Top 55 of All Time? - Part 5

We're getting to the end now and this next set is going to get us all the way to the top 20:

29. Bizzy Bone - Look a lot of people haven't followed a lot of Bizzy's work when he isn't with the rest of his Thugs-n-Harmony brothers, but they should. When listening to Bone without Bizzy, there seems to be something lacking and that's because Bixxy is the heart and soul of the group. Some people can't always catch him with his frequent fire cadence and harmonies but there is a lot of pain and messages within the solo albums of Bizz. One of the more prolific underground solo artists out now, Bizzy is definately worthy of a top 35 spot.

28. Joe Budden - Joe is my favorite current rapper, a good lyricist who can tell stories and who speaks to the personal experiences of his life with no fear. His first album was mishandled terribly but just listen to any of his ten minute long songs and you can't say he isn't spitting his heart out about whatever topic he is on. This is a bit high when you look at the album sales and impact of some of the guys behind him but this is one of those personal bias spots. He also helped move rappers into the internet era and made some classic mixtapes and carried on the freestyle mantle on Clue tapes that Fabolous once held.

27. Rick Ross -  I am no fan of the Bawse but right now he is ruling the game with an iron fist. Though his subject matter leaves something to be desired, Ross does actually know how to rap and has a nice flow. He can pick tracks and give his current fans just what they want. I can also admit he can be very descriptive with the luxury lifestyle he has come to represent to today's hip-hop listener.

26. Twista - Even the Guiness book has recognized Twista at some point. Before Kanye this was the biggest name to come outside of Chicago other than Common. His records with group the "Speed Knot Mobstaz" aren't widely known as is his stuff pre-Slow Jamz. But much like some of the regional Southern acts, Twista's impact isn't just about his lyrics, it's about holding down his area of the map when no one else was. After Slow Jamz he was able to drop 3 decent albums even with his rapid-fire flow being the main style, it doesn't really get old and he does his thing on every feature.

25. Prodigy - The Mobb Deep rap vet is over 30 places ahead of his group mate Havoc. He has been the main rapper on countless 90's era classic rap hits and had major success with Murda Muzik and his own solo debut HNIC. Though sometimes he goes over the end of a bar with his flow it always seems to come back around and work out anyway. He has also had beefs with the West Coast and Jay-z amongst others. Hav has always been respected in the gangster rap genre.

24. Fabolous - Fab has a buttery smooth rap flow and some sharp punchlines. He also has had major success with singles and airplay. Features, he kills it as well as freestyles. Albums are another story. He has never managed to put together a full collection that was worth listening to and that's always frustrating but that potential remains, much like teams that keep taking chances on Vince Carter.

23. Talib Kweli - Kweli is extremely consistent, dropping solid albums every 18 months or so. While he doesn't have the success with making singles, Talib Kweli maintains his positive subject matter and spices in the political and social commentary expected of a "backpack" rapper. While he isn't comfortable with that term he actually represents the best of what they could be considered if that is a genre of sorts.

22. Method Man - Meth is actually under rated as a lyricist. Going back to listen to his last couple albums will show some improvement but it's too little too late in his career. Early on he contributed to Def Jam dominance and helped the Wu Tang Clan take over with his perfect for the radio delivery and voice. He also had singles as well as songs that maintained the hard core rap roots of the Wu.

21. Ludacris - Luda is a beast on the mic. He is damn near untouchable when on top of his game. He is one of the few rappers at his best using a unique topic to set up a song because most drift off to other topics but Luda remains focused. So intent on proving himself, Ludacris will do a song with any rapper that the streets or anyone else considers "better". Name an artist from TI to Nas to Eminem to Jay-Z to Jeezy and he slaughtered just about all of them with nary a sweat, yet Luda still can't get respect. The 'Rodney Dangerfield' of hip-hop finally put up a dud with his last album and has tried too hard recently to leave his mark on DJ Khaled collaborations.


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