poppa Doc would have went
It was like Christmas. I felt as if I could relate with
Thomas Edison as he thought of the light bulb, or with the Wilbur and Orville’s
discovery of “lift” and how to relate that to flight. No one has every really
sat and thought this question through in its entirety.. until today.
Okay, so to understand the question we must first take a
step back to understand that 8 Mile was based on Eminem’s life. Seeing how I am
a firm believer that everything you see in a movie is based off of a certain
level of reality it is pretty safe to say that Eminem’s first “Rap Battle
Championship Title” probably came as depicted in the movie. Maybe he didn’t
necessarily have a flawless victory, but I am sure that if he lost we may not
have ever had an opportunity to listen to one of the greatest lyricists in the
history of music. Why? Because of confidence. Let’s say Poppa Doc decides to
not “let that b*tch go first” and in turn destroys B Rabbit with everything
that Jimmy thought he would use against him. Could you imagine Doc making
references to Cheddar Bob pulling a Plaxico Burress and Wink giving Kim the
winky? The crowd would have went nuts, Em would have lost and Dr. Dre would
have never gotten that text on his two-way pager about a little white rapper
So, no Eminem means what?
First, the obvious, no Eminem means no 50 Cent. Well,
skeptical loyalists may say that Fif was on track to make a career on his own
with or without the success of the creator of the Marshall Mathers LP. I would
agree to disagree. Nobody was really checking for 50, and can imagine what his
first album would have sounded like on Bad Boy records? G-Depp. Frisbee. Moving
on. With no Fiddy then Ja Rule would have remained in the argument for “best
rapper alive”. Hard to believe right? Wrong, Ja was on top of the world and
dropping hits at an alarming rate. Anything that he decided to put his raspy
voice on was guaranteed gold. Almost like Drake before Drake, except less bars
and more Newports. Ashanti was his Rihanna and Murder Inc was as untouchable
as The Roc. Do not think of things as they are now, but as they were.
Next, with no Slim Shady there would be no “Renegade”. Now
this is where things get good. With no Renegade there is no one that “kills Jay
on his own sh*t”. No Renegade makes “The Blueprint”, arguably Jay-Z’s best
project, a little more diluted and leaves Nasir’s rant on Ether a little empty.
We may even go so far to say with no Renegade there may not have even been a
Nas/Jay-Z beef? No Super Ugly… nothing to sign Jay off as “The Greatest”.
Reach? Maybe not.
With Jigga’s best album missing a key track and Murder Inc
still on top of the world, imagine Ja, free of any career ending beef and on
top of the charts, ousting Young out for the King of New York? Imagine wearing
ErvingGeoffrey instead of Rocawear. This part of the story is a toss up, but
more of a reality. Do not forget, Jay didn’t become the greatest until he
retired, until then he was always considered ONE of the best, but a reasonable
distance behind DMX in the street category, far behind Nas lyrically and had
less crossover appeal than Ja’s rough vocals.
I will speed the rest of this up… No ”Hov”, no Beans, no Ye,
no Cudi, no Ross, no Jeezy, no Stalley.. So much would be affected. Music as we
know if would not exist. I am not saying that The Roc wouldn’t be around and
KanYe wouldn’t have released College Dropout, but in a parallel universe
Roc-a-Fella may not have even been relevant. R-Kelly would have did the “Best
of Both World’s 2” with Ja-Rule and history would be in the hands of the
biggest wanksta in the game.
Imagine hip-hop not being what it is today? Who would be
left out? Which rappers would replace our most famous stars? Maybe, just maybe
if Poppa Doc would have went first he would have stopped Eminem. Maybe he would
have single handedly saved hip-hop. We will never know now, but I can say with
more confidence than I could have a week ago; Poppa Doc going first would have
changed the world. Poppa Doc not going first paved the way for rappers like Flo
Rida and Pitbull to make a mockery of this thing that I love so dearly. So,
for that I say; EFF THE FREE WORLD. You may not agree with how I got here, but
you cannot deny the fact that it all makes sense. Don’t even try to argue with
me because I make sense in my mind, and at the end of the day.. that is all
that matters. These are the types of thoughts that run through my mind when I
am alone.. on my couch, having the time of my life. ‘Til next time, stay
Always proofread free,
Ps. Em is one of my top 5 rappers of all time. So I’m kinda
glad P Doc didn't go first. LOL @ P Doc.