I had some downtime recently. By downtime I mean I was driving either to or from work and there was no fight going on about who had the Barbie first. As I was driving , a song came on the local radio station and it got me thinking. Thinking deeper than I have in quite some time, I asked myself "Who is the Greatest Rapper of All Time?" If I were tweeting this on the Twitter I would immediately tag this as #whitepeopleproblems. It is a bit a a dilemma for me to ask this you see. Being a white dude that lives in suburbia I have absolutely no street cred to voice my opinion on this subject. Well, being that I own this blog (half of it at least) I feel that I can go through my top 5 with the 17 of you that will read this and not face much scrutiny for voicing my opinion on this edgy topic. Oh and in case you were wondering how this deals with Parenting and/or Fatherhood, its because I can't really listen to rap anymore now that I am a father.
I could use this time to build you up on how much of an authority figure I am on this subject by going through my Catholic grade school and Rural Missouri Public High School background. However, I will jump right into this pantheon of lyrical bad-arses*. Also I am just going to keep this to solo rappers and not groups because I think we all would agree WU-Tang is/was the greatest group of all time shortly followed by RUN D.M.C. The only reason for this is volume. If RUN DMC was 7 members deep, they win. Also, I think the list of solo rappers will cause a bit more dialect from our commentators.
*Please note the use of "arse" instead of the more commonly used word in order to keep the "Safe for Work" code of ethics we strive daily to achieve.
5) Rakim - With this selection I have either solidified myself as an idiot or a guy who knows what he is talking about. I will continue as if I know what I am talking about. Rakim, yes, was part of the "group" of Eric B & Rakim, but Rakim was the front man for the group and his delivery was amazing. What's funny is that Rakim's lyrics were/are probably some of the most quoted & sampled in hip-hop history yet not many may know who he is.
4) 2Pac - I will be the first to admit that I was not a huge 2Pac fan until more recently. When his albums were released, I just wasn't into the whole Thug Life movement. I was (and still am) into more of the light-hearted rap. However, looking back at his collection of work, its pretty remarkable what he was able to accomplish. He was also part of the "light-hearted" Digital Underground. So that bumps him up in my book.
3) Snoop - Going completely in the opposite direction of Rakim, is Snoop. He's about the most commercial rapper out there. When he got his start with Dre back in the 90's he brought something new to the table. I don't know what to call it, but I'll just label it "the dizzle." He single-handedly introduced a new way of rapping & talking. His lyrics span a wide variety of comical to serious, and he seems to be the most laid back person in the world.
2) Jay-Z - While I can't stand people that retire and then come out of retirement, I think this coming out was well worth it. I also think he needs to be up here for the simple fact that he put out something like 8 albums in the span of 8 years making him one of the most successful Rappers of the 2000's. **Note that I was going to put NAS in this count down, but admittedly, I haven't had much time to listen to his stuff and didn't think I could accurately place him on my lack of knowledge.
And finally Number One:
Notorious B.I.G - I really don't think there has been anyone better. He could do it all. I can see how this No. 1 ranking could be debated as he only released 1 album while he was living, but from just the small sampling of what he has done I think he can be placed here.
So, what do you think? Am I completely off my rocker?