I’m a big fan of these lists. Actually, lists were something I always encouraged when I was at the Source. Top 100 Lyrics (it’s a classic list if you’ve never seen it, you need to) back in 2002, Top 25 Producers, I can go on and on about how many of these we put together back then. Well, here’s my own two cents, so I’ll start the dialogue for me and my peeps to weigh in. I’m ready for the arguments, so here we go.

I never agree with the lists I see from others, so here’s my own. It’s the top 5 in the game…not 5..dead or alive…it’s not that deep. These are the 5 who are holding it down, (today), in my opinion, off the top of my head. I might even change my mind in a day and update this. I’ll start from the bottom and count up.

5. Game The Game is really growing on me. I always thought he was a decent rapper, but now I’m thinking he’s probably better than we give him credit for. I think there are a lot of issues with rapper’s credibility these days, their questionable career moves, etcetera, etcetera…but if we’re talking straight rap…words into a microphone…i think Game is kinda good.

4. Royce – Okay, so let’s put the nepotism out on the table. You know that Royce is like fam so I’m gonna say that first. But I will opt to say he’s on this list just because he is that good and not just because I hear his music all the time. Remember, I’m talking rap here, not who’s on fire or has the biggest buzz. Rap, straight bars, wordplay, flow, lyrics, yada yada. I could have said Eminem but I figured since their rhyme style is so similar, I’d go with the person that doesn’t hate me. hee hee.

3. Nas – Okay, I finally listened to some of his new songs, and I admit, Nas still has it. He’s the thinker rapper, and he’s still delivering material that opens the eyes of the hip hop community. That should stand for something so i’ll give him points for that. Plus, Nas has one of the best voices for rap also. Voice is very important although some pretty bad voices have been so good at the other things that they’ve canceled out this category.

2. Fabolous – Anyone who neglects to put Fab on their list is sleeping. I keep hearing guest appearances on different songs, and think, wow Fab actually keeps getting better. In terms of his writing, his metaphors and similes, his delivery and most importantly his wordplay, I really feel that Fab is killing everyone else. Where he falls short occasionally is in the subject matter area. I think if Fab got more personal on his rhymes and let us know exactly who he was and what he’s gone through, he would finally earn his place in the top tier. People never really talk about him when they talk about the best, but he is better than like 98 % of people makin records.

1. Andre 3000 – My vote for Andre as the best is a testament to the fact that flow and delivery are the two most important characteristics to today’s emcee’ing. I’m not saying that lyrics aren’t important…well, actually, yes, I am saying that they are less important these days. Think about it: if someone has great lyrics but a horrible delivery and you compare then to someone with average lyrics but can spit the heck out of them, then the average person wins because it sounds more like flava in your ear. In Andre’s case, his flow is ridiculous, and he rides every track I’ve heard him on perfectly. Lyrically, he adds to that by delivering complicated yet still comprehensible rhymes (you know I can’t listen to three syllable words unless there’s a punchline that goes along with it). That’s my vote. Plus, he got all y’all boppin your head to a Farnsworth song.

What do you think? Please don’t crucify me for leaving Weezy off. I’m sure he would have probably been in the top 10. Well, I’m not sure, but I still think he’s good, just not the first five. I know the Lil’ Wayne fan club is going to throw darts at my head.

47 thoughts on “Top 5 Rappers In The Game (right now…i didn’t say all time or even all year). Because I Felt Like It, That’s Why.

  1. I agree with The Game, Nas & Andre…. they’d be in my top 5 also.

    The Game doesn’t get the credit he deserves on the mic due to his (seemingly) bi-polar personality. He does and says whatever he wants, sometimes that leads to him contradicting himself and damages his rep.

    But if we’re talking pure hip hop music, he’s dangerous on the mic, and he actually cares about putting out quality albums.

    Another person that would be in my top 5 is Killer Mike, he’s an absolute MONSTER. One of the most slept on emcees in the game.

  2. This one shocked me especially because you are a great editor and big hip hop fan. I think the only one I agreed with was Nas…

    Fab- Come on Kim. Come on! You Can’t Be serious! He sickens me…

    Game is questionable. I do like his style and love to see him on film but I don’t know about this either…

    Royce- Who????????????

    Andre 3000- Im Finished…

    Nice list none the less…

  3. No Jay?!?!?!!!

    I agree with Andre, but any best list that excludes Jay-Z is instantaneously null and void.


