Where can I listen to the show?
You can easily find Rap Rankings on your preferred podcast-listening platform here.
How can I support/engage with the show?
You can support the show, as well as gain direct access to the Rap Rankings community and exclusive content, by joining our Patreon at $4.99/mo.
How do you rate albums?
The Rating System
Each song is rated on a scale of 1-10. These numbers do not reflect the quality of a song, as that is indeterminable. Instead, each number reflects a level of enjoyment. In short, here is what each number means:
10 – This is a perfect song to me; one of my favorite songs of all-time.
9 – I love it.
8 – I like it a lot.
7 – I like it.
6 – It’s aight. I don’t dislike it, but I can’t say that I like it.
5 – I feel practically nothing about this.
4 – It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, but I dislike it.
3 – I dislike it.
2 – I hate it.
1 – I absolutely can’t stand it; one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.
Once every song on an album is rated, three separate ratings are determined: the Takeaway Rating, the Average Rating, and the Weighted Rating.
The Takeaway Rating is the percentage of songs liked — that is, songs rated 7 or higher. For example, on a 10-song album, if you like 5 songs, the Takeaway Rating would be 50%.
The Average Rating is a percentage obtained by dividing the sum of the song scores by the highest possible score that particular album can receive. For example, each song can receive a maximum score of 10 points, so if an album has 10 songs, the highest possible score would be 100 points. However, if an album has 15 songs, the highest possible score would be 150 points.
The Weighted Rating is a percentage obtained by adding the Takeaway Rating to the Average Rating and dividing by 2. Once we have our separate Weighted Ratings, we add those together and divide by 2, with the resulting percentage being considered the final and definitive rating, used to ultimately rank the album on the giant board of every rap album in history.
The Record Club
For particularly high-scoring albums, there are special designations that can be attained under our Record Club system. The qualifications are as follows:
Silver Record Club is for albums that achieve a weighted rating between 75 and 79.9%.
Golden Record Club is for albums that achieve a weighted rating between 80 and 84.9%.
Platinum Record Club is for albums that achieve a weighted rating between 85 and 89.9%.
Diamond Record Club is for albums that achieve a weighted rating between 90 and 100%.
What do you mean by “plus” or “minus” when you discuss your ratings?
A plus or minus attached to a number merely suggests that it is either a “strong” or “light” version of that rating, respectively, or that the rating could potentially go up or down in the future. They have no statistical effect on ratings.
How do you review skits, interludes, etc.?
Our protocol for reviewing skits, interludes, etc. can be found here.
How do you review unlisted/pregap/hidden tracks?
Example #1 – If a track(s) is unlisted on the tracklisting, but appears after a series of stopgap tracks (e.g. as Track 99 on a 15-track album) or as a pregap track (found by rewinding at the beginning of Track 1), it is rated and treated as a separate/bonus track. The stopgap tracks are not rated.
(e.g. “Bitches Ain’t Shit” from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic becomes Track 16; pregap track “Gestation: Mythos” from Maxwell’s Embrya would become Track 12)
Example #2 – If a song(s) is tacked on to the final track of an album after a period of silence, the “hidden” song(s) are treated as a part of that final track, and the ratings of all songs presented during that final track are taken into consideration for the rating of that whole track.
(e.g. “Jigga My Nigga” and “Girl’s Best Friend” from Jay-Z’s Vol. 3… Life And Times Of S. Carter are taken into consideration with “Hova Song (Outro)” and treated as a part of Track 15)
More information about these protocols can be found on S6E04 (20:35 – 24:42).
Do you review standard or deluxe/special editions of albums?
We review the edition of the album that has the most tracks and was made most widely-available in the United States (e.g. no store/country-exclusive editions). However, if a deluxe/special edition is released after the original release date of the album — that is, if it is not released on the same day as the standard edition — we will not review that version. Basically, no repackaging or re-releases.
Can your ratings change?
Yes, they can. Moulz’s catchphrase “Rap Rankings: The show where every listen… is like a first listen”, is more than just a catchphrase.
The Board is a living, breathing entity, and if either of us revisit a song independently after a review is completed, and realize we feel differently, we share what changed on a segment entitled I Was F*ckin’ Trippin’ near the beginning of an episode. If this occurs, The Board will be updated accordingly, with revision history being kept track of for all to see.
