Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Take on Mtv's "Greatest MC's of All Time" List.


In an age where it seems the only prerequisite of being a Hip Hop journalist is simply stringing a coherent sentence together, based on the countless music themed television shows I've seen where a so called "respectable Hip Hop journalist" waxes poetic about the lyrical prowess of Lil Wayne or Young Jeezy, it's obvious to say that I don't respect any networks belief of what the greatest MC's of all time are. I mean, I saw a list on VH1 once where they had a hooker with studio time(Lil Kim) and a Tupac wannabe(Jah Rule) ahead of some of the all time greats in the Hip Hop, it was so ludicrous that I planned on storming the VH1 building equipped with Rambo-like artillery so I could get some answers.(That planned was abandoned when I realized that I'm a dude with long dreadlocks and a big butt, not really an ideal combination in prison)

So when a reader(Vee) directed me to Mtv's list of the greatest rappers of all time I just knew it was time to dust off my handy Rambo knife with the compass in the handle. I have to be honest though, as I read their list of the top rappers in history I wasn't really that mad at it. It wasn't that far from my list, and the mere fact that Mtv didn't feel the need to cater to any geographic area outside of the west and east coast by throwing some rapper who wasn't worthy to be on said list was pretty impressive. That being said, there are still some slight problems that I have with the list, so I will go down the list and make my true feeling be known. Not to mention, when I saw the footage of the assbags who were voting on this particular list I was shocked, especially when one writer claimed that Black Thought only had "one flow". (*Sidenote* I had to laugh when Sway said that the writers who came up with said list were the "smartest, most knowledgeable minds at Mtv News." Isn't that like being the brightest kid with Down Syndrome??) Obviously the following observation is just my opinion, so fuck you if you get offended, but tell me what your personal top 10 is because I don't claim to be the Yoda of Hip Hop knowledge or anything.

Mtv's #10: LL Cool J

HumanityCritic Commentary: I particularly can't be mad at them putting James Todd Smith at number ten because that's where I put him. Even though I haven't purchased an LL album since maybe High School, but you can't deny his place in Hip Hop history. Plus, based on all the girls I failed to satisfy solely because I knew all the words to "I need love" back in the day, I feel I at least owe the brother a spot on my list.

Mtv's #9: Eminem

HumanityCritic Commentary: I have to admit, for at least a few of his albums, I was Eminem's biggest supporter. When detractors came up with arguments on why Eminem was "wack", I became a Hip Hop Johnny Cochran and defended the caucasian MC, detailing his intricate flow and his lyrical wizardry, which usually followed me mushing the person I was talking to in the face because of their idiocy. But, like a skilled point guard who has the ability to go to the hole at will but settles for unadvised three point shots, Eminem has became a huge fucking disappointment. For one thing, he can't be on any top ten list because his albums are amazingly fucking sub-par. Also, the dude has a built-in audience where he could fart on a record and go platinum, so instead of using that and making a groundbreaking record he chooses to continuously cater to the TRL crowd. The guy is lyrically nasty, I'll give him that every day, but he doesn't belong in the top ten.


Mtv's #8: Ice Cube

HumanityCritic Commentary: Whenever I meet younger cats and hip them on Ice Cube's earlier work, I always give them the "expiration date" line when purchasing his material, saying "Be careful, the music goes bad after 1992". I know, it sounds bad, but it is my belief that Ice Cube went down faster than a lesbian Kamikaze after the "Death Certificate" album, or maybe it was his "Lethal Injection" release?? I forget, but despite me not particularly feeling his most recent solo work, or the proverbial wackness that was the "West Side Connection", the man does belong on this list because of a few factors. 1: His point guard performance while he was in NWA, wring everyone's lyrics who weren't named MC Ren 2: Amerikkka's Most wanted 3: Death Certificate being one on the best Hip Hop recordings of all time. Obviously I'm not mad at Mtv for this choice, since I had him at number 9 on my list.

