Top 55 of all time? - Part 1

So NC-17 wants me to post my top ten Dead or Alive rappers so he can pick at my list with a stick and drive my blood pressure up. Hard to believe I haven't done anything like this in these years I've been doing this blog. So before I get into what is actually going to be a top 55 breakdown from my perspective, I probably need to give a clue as to how I'm coming about with my selections.

First of all these are artists whom I feel have an influence on me and how I perceive hip-hop to this day, so while there are people like Slick Rick, KRS-One and Rakim who are hip-hop Gods, in my own personal hip-hop growth, they did not play as large a role in defining what I like listen to and think about when I listen to rap music. If you're going to be mad because no list can not include Big Daddy Kane or Kool G. Rap then leave right now because they aren't on here because while doing this ranking I felt like I was shorting them in placement however, at the same time I couldn't find myself being able to defend moving them up the list because they just don't resonate the same with me. That was important, that every opinion I put up, I can back up and feel confident about it. For someone of my generation, I feel like in general the top 10 should not change drastically unless there is someone who is a big fan of some of the aforementioned guys like Slick Rick or Kane who would bump someone down. Without further adieu, let's get started.

56. Havoc- The "lesser" half of Mobb Deep is more known for his production than his lyrical ability. While he isn't the sharpest of lyricists Havoc does provide solid bars with no highs or lows. I could never in many a year come up with a Havoc quotable but yet his is still better than both halves of CNN so he deserves some mention, albeit at the back of the list.

55. Young Jeezy- The Snowman is not a lyricist at all, but he did bring his own brand of street rap to the game and open a door of sorts for plenty of other Atlanta rappers to bring out their trap star lyrics and get some shine. The good thing about the snow man is that he does mix in attempts to be political as well and carry on the mantle of the likes of Ice Cube and bridge the line of street savvy and political. In rap, Jeezy is more known for his gravelly voice and ad-libs than any actual verses.

54. Ol' Dirty Bastard- Ol' dirt Dog was extra influential if for nothing else than his outlandish behavior. Fromtaking mTV to pick up food stamps to embarassing Carson Daly, Dirty did his thing all the while performing with the likes of Mariah Carey. Lyrically dirt just said a lot, and I mean a lot of stuff but he made the most out of his outlandish statements. Bars were probably the best overall on his post-humous release as opposed to what he did while alive. Memorable, but not overall the most lyrical.

53. Xzibit- A surprise for some because Mr. X to the Z was one of the hotter artists from the West Coast for about a three year period. He also starred on Pimp My Ride courtesy of some of the best management in the business but his short term impact was pretty decent. More of a straight up lyricist, his debut album had a gem in the single "Papparazzi". X also benefited from underground respect and ended up affiliated with Dr. Dre for the height of his career and dropped songs like "What you see is what you Get" and "DNA". Many people slept on X and thus his overall impact has him this far down on the list but if this was just on lyrics and ability to spit I would have him higher as "best" but he is still one of my personal favorite artists to listen to.

52. Trick Daddy - You might think I'm digging here but Trick always put out some solid albums with decent singles and good lyrics. He was an admitted thug yet he still loved the kids. He's sort of like a more country and ghetto version of Jeezy. In fact his popularity opened the door for the rest of the Miami movement which includes Ross and Khaled. Unfortunately, he has been left behind by the movement but I still respect the music he has put out.

51. Mase- Yes Murder Mason Betha and Pastor Mase is number 50. He put out three album two of which were mediocre or below but the flow was there and the singles ability remained strong because "Breathe, Stretch, Shake" was indeed hot fire. His first album packed from front to back with bangers and his smooth flow was the stuff of legends. His early freestyles on Clue tapes were crazy and the buzz before his album dropped was like Drake's was. Mase is my number 50.


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