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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top 55 of All Time? - Part 4

Part 4 of my series and countdown of the top 55 (56) rappers in my all time list. The last edition ended with Big Boi of the illustrious group Outkast at number 37 so let's continue.

36. Ja Rule - He is definately not the best lyricist to ever enter the game but he was the top artist from 2001 until 2003 or so until a beef with 50 Cent derailed what was a successful career. His debut album was full of ultra-solid material and his sing songy cadence made his subsequently released singles the bastion of urban radio. Those albums were also solid even though Ja never really had a bunch of lines that made you rewind the song, you never really skipped through them either.


35. T.I. - Clifford Harris started off rather weekly in the game, signed to Arista and dropping a pop targeted single that featured Beanie Man. Few of the songs on that album reflected the TI that we would come to enjoy with the release of 24's. Much like Ja Rule, Tip relies on his flow and delivery to get his point across and is ultra relatable which is why he has done so well. Lyrically there are many better artists but few have matched the ability he had to make solid songs and good albums, only time will tell if he can pick up after missing pretty much two years while being incarcerated, again.


34. The Game - Before The RED Album dropped, Game would have been lower on this list but this album showcased the potential he showed when he first entered the scene more than anything he has done to date. The best at being a national act from the left coast since Snoop, Game recent;y cut back on the name-dropping metaphors and similes and really got some good lyrics rolling. His ability to create songs wasn't just a product of the 50 Cent/Dr. Dre/Interscope machine either.


33. Black Thought - One of the most underrated in the game, Black gets over shadowed by many rappers because he is one member of The Roots, the hip-hop band that is the most well known around the world. Though many people only recognize ?uestlove, Black has held the group down on the mic for years, shining even more when performing without co-rapper Dice Raw. While the amount of material from Thought may be less than many of the others on this list, there is much more high quality and the few features he has done have all been worth it.


32. Foxy Brown - Inga Narchand aka the Ill Na Na may not have written all of her rhymes over her career but until we know who was writing the majority she will have to get credit. The West Indian princess first blew up trading bars with Jay-z before standing next to Nas and AZ in The Firm and dropping several decent albums on her own. Feisty, she still has 'beef' with fellow BK rapstress Lil Kim but it really isn't a competition when it comes to trading bars. Just listen to "Broken Silence" to hear the real Inga pour it all out on the track.


31. Redman -  The original rap about nothing guy, Reggie Noble is widely loved by smokers everywhere. Dare iz a Darkside is an Easy Coast hardcore rap classic and the Sooperman Luva Series is epic. An unofficial member of the Wu, Redman might be the most unlikely of all rappers to have had a movie and television show which he co-starred in with Method Man. That should let you know how popular he is even though he may not have the most recognizable catalog. Some know him, some don't but just seeing his energy brings back some serious 90's memories.


30. Mos Def - Mos is one of the most eclectic artists ever. He can play guitar sing a little bit and can be a brilliant actor along with a serious activist. He is another in a line of guys with great potential as a rapper if they would just take the time to concentrate and do it. It's hard to tell a talented guy to stick to one thing just because you would love to see him excel at it but that's just what it is with Mos. Thus everything he does is appreciated that much more.

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