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Beats and Rhymes

Fritz le Chat's 5th Annual Rap Awards.

Neptunes/N.E.R.D., Devin the Dude’s album finally came out, Swollen Members and Moka Only blowing the fuck up, Buck 65 signed to Warner (!!), gangsta rap, Nelly (so many haters!), Linkin Park dropping a remix album with “underground” artists, Paris taking you back to school, Xzibit. SHIT THAT SUCKED IN 2002
The “world’s most talented record label” Murder Inc., Ashanti and her sideburns, that stupid bleach/wrinkle/dirty denim style (c’mon, acid wash was bad enough the first time), Common’s stylist (quit borrowing Erykah’s clothes), DJ Quik retiring from rapping, people who send you “snippet” CDs to review and then don’t send you the real album—or CDs filled with voice-overs to prevent bootlegging/mp3s (that shit gets no play with me), “Canadian” rap—there’s a whole world out there, get off your block, Nelly Furtado, underground rap, R&B/pop jacking classic hip-hop without giving proper credit/respect. SONG OF THE YEAR
Devin the Dude “Doobie Ashtray,” Nelly “Hot In Herre,” N.E.R.D. “Rock Star,” Swollen Members “Fuel Injected,” Hieroglyphics “Soweto.” WORST SONG OF THE YEAR
Shawn Desmon “Get Ready” (c’mon, what were you thinking?), anything on Murder Inc., that annoying-as-hell Eve/Alicia Keys shit. ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Devin the Dude Just Tryin’ Ta Live (worth the wait), N.E.R.D. Insearchof... (this was on my list last year, but y’all slept, get with it), Clipse Lord Willin’, Atmosphere God Loves Ugly, El-P Fantastic Damage, Mr. Lif I Phantom, Tech N9ne Absolute Power, Buck 65 Square, Tre Hardson Liberation, Talib Kweli Quality. WORST ALBUM OF THE YEAR
MC Paul Barman Paullelujah (dude, please go away, you’re bothering people). LABEL OF THE YEAR
Definitive Jux: El-P, Cannibal Ox, Aesop Rock, Mr. Life, RJD2…need I say more? Battleaxe: There’s no stopping these cats. Rap-A-Lot. Fried Chicken/Low Pressure. Peanuts & Corn. Star Trak. Goodvibe. Spytech. Ubiquity. Big Dada. Ninja Tune. Counterflow. Stones Throw. Female Fun.
Brick. Sound Ink. Subverse. Day By Day. CANADIAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Swollen Members and Moka Only, for obvious reasons. Brass Munk. IRS. Kardinal Offishall. K-OS. Buck 65. SLEPT-ON SHIT OF THE YEAR
Devin the Dude (go out and buy three copies or don’t ever talk to me again), The D.O.C. (did you even know he has new shit out?), K-OS, Tech N9ne, Prophetix, Ink Operated, Phoenix Orion, The Goods, 7L & Esoteric, Awol One, MF Grimm, Mindbender…and the list goes on. ABOUT TO BLOW UP
Graph Nobel (remember this name), Alistair, Black Corners, Swollen Members (worldwide), Moka Only (Ambrosia), Buck 65, Fefe Dobson, Eternia (will someone sign this girl already), Oddities, Sweatshop Union, Tachichi & DJ Moves, Kaleb Simmonds, Bless, Bishop, Dark Side Crooks, Kaleb Simmonds, Slumplordz, P.E.A.C.E., Styles of Beyond, Lexicon, Nextra Terrestrials, Ryan Styles, Serge Boogie, Martin Luther, Cody Chesnutt. ABOUT TO FALL OFF
Murder Inc. (c’mon Irv, you thought it’d last forever?) WHERE THE HELL IS… ?
Fat Lip. MC Ren. Brother J. Esthero. WIFEY OF THE YEAR
Rosario Dawson needs to take my last name. VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Scarface “My Block,” Swollen Members “Fuel Injected,” Cee-Lo “Closet Freak.” DVD/VHS OF THE YEAR
Culturama video series. LIVE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Jurassic 5: legendary. Blackalicious: tireless. Atmosphere: put in work. Swollen Members: give their all. D-Sisive: comedic. Graph Nobel: huge. WORST LIVE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
MC Paul Barman. Not sure if you know, but MC stands for “Move the Crowd,” which you don’t. PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
This one’s hard, so I’m going in no particular order: Jazze Pha, Neptunes, Rob the Viking, Doc, Bookworm & Bounce, DJ Moves, DJ Quik, Kemo, Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Just Blaze, DJ Premier, Fat Jon, Boom Bip. DJ OF THE YEAR
Joi Star Kitty’s Revenge, Kelis Wanderland. BEST FREESTYLER OF THE YEAR
These are the cats I saw this year murder it off the top… Prevail (Swollen Members), Moka Only, Governor Bolts, Gift of Gab and Lateef, Slug (Atmosphere). Send me stuff: Fritz tha Cat, c/o VICE, 383 Queen St. W., Toronto ON, M5V 2A5 Canada. Get on my email list:

Top Nine of 2002 (in no particular order)

1. Devin the Dude 2. Vancouver 3. Jazze Pha 4. N.E.R.D. 5. Def Jux 6. Kaleb Simmonds 7. Rosario Dawson 8. Swollen Members & Moka Only 9. Beer, Women & Rap