Where can I listen to the Mixtape Reviews?
The Mixtape Reviews are Patreon-exclusive content. You can support and gain direct access to the Rap Rankings community, as well as exclusive content, by joining our Patreon at $4.99/mo.
Why do 1st Listen, New Album Reviews not go on The Board?
We dedicate ourselves to thorough research and evaluation of each album and mixtape before we review them. Between gathering album context, history and background information, and repeated listens, we feel more than prepared by the time we sit down to discuss the album.
1st Listen, New Album Reviews, by nature, contain thoughts and feelings that are not crystallized, and may not be accurate reflections of our opinions of that album within even 24 hours after they’re finished. Also, 1st Listen, New Album Reviews can understandably be influenced by the narratives and storylines surrounding the respective album upon release, and we’d like to be as far away from those as possible when truly evaluating. With that being said, all albums and mixtapes become Board-eligible starting 12 months after its release, so any album reviewed on 1st Listen, New Album Reviews can receive a proper review starting then.
What is RAB Express?
As you all know, the Rap Rankings mission is to review every album in hip-hop history. With that said, if Moulz & Mel are to accomplish that, they’d need to pick up the pace even more.
Introducing… RAB Express.
RAB Express is a segment that started in Season 10, taking place before This Week In Moulz & Mel, allowing for Moulz & Mel to provide an extra review for you, albeit in a condensed format, helping to fill out The Board and cover more ground. What’s obvious is that RAB Express is not going to be the track-by-track, hours-long review that you’re used to. However, Moulz & Mel will put in the same amount of work off-air as they would for a full review in order to provide a quick rundown of their weighted ratings and album highlights/lowlights during the segment.
Also, most importantly, the patrons are invited to be exclusively involved in the process.
Every week, a poll is provided on Patreon with four candidates for the next RAB Express review, with the poll running for a week; the winner of the poll will receive the next RAB Express review.
Further information can be found in S9E12.
What is The Rap Rankings Game?
The Rap Rankings Game is a completely optional game that only Patrons have access to. Participants are given a chance to win money by predicting what Moulz & Mel’s ratings will be on select albums/mixtapes they review.
(The game will only apply to Patreon-exclusive reviews for Seasons 5 and 6, but starting in Season 7, the game will open up to mainline reviews.)
How do I play?
When an album/mixtape review is announced that you’d like to predict Moulz & Mel’s ratings on, simply fill out the scorecard and submit the entry fee of $2. The scorecard will be provided on Patreon (the post will be tagged with The Rap Rankings Game) and Twitter, about one week before the review is released.
(Example Scorecard: https://forms.gle/kzKzG7q4e6pqWc9u8)
Once the review is released, scorecards will be graded and the participant with the closest prediction to Moulz & Mel’s scores will win the entire pot of entry fees for that album/mixtape. That’s right, Moulz & Mel keep none of the entry fees — you win it all!
When and where do I submit the entry fee?
Submit the $2 entry fee any time after submitting your scorecard but before the review is released, through either PayPal ([email protected]) or Cash App ($RapRankings). When sending the entry fee, make sure to specify that it’s for the Rap Rankings Game and provide your name.
How many entries can I submit?
Only one entry is allowed per participant.
When and where is the winner announced?
The day after the review is released, the winner(s) will be announced on Patreon and Twitter. The previous week’s winner(s) will also be announced on-air during the review.
What happens if there’s a tie?
In the event of a tie, the pot is split amongst the winners.
Why do you sometimes mispronounce words? Also, just in general, what are you talking about? Is there a Rap Rankings Glossary?
RABspeak is a proprietary language created by Moulz & Mel, inspired by Jay-Z’s verse on “Niggas In Paris”, and further developed by The Third Member. It was initially spoken by arbitrarily adding the letter O to words/phrases/names, or transforming words/phrases/names so that they end with the letter O (e.g. Aretha becomes Aretho, baseball becomes basebo, American Idol becomes American Ido, archival because archivo, Wendy’s becomes Wendo’s, etc.). It has since evolved into the intentional butchering of any word/phrase in any way seen fit in the moment (e.g. pop star becomes prop strar, Speakerboxxx becomes Spreakerbo, etc.)
