A "version" of this entry was originally posted months ago, hence a couple of old comments. BUT, I have brought this particular piece back to life for a few reasons. 1. This past December, while under the influenced of "certain" substances, I accidentally erased my blog(losing various comments and interesting perspectives on Hip Hop) 2.I have revised it, pretty much shortened the reasons why those particular MC's were the "greatest" to a few sentences, and added pictures. and 3: In a time period where Hip Hop is as dry as a crack prostitutes genetalia, I just want some open feedback from all of you on your favorite MC's. This is a open forum for you to say how much you "agree with me", or how I am "full of shit" and should be sent to an old folks home immediately. Let your voice be heard for Christs sake, I'm definitely curious. Here, in my opinion, are the Greatest MC's of all Time
1. Rakim: The greatest M.C to ever hold a Mic, hands down. A lyricist who was truly ahead of his time, if you don't believe me just play 'Paid In Full'. Any of his early recordings stand the test of time, holding ground with any modern M.C you can name. Vivid Imagery, metaphors, versatile delivery, and all around dictionary-like command of the English language makes this individual my personal favorite. "The ghetto", "Mahogany", and "Paid in Full", and "Microphone Fiend" are four very different songs that display the range of Rakim. The Greatest of All Time.
2. KRS-One: You have to love a man that says, "I am Hip Hop". His blend of consciousness and raw lyricism has been evident from day one. The hardest thing in music to do is be entertaining and teach at the same time. People call him arrogant, but I think that if you truly think you are the best then arrogance is needed. His love for Hip Hop culture has kept him in the game for nearly 20 years. "Criminal Minded", "My Philosophy", "I'm Still #1", how he single handedly took out the Juice Crew, threw P.M Dawn off a stage, or made Nelly his bitch, the man is an Icon.
3.Big Daddy Kane: One of the first M.C's to incorporate the "player" persona and at the same time stressing the importance of lyricism. I remember when my cousin's came down from New York in August of 88' and they gave me Big Daddy Kane's first album. That was one of the best birthday presents I ever had.. His arsenal of rhyme styles from a smooth delivery to a rapid flow captivated a then 15 year old kid. Matter of fact, it still captivates a now 31 year old man.
4. Nas: I knew that he was a great M.C when I heard his verse on Main Sources "Live from the barbecue", just him saying "..kidnap the President's wife without a plan.." or "..when I was 12, I went to hell for snuffing Jesus..", get me giddy as a school girl. Illmatic is one of my favorite albums, and has to be the best debut album of any rapper ever. In a time when lyrical content seems to be irrelevant, the man continues to push the envelope and display his wide ranging lyrical strengths. I admit that his career took a wrong turn(see duet with Ginuine), but it seems that it got back on track again when Jay Z made the disastrous decision to challenge the Queensbridge M.C.
5. Kool G Rap: If you hear some of his earlier songs, he should be credited for some of the first "gangsta rap" recordings. Brilliant lyricist, with a aggressive delivery mixed with his ability to inject the vivid images of street life. With his trademark lisp, I personally feel he had the best verse on "The Symphony". As a person that is against the "bitch and hoe" content of many of the "artists" of today, or the clumsy way they tackle strong sexual content in Hip Hop, can't resist the imaginative ways he approaches those topics.
6. Slick Rick: A truly underrated lyricist, coming to us by way of England. I fell in love with "Ladi-Dadi" as soon as I heard it and it is probably the first song that I learned verbatim. Smooth delivery, with a vast vocabulary that he utilizes through his storytelling abilities. 'Treat em' like a prostitute' is one of my personal favorites, but reading my blog you could probably guess why..
7. Notorious B.I.G: Death can certainly make someone a martyr, and inflate their importance in music. Even though I think this has happened to B.I.G in some respects(especially Tupac), there is no denying the lyrical ability of this Brooklyn M.C. The first song that I heard from him happens to be my favorite, "Party and Bullshit". Awesome flow, skillful metaphor use and wordplay will keep him relevant in Hip Hop for years to come. I wasn't into the "shiny suit" era that Puffy tried to force upon us, but Biggie's lyrics make me forget about that, somewhat.
8.Chuck D: "It takes a Nation of Millions.." is by far my favorite album of all time. Chuck D is partly responsible for my current political awareness, so when I go on long diatribes about the evil that is the "black republican", you have him to blame. Like I said about KRS-One, to be able to be musically relevant and have a message at the same time is not only difficult but it takes balls. I heard a quote form Chuck D one time where he said, "I knew that we had something when women hated our music", I love that quote. Any man that calls out Elvis, the president, and talks about kidnapping the mayor of Arizona for not recognizing Martin Luther Kings birthday get my complete support.
9. Ice Cube (Circa 1992): I was a fan of Ice Cube when he was in N.W.A, but when he went solo he emerged into a deadly M.C. The Bomb Squad produced 'Amerikkka's Most Wanted' was a dazzling debut of street life and hardcore beats. My favorite Ice Cube album is 'Death Certificate", where he dealt with topics like the failing health care system, selling out, dissing his old band-mates N.W.A, the military, and venereal diseases. Yeah he fell off, and his contribution to the West Side Connection is forgettable, but his works of the early 90's are legendary.
10.LL. Cool J: Like his recent work or not, but the man was considered a legend at the age of 25. The first artist signed to Def Jam, he has proved to be the Hip Hop version of Madonna, successfully changing with the times and staying commercially relevant. I know that this choice is pretty controversial, but anyone who disses an outgoing president(Bush 1) while freestyling at a presidential inauguration(Clinton), definitely gets my motherfucking vote! He has defeated Kool Moe Dee, Ice Tee, and Cannibus, proving that he is a battle tested M.C. With 10 albums under his belt, he is the poster boy for longevity.