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Friday, September 23, 2011

Top 55 of All Time? - Part 6

Finally, we're into the money now with the top 20. I just think I need to remind everyone that this list does include notable historical hip-hop icons such as Slick Rick, KRS-One, and Rakim just to name a few. Understanding this, there would be a lot of movement of the top 25 or so but this is how it stands here we go:

20. Cam'ron - I feel bad because I almost forgot about Killa Cam. This dude is one of those guys people love to hate because he is unapologetic and down right ignorant in his rhymes at times but you cannot deny his wordplay and skill. There is no one outside of Ghostface who has created more slang out of thin air than Cam. He also blew up the mix tape scene, created the Dip set which spawned Juelz Santana and Jim Jones. He also has had several hot albums the best of which was "Come Home With Me" but before that he was also a member of Children of the Corn with Mase and Big L. A hustler who was also a heck of a basketball player he embodies the spirit of the hustler to the fullest extent.


19. Ghostface - Speaking of creating slang, number 19 is GFK, also known as Toney Starks or Ironman is the most prolific recording artist out of any of the members of the Wu Tang Clan. He drops an album almost every year or 18 months and most of them are better than you would think though Defjam hasn't done anything to promote him in ages. His last joint was all cross over joints that he pulled off exceptionally yet still no radio. Ghist is what Meth could be if he really worked at his craft.


18. Big Pun - Pun could have been one of the greatest rappers ever bar none if hadn't faced the untimely death due to his obesity. A cautionary tale for watching your health, Pun had a monster flow, gargantuan vocabulary, and a sharp wit. He also made good songs and inspired Fat Joe to step his game up. Capital Punishment is a classic and I will call it the best alum ever from the Bronx.



17. DMX - X is one of the greats because his first three albums were so serious he has created a legion of die hard fans who wait with baited breath for the moment that he can stay out of jail an dbe able to record more of the hard hitting street lyrics that made him famous. Songs like "Stop Being Greedy" and "Damien" don't come along every day, and neither do artists with his energy and connections to his fans.



16. Busta Rhymes - Busta Buss has been around since the early 90's and has gone through a couple of different incarnations.While with Leaders of the New School he was more conscious; As a solo artist an energetic party starter who was considered fun and animated but who wasn't taken as seriously as he desired; Now Busta has undergone a more serious gangster focused changed but has continued to batter beats wherever they happen to cross his path. Though he has been through almost every major label, he has continued to record and drop gems.




15. Lil' Wayne - Weezy F. Baby has also been around since the end of the 90's though most people only really know what he has put out since he began the Carter series of albums which came on the heels of the dedication mix tapes. Wayne was always the young one with potential and he began to show it after the majority of the Cash Money label departed. Wayne can rap, he has bars and punchlines but since he began using them he has forgotten how to write an actual song and the lack of ability in doing that, and until he learns to not throw in being a Blood suddenly into every verse he won't be going any further.




14. 50 Cent - Let the controversy continue and I rank the rapper everyone loves to hate from Queens ahead of the South's great hope but there is good reason. Number one, Fif is a better rapper than he is given credit for and number two the way he decimated Murder Inc., while simultaneously building his own brand was remarkable. Also, his G-unit series mix tapes set the new standard for self-promotion and Get Rich or Die Trying is a certified classic.




13. Will Smith - Wait until they get a load of this one I thought as I wrote down this name. Let's run down Will's accomplishments musically, massive hits, "Parents Just Don't Understand", "Girls are Nothing But Trouble","Nightmare on my Street,"Boom Shake the Room", "Summertime" the official every year summer anthem. Then there is the fact his acting career makes every rapper jealous, the number one actor in the game who starred in a hit tv show and creates opportunities not only for himself but for his entire family. His pull in any industry is matched by none who started around the time he did. Hell, he even was able to make the last solid movie themes such as "Men in Black", and "Wild Wild West". His last single, "Switch" should have been a number one single and he did it with humor and wit which are all lacking from hip-hop these days. Name the last time a rapper was actually funny. You may not want to admit it, much like rocking BK's and Hammer pants, but Will Smith has definately done his thing as an artist in hip-hop.




12. Andre 3000 - This member of Outkast is undoubtedly a fire emcee. If you need a hot verse in a tight spot you could do worse than put your money on 3 stacks, formerly Andre Benjamin. Even better is the fact that he has gotten better with time. While he was never wack, you can track a steady progression that is more natural than Wayne's sudden rise. Even today, when he decides to spit, he kills everyone on whatever track he happens to decide to bless with his presence. He shows up enough to remain relevant yet is exclusive enough that his bars are an event.




11. Common - The man once known as Common Sense has a long history in hip-hop. He is Andre 3000 with more consistency and regularity. While the results when he gets around Pharrell are unfavorable and he has dropped a couple of questionable albums (Universal Mind Control and Electric Circus) he has also dropped some certified gems like Finding Forever, Be, and Resurrection.He remains politically savvy and retains his ability to be popular while still using a jazz inspired poetic delivery that is like a more refined Talib Kweli. Every time I hear a Kanye beat, I just wonder what could Common do on that. Don't think he's a punk either, just look at how he took on Ice Cube and the West Side Connection with "I see the Bitch in Yoo".


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