Mtv's #7: Big Daddy Kane

HumanityCritic Commentary: Even though he was number 3 on my list, his mere mention on any list of Mtv's makes me feel that they stopped having Kurt Loder's personal assistant do any more Hip Hop commentary. Yeah he should have been higher, based on his complex rhyme schemes, how many people site him as an influence, stage presence, and the mere fact that I'm jealous of him because I always wanted to have a "I once fucked Madonna" story in my repotoire.

Mtv's #6: KRS-ONE

HumanityCritic Commentary: Incredibly low in my opinion, but its good that Mtv.... Wait a minute, I shouldn't be grading on a curve based on Mtv's historic wackness when it comes to Hip Hop outside the television show "Yo Mtv Raps", let's check these incompetent fucks. On my list KRS is number two, based on his lyricism, breath control, legendary status, and because I have a perverse pleasure in seeing a deplorable rapper like Nelly get publicly castrated. Granted, it seems that KRS has been acting nuttier than squirrel turds as of late, but that doesn't take away from him being one of the baddest men with a microphone appartus, ever.

Mtv's #5: Nas

HumanityCritic Commentary: Originally number 4 on my list, I have to tell you something about your boy Humanity F Critic. I'm a huge Nas fan, and consider him one of the top MC's ever, but I have to get a daily massage and practice Tai Chi just so I won't get mad that he made that fucking "Oochie Walli" song, or the fact that he did a goddamned song with Ginuine. Stress relievers aside, Nas gets my stamp of approval.


Mtv's #4: Rakim

HumanityCritic Commentary: OK, this is pure blasphemy. No disrespect to the families of the two deceased gentlemen in front of him or Sean Carter himself, but those gentlemen, injected with the same stuff Barry Bonds shot up with, couldn't carry Rakim's lyrical jockstrap on their best day. This is pretty disgusting that they put him at Number 4, but then again you are hearing this from a guy who took four showers after I had a lap-dance from a stripper who didn't quite "smell quite right". But seriously, his legendary status, having one of the best Hip Hop voices out there, and being the most quoted rapper ever, I'm starting to believe Kurt Loder's personal assistant made the call on that one.

Mtv's #3: Notorious B.I.G

HumanityCritic Commentary: I love Biggie, "Ready to Die" is my shit and he dropped some fierce verses on the many mix-tapes that I purchased while he was alive. Also, as you can click on the link and see for yourself, I put him 7th on my personal list. That being said, I do think that Big has been propelled to a stratosphere that he is unworthy of based on his untimely passing. Not only that, when I go back and listen to "Life after Death", I realized that that was a sub-par album to say the least. A friend of mine said that she felt that if Big was still alive that he would be changing that game right now, which is a thought that was comforting to me. But when I said, "What if he lived and continued to wear those shiny ass suits with Mase, and then dropped unimpressive albums to the point that he signed with G-Unit?" By the look on her face it was obvious that my comment wasn't as comforting a thought as hers was.

Mtv's #2:Tupac

HumanityCritic Commentary: If there is one thing I have learned as a blogger it's this, if you talk bad about Tupac expect to get some viscous ass hate mail. I mean, shit that I wrote a year and some change still inspires brilliant personal emails to yours truly stating something like this, and I quote, "YOU DON'T KNOW SHYT!! YOU DON'T FEAL PAC, PAC WAS DA TROOF PATNA!! FUCK YO SHITTY BLOG!!"(I believe the children are the future) That being said I respect Pac, and his fans, I just don't think he belongs in a top ten list based on my personal feelings. He was a great artist who poured his heart out of record, and that is commendable, but when I think about the people he surpassed to get on this list my head feels like it's going to explode. The untimely passing of Pac was unfortunate, and it was a huge loss for Hip Hop, but I refuse to give a brother unnecessary praise based on the grim reaper visiting him before me.

