The Top 5 Rappers In Hip Hop History

This is my list, and if you don’t like it, tough titty.

(Tie)5. Nas/The D.O.C.
Yeah, I got your boy Nas at #5. He’s dope and all, but the nigga has the personality of a brick. And that counts for a lot. Everything Tupac had, is what Nas lacks, and that’s why his career hasn’t hit the heights of some other rappers, even though he’s used some of the same gimmicks. He talks about what’s wrong with hip hop, and what needs to be done, but he’s just as responsible as anyone else for it’s current climate. Nigga, I remember “Firm Biz” and “You Owe Me”. He’s still the shit though, even if he is a walking contradiction.

The D.O.C., along with Dr. Dre is responsible for possibly the best album in hip hop, ever. “No One Can Do It Better” is reason enough to have The D.O.C. in the top 5. Lyrically, he was to L.A. (even though he’s from Dallas) what Rakim was to NYC. Even though his voice was pretty much destroyed in the car accident that almost killed him, he’s partly responsible for the success for west coast hip hop since 1990. From writing hits for Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eazy-E, and others to being one of the founders of Death Row Records, The diggy, diggy Doc is one of the best ever to do it…but he hasn’t been seen much since getting Erykah Badu pregnant. But that’s another blog for another day.

4. Rakim
Before Rakim, hip hop was still stuck on some “A-B-C, 1-2-3, in the place to be” shit. When the “Paid In Full” album came out, the game changed. No one was using those rhyme schemes and patterns, but everybody had to switch their styles up to stay in the game. The reason why I have him at #4 ? Dude seems to have a problem with releasing music. First it was because Dr. Dre’s penchant for working on things until it’s perfect…but Dre & Rakim parted ways almost 4 years ago, and still not even 1 single.

3. Notorious B.I.G.
As dope as Biggie was, I can’t justify having him higher than #3 because there just isn’t enough material to judge. The stuff he spit was genius, though. Not only was he a cat that could rhyme with the best of them, he could tell a story like no one else. Refer to “Niggas Bleed”.

2. 2pac
He wasn’t the greatest lyricist, but was constantly improving his writing with every release. 10 years later, his flow is still being jacked by countless rappers to sell records, case in point, listen to “In Da Club” by 50 cent for a Swarovski clear view of what I’m saying. But, what separated Pac from everyone else was his raw emotion. Kinda like Mary J. Blige, you just feel everything he says. Listen to “So Many Tears” for reference.

1. Jay-Z
Shawn Carter took what was left behind after the deaths of Pac & Biggie, and filled the void like no one else. He was the one that no one saw coming. Nas was the chosen one, but Jay was who the public was drawn to. He spit it like few others before or since. Yeah, he incorporates lines from other rappers into his work, which people tend to use against him, but if you don’t recognize where it comes from, then you can’t be the fan that you claim to be. He’s the first emcee that we’ve seen “make it”…not just by getting himself endorsements, and getting the Def Jam gig, but by evolving from a dude who spit “D’Evils” to a dude that spit “30 Something”. He’s shown us something never before seen in hip hop, maturity.

Honorable Mention:
Ice Cube, Scarface, Eminem, Big Pun, Big Daddy Kane

Click here for The 5 Worst Rappers In Hop Hop History

4 responses

  1. solitaire

    Nice list – although he should have stayed retired. I’m no hip hop connoisseur and even *I* know that “Kingdom Come” was nonsense.
    “30 Something” is a good song, but I guess I fell for “Anything” and “Hollywood”. And that’s damn it.

    Good thing I downloaded it.

    Did I say that out loud?


    November 30, 2006 at 6:26 pm

  2. t.r.b

    i must say i agree with your little list there. i first heard d.o.c when i was little and my mother’s boyfriend was from compton. he brought all that west coast shit to ohio with him, which is why i dig it to this day
    (cube’s amerikka’s most wanted was one of my favorite albums; imagine an eight year old girl blasting that!) i would have to put big at #1 on my list, then jay, rakim, pac, and nas last. i have love and respect for pac, but just like you pointed out with mr. QB, he’s a walking contradiction and his personality irks me! (but “i get around” is forever classic to me!) again good look on the list

    November 30, 2006 at 9:34 pm

  3. Nye

    Being from the X-borough, my first instinct was to neck swivel at first. I thought..HOLE THE EFF UP!!! Rakim at number…WHAT?

    I admit…I almost got Kramer, but I calmed it down..and thought about it and yes. I agree.

    Jay-Z earned your spot.

    Sure, Rakim may have paved the way, Biggie and Tupac drew the solid yellow lines…but it was Jay-Z that jumped in the hooptie and took it cross country.

    Sorta like saying, yeah, Little Richard, James Brown and Hendrix are incredible…but they had a three-some and wound up with Prince.

    Same thang peoples…same thing.

    Because though those other artist may make me wanna recite OR fight OR dance reeeeeal hard OR *uck OR roll up some chocolate OR have a great story to tell about robbin’ somebody… JAY-Z makes me do ALL OF IT.

    ..and he plugged up Beyonce during hot time. Not like…when she cooled down. (You know, like Kid Rock and Pam Lee. Nobody cares. Tommy tapped it when it was hot time. You got sloppy seconds…dummy.)

    Yeah. All that said. I agree.

    I’ll sit down and eat a snack now.

    December 4, 2006 at 11:17 am

  4. Dre876

    Feeling the list. I think you need to do a list for the hottest rappers out now. I want to see what you think of Hip-Hop in it’s current state.

    December 5, 2006 at 3:43 pm

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