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Monday, September 26, 2011

Top 55 of all time? - The Final Chapter

So now we have my top ten and actually this section is probably anti-climactic when compared to the previous sets of ten. I know there have been some shocks and surprises along the way and I will have taken bumps and bruises and my share of criticism but every list is like this. Here we go, the final top 10:

10. Kanye West - Now I hate Kanye's personality and his outward arrogance. However, I cannot deny that College dropout was a classic, his last album was pretty close and Late Registration was no slouch. Now Heartbreaks and 808's was an example of his hubris gone wrong but Kanye opened the door for the non-thugs to enter the game and be successful. His production is generally top notch and he has above average lyricism and most of the time can say some slick lines though he can also fall victim to that Lil wayne type arrogance of saying anything, and not just in public situations either.






9. Nas - Nas sort of fell off with the past two albums with too much material and not enough editing down and solid concepts, but who can forget songs like "I Gave you power" and "If i ruled the World". The thugs poet, Esco made many mad with his often terrible selection of beats and sometimes confusing ideas but his rap skills are undeniable. The flow was smooth the lyrics were there and during the mid 90's he was battling Jay-z for the top spot in the rap game and maybe if his beat selection was better things today would be different.




8. Scarface - I can say I was a little bit late to the Face party but he did for Texas what snoop did for Compton. built it, put it on his back and painted a vivid picture of the Houston lifestyle. This was all before he began to deal with Defjam and dropped several hot songs with Jay-Z and Five-Mic classic album "The Fix". He also signed Ludacris to his deal and paved the way for everyone from Young Jeezy to Rick Ross to even come up from the South.




7. Snoop - Speaking of people who represent an entire area. Snoop is the best thing to come out of the West Coast rap wise. However, he did disappear for a few years while signed to No Limit Records. He cam back and made hits but has had an uneven recording career since then. No Matter, he has had more endorsements than anyone else shilling for Pepsi and Malt Liquor companies at the same time as well as Cadillac and numerous clothing companies. Hell he also penned two of the most influential West Coast albums, or albums period in "The Chronic" and "Doggystyle".




6. Ice Cube - Cube is not my favorite rapper, I don't feel as much of his earlier stuff because it was so hard West Coast sounding but Ice Cube could be the most important figure in West Coast rap history. He wrote a bunch of the NWA records, was the first to break away and leave and dropped classic albums all while developing a political tone to his voice that artists try to copy today. His music has  helped to create everyone from Snoop to Eminem to 50 Cent just from humble beginnings. Then there is his film career which only is second among rappers to Will Smith as his hits and influence are huge.




5. LL Cool J - I know niggas not feeling Ladies Love Cool James anymore but mr. Smith has been an incredible force in hip-hop for 30 years now. He put Def Jam on his back to create it and crushed many a rapper in his day. He made his first comeback at an age where Soulja boy is still making hot garbage and created the hip-hop love song and gripped a hold of it for years. He is a solid actor and pitchman and in moderation, can make some decent music. He may not be able to muster up the ability to knock out full length discs like he used to but I wouldn't sleep too much on L.



4. Eminem - Who would have thought that this White boy from Detroit would end up being so nice. While a lot of black people pretend they can't relate to him, Em is one of the most brutally honest and real rappers that has ever existed. He doesn't rap about his riches, though he has them, he talks about his life, not the life he wishes he had or the one you wish you could have. His first three albums were very solid and showed growth that accompanied his age and time around mentor, Dr. Dre. Recently, he has started to find himself again after going through trials and tribulations with substance abuse. Buts just listen to his music and the extended similes and metaphors he uses to describe whatever it is he happens to be talking about.




3.  Tupac - Between Pac and Big could be a toss up but I'm an East Coast fan at heart so Pac falls in at 3. Pac i would credit with bringing in the "Un-lyrical" era. See Pac was able to relate to people because they felt he was saying things they would say exactly how they would say it. Now he was a poet, and an excellent editor as you can see by what bars he took from these unreleased songs that made it into finished products. That is what made him being so prolific a positive attribute. His wide range of positive and uplifting material far outweighed his sometimes controversial image and more volatile recordings.




2. Biggie - The Notorious B.I.G. has had one of the most lucrative post-humous lives ever. His life and death spawned a movie and two albums recorded well after his passing as well as the critically acclaimed double LP that he was set to release when he was shot down in LA. Biggie was the pinnacle of East Coast rap, putting Bad boy on his back and helping to create the media mogul Sean John Combs as well as being majorly influential with the current king of Hip-Hop Jay-Z. His line also includes the Queen Bee Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease, Faith Evans, and Charli Baltimore. Big has some of the most memorable verses ever put down on wax and his progression from album to album was evident.




1. Jay-Z -  Jay is quite literally the perfect rapper. He has witty lyrics, a varied flow and the ability to transform himself and show up on any type of track. He can craft solid albums and album tracks as well as make wildly successful singles. He has the longest relevant tenure of any rapper ever, so while Too Short and LL may still be around, none of them have the power in hip-hop like Shawn Carter. His every move impacts urban lifestyle from his choice of vehicle (4.0 or 4.6?) to his choice of attire and alcoholic beverage of choice. Since the end of the 90's there has been no one more successful than Jay, better than Jay lyrically, nor more consistent than Hov.



4 comments:

I agree with you on the #1 spot, but Jay fell off majorly since the American Gangster album. Watch The Throne was a disappointment =[

watch the throne wasn't a top-notch album at all and I didn't expect it to be. Yet those are by the Jay-z standards which are incredibly high.

When I think of greats I think of it as personal favorites so no one can say this is right or this is wrong, it's your taste. It's like movies you can tell me that Citizen Kane is the GOAT, but I'd say the shit ain't fucking with Boogie Nights. It's personal taste, not critics choice.

With that said I think about rap music like this, "who do I listen to" when I'm in the car and I'm sick of listening to meek mill and want to go back and bang something what CDs do I grab that are timeless?

Cam'ron's confession of fire has been getting mad play this weekend,, come home with me and purple haze are both classic imo. Em's 2nd Lp is always my joint. any Nas except Nastradamus. Any Jay except Kingdom Come. Big and of course Pac stay in rotation. Lyrically I know Wayne may not tell stories or talk about the plight of the people like Face or Cube, but I still bang The Block is Hot, lights out, 500 degrees, and the Carters. Snoop only had Doggystyle which is one of my favorites but The Dogfather and onward all sucked ass. If you give someone a spot based on a hot album alone Camp Lo and Redman would still be winning. I respect LL Cool J, but I don't own none of that nigga's music and wouldn't want to cruise bumping any of that shit. Cube is cool, but I find him redundant. Facemob is pretty gritty, but I find his flow boring after a few songs. Again these artist probably connect with others on a personal level, and I understand why they're in your top, but they don't do it for me. Honestly and I know this sounds like blasphemy Nicki's Beam me Up Scotty and Drake's So Far Gone along with the cross over appeal of their debut albums proved that they're top 20 artist at least.

I would give you my top ten but I think it would only serve to frustrate you. I'm going to think this over and come up not only with the list but the reason why.

good job son son, next time include Tracy Lee, put your hands high is the best unknown song of all time.

Lol yo on the real that pop shit that drake puts out doesn't particularly touch anyone which is why I don't feel drake and wanna be rough story. Just because an album has cross over appeal isn't going to mean anything especially after one album when you have all of the marketing muscle in the world behind you. I feel you have to temper that when you're calling someone a top artist. One joint cannot make you a great or a legend like you said before so for you to even mention sissy drizzy and nicki is blasphemous when you came up in our era.

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