Mtv's #1: Jay-Z

HumanityCritic Commentary: As a person who has came around on Jay-Z as of late, I'm not mad that he is on this list, or the list of anyone who is currently reading my horseshit blog. I mean, he wasn't on my list at all, but I have come to respect Sean Carter for the good MC that he is. But, number 1??? That shit is ridiculous, I'll give him a pass on the biggie "references" he uses, but the mere fact that he openly admitted that he dumbed down his lyrics for album sales leaves a bad taste in my mouth like seeing Mary J Blige without her makeup on. I know it's not all about me, but I feel that the people at Mtv put Jay-Z at the number one spot just to fuck with a chubby dread-locked blogger living in Virginia Beach. What do yall think exactly??

Glaring omission from Mtv's "list"? Kool G Rap

52 comments:

chele said...

I am not a hip-hop expert and since I left my 20s, I haven't really been a fan. However, to rate LL, Rakim, Cube and KRS-One below the completely overrated Tupac and Jay-Z is just ridiculous.

Miz JJ said...

Rakim and Tupac should switch places on that list. Rakim #2 and Tupac #4. As should Jay-Z and Notorious. Jay -Z #3 and Notorious #1.

Tupac was a cultural icon, which is why I think he's always on greatest MC lists. He superceeds hip hop. He's like this tragic negro figure that people like to hold up without really looking at his lyrical skills.

Reggie said...

I feel your list. Not totally off from mine. I don't ever take anything MTV says seriously about Hip-Hop. They never play anything I would consider "genuine". Except for the occassional Common. I am with you on Jay-Z. I used to be a Jigga hater, but I've grown to respect him as of late. Check out my list

http://realniceaggie.blogspot.com/2006/03/top-10-greatest-mcs.html

GG said...

As always...On point...

"You're like the perfect verse, over a tight beat..."

Georgiapeach said...

I think that you have grown on me. That's what I think!

I have to give you props because your top ten was almost identical to the MTV's list. You a bad boy Humanity. You obviously know your hip hop, no one can hate on that.

I am so glad that you didn't start any ridiculous rants about Tupac, because I didn't feel like driving to Viginia Beach, Virgina today to open up a can of whoop ass!..just playing..lol.

Really and truly, Tupac is too big for that list. He is more than a MC..........Tupac is shakespearean.

B.I.G was tight. But seriously he is way to overrated. It's like, he gets his props because everyone gives him props. Personally, I don't feel as though he deserves it. He was five seconds away from wearing a shiny suit for goodness sake! Shawty was Puff Daddy's boyfriend (yeah I said it). You know the part in the goonies when that boy befriended "the sloth".. That's how I describe B.I.G and his relationship to Hip Hop..rofl. Someone else's come up. If I put T.I and Biggie in the same room, I guarantee T.I would get so buck on Biggie. Biggie wouldn't know what to do. He just seem lame like that to me. Like when it came down to it, he would bitch out.

Personally, I wish that Southern rap could have their own list. It wouldn't be a lot of people on there but recognition none the less. Reading your post really calmed me down, because I am telling you, I almost bust a brain vessel when they didn't have Scarface on there. I mean shit pissed me off. I was like "who the fuck is big daddy kane?" (I know who he is, never really listened to him, matter fact I dislike majority of 80's rap, but eh if you like him he must be good).

Anyway, I realize those types of lists are for "hip hop heads". Yankee style rap. Yeah Cube on the list but come on, a MC? Politics I say. Pure charity case.

spchrist said...

solid list...I would have Biggie No. 1, Tupac No. 2 and Jay-Z No. 3...

Georgiapeach said...

Yo HC. I didn't even read what you wrote about B.I.G. You know I only skimmed through the people I wanted to hear your opinion about the first time around.
YEAH BABY!!!!!I be on point playa. Don't hate. DO NOT HATE!!!!!

Vman said...

Jay z is my favorite rapper, and he had talent but he was held back by the need to sell records. Rakim should definitely be number one. Don't Sweat the Technique.

Amadeo said...

