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.