Every Saturday, HipHopDX delivers a thought-provoking episode of The Breakdown, a place to explore some of Hip Hop’s biggest (and often controversial) hot-button issues. Originally started by former DX Editor-In-Chief Justin Hunte and Director of YouTube Content James “Roll The Clip James” Kreisberg, The Breakdown is now helmed by esteemed rap veteran Murs. From diving into age-old arguments to putting forth new Hip Hop hypotheses, here are our picks for 2017’s Top 5 episodes. 

Real Hip Hop vs. Fake Hip Hop

In Real Hip Hop vs. Fake Hip Hop, Murs debunks the idea that Hip Hop was born from “a bunch of kids skipping through the ghettos screaming ‘peace, love and unity,’” and what an MC — Master of Ceremony — actually means. From vintage footage of Schoolly D to recent video of Future, Murs draws provocative parallels between current mainstream rap and what music purists consider classic golden era Hip Hop. With over 1.3 million views on YouTube, it continued the debate in the 7,500+ comments.

Andre 3000 Is The G.O.A.T.

Former HipHopDX editor-in-chief Justin Hunte tackles Outkast’s impact with the Andre 3000: The Greatest Rapper Of All Time episode. Throughout the 11-minute clip, Hunte makes a case for the highly respected MC and humanizes the otherworldly wordsmith by highlighting an interview where Dre admits he felt “nerves” about the pop-R&B crossover song “Hey Ya” during a time when rappers were expected to simply rap. Yes, even the best of the best still have insecurities. Bringing in nearly 900,000 views, it’s the second most-viewed Breakdown of 2017. 

The Hypocrisy Of The DOOM Fan

Justin Hunte once again is at the helm of a DOOM-centric episode titled The Hypocrisy of The DOOM Fan, which broke down how MetalFace’s enigmatic persona is something to be celebrated — not condemned. Hunte explains how the former Zev Love X’s multiple characters and reputation for sending DOOM impersonators to perform live sometimes infuriates fans, and questions if they truly grasp DOOM’s artistic intent. The same character they love, they criticize for executing his artistic license. Are DOOM fans hypocrites? You be the judge. 

The 3 Lane Theory

Hip Hop/R&B became America’s #1 music genre in 2017. With The 3 Lane Theory: J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar & Drake, Murs defines the differences between Hip Hop (Cole), Hip Pop (K. Dot), and Pop (the 6 God). He explains how Drake, who he deems the “King of the Pop Lane,” was able to become a full-fledged pop star while maintaining his credibility as a talented lyricist. He expertly breaks down Cole’s journey from Hip Pop to Hip Hop and Kendrick’s jump to the Hip Pop lane. 

Last Word On Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.

At over 420,000 views, the Last Word On Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. episode meticulously dissects K. Dot’s platinum-selling, critically acclaimed album, DAMN. The Compton rap luminary, who earned HipHopDX’s awards for 2017 MC of the Year and Album Of The Year, collected a slew of accolades following DAMN.’s April release. Throughout the clip, Hunte marvels at Kendrick’s genius and speculates on whether he is truly the G.O.A.T. 

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