I'll say it...Biggie and Pac get high marks for sympathy! Yeah I said it...how come there is never love for Melle Mel...blasphemy, especially since he is one of the few people I think should be higher up than Rakim.

Tito said...

I made the mistake of reading through the comments on your previous post. As a result, I had to go out during lunch and buy a copy of Paid in Full. If Anybody can listen to My Melody and not have R at the top, well then....

Georgiapeach said...

#1 IS NAS!!!!!! Fuck what you heard!..lol.

B. Holcomb said...

MTV has started quite the discussion over the weekend. Nice choices w/ your list.

Here are my top 5:

5)Andre 3000
4) Big Daddy Kane
3) The D.O.C.
2) Common
1) The Notorious B.I.G.

6-10 changes like the wind for me but the following artists have found their way in and out of positions 6-10 in recent years:

Ludacris, Rakim, Kurupt, Snoop, Big Pun, Black Thought, Tash (From the Alkoholiks), Phonte & Pooh (From Little Brother...these kids are just a breath of fresh air). Nas & Jay.

Anonymous said...

Rakim could flow fast or slow. No one on the list could do "Mahogany and Follow the Leader".

"Take 7 MC's put em in a line, Take 7 more brothers who think they can rhyme, It'l take 7 more for before I go for mine, that's 21 mc's ate up at the same time."

Just about says it all.

LovelyMonAmi said...

ok, ok, your readers are showing their age... these folks are quite young! And, know, not so much......

1. Rakim
2. Nas
3. KRS-One
4. Jay-Z
5. Big Daddy Kane
6. Biggie Smalls
7. Public Enemy
8. A Tribe called Quest
9. LL Cool J
10. Foxy Brown (I had to add a female, sorry)

LovelyMonAmi said...

Here is a list that you can work with.

1. Rakim
2. Nas
3. Jay Z
4. KRS-1
5. Biggie Samlls
6. Big Daddy Kane
7. Public Enemy
8. A Tribe Called Quest
9. LL Cool J
10. Foxy Brown

josie said...

well i like rap. i got my favourite rappers and favourite songs but i wouldn't be able to make a top ten list of favourite rappers. if i did, i will put snoop on it. but i would be rating them on how i like their songs and personality. and not really everything that they stand for.

Captain Bee said...

MTV routinely tries to just create controversy, and this is no different. They're just looking to get publicity and whatnot.

That being said, at least you made more sense than MTV did in their article.

Georgiapeach said...

In ten years this list would not be the same because the eighties babies will be running things. For right now, we will let the late 60's and 70's babies get there shine on. Rap is so young right now, that in ten more years when the early 80's babies are in there thirties, then you will get THE list. Right now, this list is purely a rough draft. In the end, us "young ones" will have the last word. So all you'll can do, is put us on to that real shit if you want your favorite rapper on THE list....lol.

Breez said...

I do find it interesting that they rarely, if ever, include a female on the top 10 list. I probably would have put MC Lyte up there, but then again, I'm sort of an MC Lyte groupie from the way back.

I don't dislike Jay Z, but I too find him TREMENDOUSLY overrated. But then again, this is MTV that we're talking about, which would explain choosing Jay Z and excluding a black woman.

Jarrod Halsey said...

Cats know that I'm a huge Jay-Z and despite the fact that I try really hard to avoid conversations about ranking MCs, there is no way I could avoid this one.

First, people who only listen to artists shit on the radio and/or on CDs shouldn't be allowed to comment. Regardless of how good/hard/street any of these songs are, they are made, in part, to sell records. To get a good sense of an MC, you need to include their mixtape work. This is where you get an MC at his rawest. He's not trying to make a catchy song, not trying to sell records, he is strictly flexing his lyrical muscle. So if you're not a mixtape head, please hold your comments.

Next, I think it is extremely irresponsible to say that you can't consider an MC one of the best of all time because they admitted to dumbing down their lyrics to sell records. Why? Because EVERYONE does it. He's the only one who admits it. And honestly, despite how "pop" many of Jay-Z's songs are, you cannot name ONE song where his lyrics aren't tight (OK, maybe that one song with Puff off of Puff's second album.)