  4. No Kiss or Styles P or even Cassidy??? No Hov?? 1.Hov
    3.Jada Kiss
    4.Andre 3000
    5.Styles P or Fab( It’s a toss up so flip a coin) lol

  5. LOL. i was half asleep when I did this. But I am sticking by Fab and Andre. Now, looking at Fox’s last comment, I will say oops, because i haven’t heard much from Styles P, but he might get my vote if I heard a verse or two lately. Chalk it up to my limited listening. As far as Hov, he’s still my favorite but he doesn’t count. He’s not doing anything right now (and I’m not talking entire careers…I’m talking right now.) Plus, i’m kinda not feeling the last few verses I heard from him so he has to lose a few points. Let’s give others a chance to shine, it’s always the same ones, even when the top top go away or fall off for a minute.

  6. I would add Reks to that list. He’s not commercial but he’s good. His album (Grey Hairs) is my album the summer. Game and Nas are right there as well.


  7. I like Nas and Andre they should always be included in everyone’s top list. Fab had me back in his clue days. Then the money came in and he got comfy. His punch lines were crazy back then .It’s safe to say that he started the whole punch line phase. Royce is a great rapper he is under rated as hell, but I don’t know if I would rank him just yet. I think Game needs to find himself.

    Cool List!

  8. First and Second of all

    Best ever, my influences, Rakim, G Rap, L L, Biz, Kane you got what makes the ultimate MC, Skills, Rough, Lovable, Humor, and Smooth as hell and with the charisma, that is all. (Only people you can add is KRS & Scareface) but they would add Smarts and Speaking Ability (Story)

    People now that have these characteristics are;

    Fab (yes, if you ever see him in a show you will realize he has been putting down quality for years, and on the mix tapes with the Triangle Offense of him, Joey and Paul Cain ridiculous

    Jada/Styles/Sheek – they embody the dopeness, all qualities of the greats are in these three dudes collectively, Spit, Thought provoking, Hard as hell, that is them D Block boys

    Common- spit game nuts, smart, story well, and is starting to get the smooth swag, plus chics dont wont to hump him they wanna marry him

    Kanye-he has it, he may have all seven principles for the great one, he seems to have it all, oh wait, he not rough, so we leave that one out but everything else, he held it with Ra, Kris and Nas, and he out boasted 50, true MC

    Jay Z, he has the whole entire package and contrary to some, the ladies love him, hottest chic in the game and her step niece (formerly, maybe was, smashing Rihanna) but the spit is there, rough, smooth, everything, funny, he got it, the best MC, hands down

    T.I.: is very close, he emotional as hell, but the dude has a swagger that is crazy, rough, he got it, the ladies, his spit is way above average even thogh we give him more credit because he from the A, but he is not a slacker al all, and he murder dudes he spits against

    that is higher than a 5 but it is what it is, “Fans act like they cant like more than one rapper at once” Joe Buddens…..

    For Daily Inspiration’


  9. When I think of best, I think of who would consistently deliver memorable and entertaining verses that stood out if you threw on a bunch of instrumentals and asked your favorite artists to rap to each one of them.

    I don’t know who would be best of the best, but certainly Hov, Jada, Luda, Em and Joe Budden would be tough to knock off. Nas, Cassidy, Joell Ortiz, Mos and too many more to name get honorable mention.

  10. Nas is KING…. no comparasions, Andre would be if 1) he put out consistent music 2) If he put out whole projects instead of outkast mash-up music.

  11. Yo, big props for including Royce in your list. To whoever is asking who Royce is… turn off Soulja Boy for a minute and know where the true talent is in this business! Royce is easily one of the best to ever bless a mic.

    The rest of this list is pretty nice. All rappers I respect and admire. I must say, this is a damn good Top 5. It doesn’t match mine, but I can’t say it would be worth arguing, cuz each entry here is great.

  12. Wow Kim, I wanna really commend you 4 giving Fab his props, and your list is pretty respectable too. Anyway, the way you broke down Fab’s skills are almost exactly how I would have. He is truly gifted. I mean like you said, “his writing, his metaphors and similes, his delivery and most importantly his wordplay” are incredible. Even though he’s a platinum rapper he’s still really slept on because “People never really talk about him when they talk about the best, but he is better than like 98 % of people makin records.”…lol u got it right on point.

  13. Oh and the part about “Where he falls short occasionally is in the subject matter area. I think if Fab got more personal on his rhymes and let us know exactly who he was and what he’s gone through, he would finally earn his place in the top tier,” is 100% correct. U got it Kim.

