From Reggaeton to Rugged N Raw...

A couple years ago, back when it was unfortunately a little too popular for my ears to tolerate, I wrote a diss rhyme about Reggaeton.

I'm not an Emcee. No aspirations to be one, either. Rather I choose to leave that aspect of The Culture to those lyrically aware enough not to disrespect it (and Hip Hop would be much better if more of these Wack-Depot ass rappers did the same. Too many Emcees. Not enough Ears).

But how can anyone criticize (positively or negatively) anything if they've never tried to do it themselves? How can you truly appreciate Van Gogh's genius if you've never picked up a paint brush? How can you truly appreciate Memphis Bleek's crap-tasticness if you've never kicked a rhyme? Ish's harder than you think. Fact.

So yeah I have a few verses to my name. And one of those I chose to dedicate to Reggaeton's one-dimensional war on the possibilities of production. Fun and funny at the sametime. Win. Win.

I say that to say this: The bouncing snare drum on Rugged N Raw's hilarious ode to "the life of the starving artist", "Broke & Proud" reminds me of the one (emphasis on: one) used in (every) Reggaeton (song).

However, this is not - REPEAT- this is not a Reggaeton beat. Thankfully, "Broke & Proud" has nothing to do with Reggaeton at all. If anything, it could pass for a Major Lazer production. And I normally don't gravitate towards dance hall-ish back drops. Yes, they're addictive. But rarely do they compliment lyricism. True spittin.

Emcees can work it. Rappers hide behind it.

I have to hand it to Rugged N Raw. "Broke & Proud" is a dope cut -- nicely flipping the beat's natural enslavement into a side-splitting lyrical rant on...well...being broke and proud.

"When stress starts to weigh down heavy / vacation is necessary. / What do I do? / I pack my bags. / Weekend cruise on the Staten Island Ferry."

Sure, the concept isn't new. Sean Price re-emerged from where ever he went after Heltah Skeltah broke up claiming to be "The Brokest Rapper You Know".

That isn't the point.

The point is "Broke & Proud" is a great track. Rugged -- along with Hasan Salaam -- turns poverty into a party. Not to mention that the "rent party" video theme works perfectly

This isn't breaking news or anything. "Broke & Proud" debuted on Video Music Box back in 2008. Not exactly a world premiere.

Just something that should be said.

Just a song that should be heard.

"No dough to go around. / But I still hold it down. / And I'ma show you how. / Say it loud. / I'm Broke and Proud"

More Vids from Rugged N Raw and Hasan Salaam. Shouts to Donovan Ka5p for the Bowery footage:

Hit Rugged N Raw @

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