Once again, yes, I am a huge Jay-Z fan. But you can't deny the fact that out of every MC, he's been the most consistent, lyrically murdering any mixtape verse I've ever heard him on, always had hits, always has an impact on the hip-hop game, always does big numbers and has never EVER put out a wack album. Can you say the same about every other artist on this list?

GG said...

@Lovely

You have a very tight list, which is completely accurate. I like to call our era, the blingless, breath control era! These cats didn't need girls and grills to get their points across. It was just about the lyrics....and the average dookie rope...LOL

Sheila said...

Jay-Z can be put off the list because of his dumbing down his lyrics based on the other people on HC's list not attempting to be so commercial. Jay-Z's album's have always been successful? So what, N'Sync can say the same thing. But, based on how quotable everyone is on HC's list, Jay-Z definitely doesn't belong.

juiceyj said...

Yeah, I agree with your list for the most part. Tupac should be on there though, but your comments on Biggie were bang on. The guy is amazing but he basically had one great album, life after death was not nearly as good, And if I see one more music awards show where Puffy does some sort of musical montage to honor Biggie I'm gonna loose it.

ChiChi10 said...

"YOU DON'T KNOW SHYT!! YOU DON'T FEAL PAC, PAC WAS DA TROOF PATNA!! FUCK YO SHITTY BLOG!!"(I believe the children are the future)

FTFO! @ this...

Reminds me of my personal favorite "LAWD, HEP DA CHIRREN!"

The Future said...

Ok I will end all discussions, just kidding, the list goes
1. Rakim - Nobody flows better
2. Big Daddy Kane - Smooth as silk
3. Chuck D - powerful rapper
4. Snoop - A combo of 1 and 2
5. Krs 1 - Nobody stonger lyrically

Georgiapeach said...

Breez I think there was only one female on the panel. With ten spots to fill you know they(those men) weren't going to put a woman on the list, but who needs their charity anyways. Most men don't even like female rappers and feel as though their rhymes are weak, so ofcourse they weren't even going to consider it. But I agree, MC Lyte would be a great candidate. Matter of fact, if they would have said any female rapper (well not any)I would have been cool with it. But it would have definitely been great to see her on the list. My OLDER (emphasis on old) sisters were big fans of her..lol.

DivaCatscratch said...

LMAO@Chi Chi...

You ain't never lied on that one...

**RPM** said...

I don't wanna hear NO MESS about Hovi. Thanks for putting him exactly where he belonged. Only one I choked on was Kane.

KANE????

Take care... **RPM**

idiotproof67 said...

These type of lists are retarded.
But I seem to agree with you on every point.
The Tupac comments are spot on. His fans are incredibly naive & always seem hell bent on letting you know in their twisted sms language. I agree he is now just an iconic figure relegated to extreme worship. He was a better actor than an emcee. And yes Biggie's passing placed him higher than he probably should have been. KRS's body of work overshadows his recent shortcomings & hypocrisies. Even Kool Kieth's body of work, originality, unique ideas, etc... shits on many. (Check his Project Polaroid for some 'about friggin' time' good solid KK material). Where's DITC? I'd rate Lord Finesse, AG & OC over Cube, Pac... Jay Z just gets tiring & I can't say listening to millionaires rap about shit is really my thing.

Yes, where's Melle Mel or even Caz for example?

Always creates a massive stupid amount of dialogue if not anything else.

Sheila said...

You are right J, arguing on the internet is retarded, so is thinking Jay-Z is the best rapper ever.

"Why wouldn’t this apply to
rappers?"

Because in Hip Hop, album sales never equated to a quality product, which you were referring to in your defense of S. Carter. Illmatic is one of the best albums ever and it just went platinum a while ago, so to dangle Jay-Z's success out there as some sort of proof of how dope he is makes you look foolish.