Furthermore, here is the Rap Rankings Glossary, explaining the constantly expanding lexicon of words and phrases that are born on the show:
– the literal hip-hop version of the better known 9/11/01; the day hip-hop’s direction and sound shifted forever when America sided with Kanye West against 50 Cent in the Graduation vs. Curtis sales battle
– in reference to a specific aisle that Mel encountered in Target, but may not be exclusive to Target; features products and merchandise for a particular subset of people (“Wine O’Clock”, Dwight Schrute/The Office, Harry Potter, Grumpy Cat, etc.)
The Bad Website
– a nickname for Genius.com
The Buttery Week / Mindstate
– the mystical, transitory period between Christmas and New Year’s, and the corresponding state of mind that results
– a nickname for Mel’s grandpa
– a reference to a prepubescent Mel’s fearful reaction to seeing graffiti — something he was told was indicative of gang activity by a documentary he saw on TV — in New York City while visiting to attend a New York Liberty game; often used to address supposed anti-NY bias
– a highly subjective term used to describe songs/musical decisions made in service of aesthetic rather than utility; something expressly meant to sound elaborate, technical, ornate, artful, musical, impressive, weighty, etc., though not actually being so
Feral Joy Negroni
– a term used to describe a particular subset of White woman, inspired by a statement once made by Maggie Rogers, but not at all seriously attributed or assigned to her
– shorthand for Jay-Z’s 4:44 album, created because Moulz & Mel got tired of saying the third “4”
– a nickname for a certain category of obnoxious music journalists / media personalities
– violent content and material conveyed in a particularly remarkable/enjoyable/novel manner; not necessarily an endorsement of said violence, just the expression of such (e.g. 50 Cent, “Heat”)
– an acronym for the unfortunate phenomenon of hip-hop homophobia
– short for Hib-Hob, a RABspeak pronunciation of hip-hop
– a nickname for ReportOfTheWeek; refers to a soundbyte that’s played when Moulz and/or Mel is fatigued by an album
“In Compton, we call that _________”
– a riff inspired by DJ Quik’s ad-libbing at the top of Ludacris’ “Spur Of The Moment”, where he says “In Compton, we call that spur of the moment”, which is humorous because the phrase “spur of the moment” is used the same way, and means the same thing, everywhere, not just Compton
– a Grim Reaper-esque being that arrives when one needs to have a bowel movement
– all parts of the episode before the info timestamp; features the elements of the episode that don’t explicitly involve the subject being reviewed (the hotline segment, RAB Express, This Week In Moulz & Mel, etc.)
– the part of the episode that officially begins with the info timestamp, signaling that we’re officially focusing on the review; formerly referred to everything after the ads and record scratch that follow the info; not to be confused with the event of a “Pt. 2” of an episode that was too large to be uploaded as one part
– a nickname for Rap Rankings; created by slurring the word rap out of convenience/laziness
Respect & Balance
– what Jesse’s wife thought RAB stood for
– a metaphorical venue/reference point birthed in the review of Atmosphere’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold (S8E04), inspired by experiences that Moulz & Mel have had in real rooms; refers to the way certain artists, their content, and their fanbase, can make you feel uncomfortable in a live performance setting (e.g. if you are attending a live show, and get the feeling that you don’t belong amongst the rest of the concertgoers and/or are not responding to the performer’s content with the same enthusiasm they do, you are officially in The Room)
– occurs when a guest is on a show and the ratings of Moulz, Mel, and the guest are three consecutive numbers; refers to a soundbyte of a disgraceful and racist White man butchering Ja Rule’s “Livin’ It Up”
Sex Porn Beats
– a nickname for DJ Premier (explanation: https://youtu.be/5hsi2EUSERs)
Small Penis Rap
– a term used to describe a certain brand of rap; not an insult, necessarily (complete explanation can be found in S0E09)
– a nickname for pitched-down, deep-voiced vocals, usually as a result of chopped and screwed and/or Southern music
“We know about you”
– a way to address a person of questionable/controversial character and/or history
– a nickname for the potentially racist/racially insensitive White students that Mel encountered in the private, Catholic high school he attended in 9th/10th Grade; they’d approach him and speak in a stereotypically Black fashion, in an attempt to either troll Mel or relate to him in earnest (e.g. “Yo, yo, yo, what’s up, my nigga?”); can be used to address racially insensitive Whites in general
Where can I submit my music?
You can’t, we do not have a dedicated submissions email as that is outside the scope of what we do.