“Obie Trice, real name, no gimmicks.”
That brief sample shoehorned into the intro of Eminem’s “Without Me” was one of many examples of Slim handing fellow Detroit native (and former Shady Records signee) Obie Trice to his fans on a silver platter.
Em obviously helped 50 Cent blow up and become one of the biggest artists on the planet, but sadly, Obie never achieved the household name status that Mr. Cent deservedly received.
And I blame you assholes.
You. Ungrateful. Sons. Of. Bitches.
The fact that Obie Trice never got his proper props infuriates me. I'm talking a genuine, Squidward-on-a-coke-binge level of aggressive infuriation.
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There are only a few rap albums from the 2000s that are considered undisputed classics: Kanye West's The College Dropout, 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', and (obviously) John Cena's You Can't See Me.
But for every classic album that we still chat about, there’s a buried gem that’s been forgotten in the dust of time along with other 2000s things like goth kids and Ruben Studdard. One of those albums is Cheers, Obie Trice's 2003 debut.
Cheers is a brilliant, no-skips album that should have dominated the airwaves. Hell, there are certified classics with skippable tracks. Come on, you don’t skip that weird “Fuck Me” skit on Biggie’s Ready to Die? If you don’t, you’re disgusting and you need help.
“Average Man” kickstarts the album in a cinematic fashion, with a sinister sounding beat and a calm intensity to his delivery. “Got Some Teeth” was the goofy radio-ready single that should have been awkwardly played at high school proms across America. “Never Forget Ya” made me cry the first time I heard it—but to be fair, that was in fifth grade and everything made me cry back then.
If none of those song titles ring your bell, throw your phone at the wall and go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.
In revisiting Cheers, all the ingredients were there—co-signs from some of hip-hop’s biggest names, a collection of rock-solid solo material, and an unteachable talent on the mic—but for whatever reason, Trice never reached superstar status, and that makes me angrier than a Trump supporter finding out you can’t wear white hoods after Labor Day.
I truly believe Obie could have been one of the greatest of all time. The fact that he wasn’t one of the biggest rappers of the 2000s was the worst tragedy of that decade right behind Norbit. Mainstream exposure should never be the primary measurement of an MC’s worth, but I'm still pissed that Obie never reached the superstardom that his talent deserved.
And I blame you assholes for ignoring him.