In 2011, during Drake’s initial rise to the top of the mainstream hip-hop realm, an anonymous voice rose from the depths of hip-hop’s grimy underbelly, hurling thunderously hilarious and biting blasphemies at the God of emotional raps, or as it was later coined, the “Spa Rap Movement.”
That voice was Big Ghost, and throughout the last five years, the faceless author has waged war on all things he considers soft within the world of hip-hop culture, taking aim at some of the biggest artists in the industry. When Ghost first arrived on the scene, many believed him to be the blogger pseudonym of Ghostface Killah, and justifiably so. Everything about Ghost’s writing, from the slang and tone to the incredibly detailed insults, are reminiscent of the often hilarious hyper-machismo displayed by Ghostface Killah and his Wu-Tang compatriots in the early '90s.
Those rumors were (mostly) put to rest after Big Ghost included Wiz Khalifa in his first annual “10 Softest Rappers In The Game” article, which Wiz took offense to, especially considering he thought it was Ghostface Killah slinging the insults. Ghostface immediately went on the offensive, ordering Big Ghost’s blog to be shut down and releasing multiple statements re-assuring both Wiz and readers everywhere that he was not the man behind Big Ghost’s biting commentary.
Big Ghost as an entity could not be kept quiet, however, as many of his articles were reaching viral fame, especially those focused on Drake. It seemed as though Ghost was the voice of the voiceless, a lone ranger shouting unsung truths from darkened street corners in a world moving towards industry-wide acceptance. There were no extracurricular attempts at fame, there was no branded content, just a message for those he considered to be cancerous to the true virtues of hip-hop culture. Big Ghost was, and is, the Banksy of hip-hop haterdom. Even Ghostface Killah himself eventually came around, unable to deny the hilarity of Cocaine Biceps' musings.
Since 2011, Big Ghost’s album reviews and “Softest Rapper” lists have grown into legendary status, representing a beacon of refusal for any hip-hop fans that don’t like what they’re seeing in the culture. His potent mixture of legitimate insight and hyperbolic mastery have held many a rapper accountable for what he perceives to be questionable actions, and although they remain mostly insult-focused, his album reviews are always insightful, and at times borderline revelatory.
With a growing disconnect between the tastes of the average underground hip-hop fan and what’s being presented on a mainstream level, Big Ghost’s position as the troll under the bridge will continue to remain a comical yet crucial component of hip-hop commentary for years to come. Or until we find out it's actually been Drake this whole time and stumble upon the greatest viral marketing ploy of all-time.
Either way, Big Ghost is needed.
By Brent Bradley aka Weed Oil Triceps aka Medium Sized Apparition. Follow him on Twitter.