Last week I went to see the incredible rap superstar Nas, who was doing a concert with Mary J Blige. I went with my good friend who is just a big a rap fan as I am. Before the show we went out for some food and got to tasing about who the best rappers of all time were, something which we debated for the rest of the night in truth. We both managed to agree on who was the best, but the rest of the top 5 was a hotly contested discussion. Here is my top 5, have a look and let me know what you think.
There is no doubt in my mind that Eminem is the greatest rapper to have ever done it, he has brought style, creativity and outstanding lyricism to the game, not to mention being the first global rap superstar who spoke to people from all over the world. Eminem may have had some questionable albums during the last decade, but there is nobody that he can’t out rap or out write.
Many fail to realize that Tupac Shakur created that massive body of work in the space of just 4 years prior to being gunned down in Las Vegas. Tupac was a true genius and someone who used his words to commentate on important social issues. Without Pac there are so many rappers who just wouldn’t exist.
If Nas had been able to bottle what he did on Illmatic and It Was Written then there is no doubt that he would be at the top of tis list. Unfortunately for Nasir he fell into the trap which many do, losing themes when you get out of the hood. Nonetheless there are very few with the lyrical delivery which Nas has, and that is why he makes number 3 on this list.
As a business man and a mogul Jigga would top this list, as a rapper however he does fall a little short. What Jay-Z has done however in terms of his longevity is something which so many rappers would kill for. His early albums spoke about him in the hood, as he grew he still managed to find important themes to rap about, despite his riches and fame. Jay-Z is also open to so many new ideas which has helped him to preserve his legacy and speak to people from other genres.
For me Black Thought is the most underrated rapper in the world, something he proved back in 2018 with that insane 10 minute freestyle on Flex. The Roots as a group are sensational and they are lead by the incredibly creative mind which Black Thought has, he is a freestyle king and a genius writer, with a lyrical flow and delivery which is almost unmatched. More people need to understand just how good Black Thought really is.
What do you make of the list? Let me know in the comments.