  14. Gotta diagree with Game..boo boo in my opinion and I live in LA.
    1. Royce…finally somebody give this man some props!!
    2. Phonte (Littel Brother) Best of the most underrated group goin right now!
    3. Nas, always gotta be on the list, folks gotta “listen” to the new drop
    4. Lupe is just dope, hopefully what the new up and comers will strive for
    5. Andre 3000, everything you said is right on…always rides and flows perfectly…

  15. Kim, you were definitely sleep when you wrote this.

    Hova, point blank period
    Nas, I’ll give you that
    Andre, definitely
    but where is Lupe (Hiphop saved my life, thats a problem)
    Sh*t Kanye even (went to his concert in the Nati’, changed my life)
    Game, uhhh maybe

  16. I agree with Andre being #1 since dude can spit his azz off to the point that u have to rewind and listen again to he just said. I’ve always liked Fab and his punchlines are crazy. But, I think Luda should have been in the Top 5 just because he has the illest spit game that u have to respect. Big up to Royce also!!

  17. Hittman will rise to the top of this list! His new EP “Big Hitt Rising” drops 10-31-08. This album is sick and will change Hip Hop as you know it! And this is only the beging. There will be an LP and many other projects to come.
    Check for his interview on the G4 FreeStyle 101 show and see him live at The Grove in the OC 11-01-08!

  18. heres my top 5 of all time
    1)Nas(he the best,hands down)
    2)2 Pac
    5)Pusha T(i know his range of topics are limited and his catalog is kinda light but his wordplay is spectacular.rappers aint messin with him,HE A BEAST)

  19. 5. T.I.!! Has to make the list!
    4.Loso!!want Wordplay and metaphors this is who you listen to!
    3. Murphy Lee!! So under rated the truth in the Lou!
    2. Eminem!! I don’t even gota explain
    1.Luda!! Sickest flow EVER!!point blank period!

    Wayne almost makes the list!

    Add my myspace music! Myspace.com/Bigripmusic

  20. wow..
    +Game- yea he is nice, i agree with that one.
    +Royce- um… idk who this is….
    +Nas- i like nas. but since i am kind of a youngin i guess i havent given his style a chance to grow on me.
    +Fab- his flow is nice, i like his choice of words too.
    +3000- I love andre, his is mellow yet it goes hard

    *Wayne- Weezy needs a spot. and im not just saying that because everybody else believes it. his whole swagger just knocks him up. But he needs to loose the cup.

    *T.I.- his realness with his music is great. he keeps his flow down to earth. he still flaunts , but he has a right too.

    *Ye ( Kanye)- Kanye’s rhyme is great, he is a wonderful artist, not thinkin about his temper. But other than that i really enjoy his music.

    1.Kanye West


    3.Lupe Fiasco


    5.Lil Wayne

    Sorry to exclude the rest but they just aint the best. Im taking into account both flow and Lyrical content here, just so you know where im coming from.

  22. Anybody wanna mention anyone from wu tang? And as for Kanye, he’s a good producer but he sucks at rapping, he consistently bites from other MCs (my swagger is mick jagger) n Weezy isn’t even respectable at this point. Hov needs to put somethin out to get on the list. And those who think 3000 needs to put out, just listen to his verse on Royal Flush- its enough to let him rest until Big Boi’s, his solo and the Outkast albums comin out. Andre has the most meaning to his lyrics since Guru, ya just gotta listen.

    5. Common (had to represent someone away from the East Coast)
    4. MF Doom (think about his lyrics, you’ll get em eventually)
    3. Talib Kweli (best out of the bk right now)
    2. Nas (he could have retired after Illmatic n earned a spot here)
    1. Andre (just listen to ATLiens n Aquemini n tell me he doesn’t deserve this)

  23. Hey Kim, I was wondering where I could find a list of The Source’s Top 100 Lyrics list? I tried googling it and nothing came up. I’d love to see it. Ive got my nose buried in your book every free minute I have I cant wait to hear your story. Its captivating! Thanks Kim….


    1.STYLES P

  25. 1 Game
    2 Eminem
    3 DMX
    4 Jay-Z
    5 Fat joe

    NO wayne cuz hes gay
    NO 50 cuz hes a Snitch
    NO pac cuz its the best artists now same for biggie
    Dre would be there but Detox aint out
    Yea all the artists i said are the best

  26. emineem hands down all these rappers these days ant no dame rapper they so quick to put a album out do they take the time to listen orthey just ready to to get the the fame and a quick dallor cause they kown they can throw shit togather that makes no damn sense and they know all the people is going to buy that stupid shit

  27. Have u heard Joell Ortiz ??? or Immortal techinque ?
    we talking about whats hot or real mcs top 5 list

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s