We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

In 1990, when Vanilla Ice released his platinum single “Ice Ice Baby,” he was immediately rejected by the hiphop nation. It wasn’t the fact that a white guy was rapping that irked fans; the Beastie Boys and 3rd Bass never caught flak the way Ice did. What annoyed kids was that Ice sent a clear message that a man totally devoid of artistic acumen could make a fortune rhyming, while performers who polished their craft nightly could scrub floors for a living. Since the start of the decade, that message has been hammered into the heads of hiphop fans by a flood of clueless, gimmicky acts. So now, when Mase releases his laughable debut album, Harlem World, nobody even bats an eye. An ill-conceived tribute to the virtues of capitalism, World is centered on Mase’s telling you what he has and what you have to get. Throughout the record Mase repeatedly invokes his “I don’t give a fuck about nobody” steelo. But he spends more than two-thirds of the album addressing what other people think about him. Delusional rants like “Wanna Hurt Mase?,” “Jealous Guy,” and “Lookin’ at Me” find him dissing anonymous (and possibly imagined) enemies. All of this could be forgiven if Mase were actually a legitimate MC. But his garbled monotone and juvenile lyrics make him sound like Rakim on crack—or Vanilla Ice with a tan.

—Ta-Nehisi Coates