"But when you consistently have big record sales for years and years, you have HAVE to make it a factor in your argument."

But when you apply that same argument to Eminem, a man who's album sales have crushed Jay's while having a lower quality product, your point of view becomes a head scratcher.

"One of the things that even Jay-Z haters admit is that Jay-Z is prolly the most quotable MC of all time."

Besides me never hearing that from anyone and you pulling that out of your ass, lets see. More quotable than "I take 7 MC's.." line by Rakim? Nope. I won't quote biggie since Jay does that enough. "Roxanne Shante is steady fucking.." line by KRS? Nope. The "Up-up-up and away cause I don't play clown" line by G Rap? Nope. Fuck man, I can go like this all day.

"You will have a hard time convincing me that he’s not #1."

Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

"All my man did was hold you down TEN STRAIGHT SUMMERS. WHO DOES THAT?!"

Crack dealers? Thanks for the shout out on your blog though, even if it did surround the defense of an overrated rapper..

GG said...

WOW!

Georgiapeach said...

Why didn't you say that on his blog? Didn't know one even know he wrote that post.

Sheila said...

Because the discussion originated here..

Reese The Law Girl said...

I used to defend Em too. But, if I hear another song about his kid I'm going to personally go to Detroit and stick him in the trunk of a car.

Seriously, how many "Halley" songs do we have to endure? Bleh!

Anyways, Jay-Z, as cool as he is, is overrated at #1. I chalk that up to MTV trying to make the list relevant to their demographic (fetuses-18 years old). I would have been happy with Tupac at #1.

Brother OMi said...

i don't know the criteria used by MTV but its suspect. I will say i am surprised because most mainstream outlets will throw NElly and Ja Rule in the mix (like you said). but MTV is suspect. i have issues with their pics. i guess i have to blog abou tit...

Ms. ESQ 1908 said...

Why is it, East Coasters, that Pac is overrated but not Biggie...I mean really. I give props where props rare due and Jay and Nas are that ish (actually so was DMX before the crack) but BIG gets the love and credit that he does becuase he brought back New York during a time when it was all about the West Coast. His albums have no depth, don't get me wrong it's something I can dance to at a club, but where's the at least one song not about blunts, guns, hoes, or partying...you would be hard pressed to find one...but whatever, my list would have definitly included Scarface but I guess bc. he's a southerner he's automatically not qualified...come on now that sounds as ridiculous to me (a non-southerner) as Pac being included in the top ten sounds to you; it's not so much the fact that I disagree w/you on your list that bothers me but the fact that you seem to think your opinion is the way the truth and the light and no one gets to the Hip Hop father but by you...then again, this is your blog (that I read all the time might I add) so why shouldn't your opinion rule...so carry on and ignore my post :-)

Amadeo said...

@Jarrod Halsey

Talib Kweli
Mos Def
Black Thought
KRS One
Melle Mel
R.Z.A.
Jeru

I can think of more but there is no way you can say these cats "dumb down" their lyrics.

The Humanity Critic said...

I wasn't going to comment because I know people feel differently about Hip Hop but..

"it's not so much the fact that I disagree w/you on your list that bothers me but the fact that you seem to think your opinion is the way the truth and the light and no one gets to the Hip Hop father but by yo"

I think the part where I said "...but tell me what your personal top 10 is because I don't claim to be the Yoda of Hip Hop knowledge or anything." should let you know that I don't consider myself an authority.

Brother OMi said...

my take.. ahem
http://selfra.blogspot.com

GG said...

To further respond to the comment of Biggie bringing NY back to NY, actually, it wasn't really Biggie, nor Jay Z. They were on the quiet circuit trying to get on. Dead Presidents was on the mixtape roster, and Biggie was Partyin' and Bullshittin'. At that time, it was more or less a movement of hungry cats, i.e. Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Duck Down, and others I can mention. And, before we can really rep Big, you have to give props to the true golden boy of Bad Boy at the time...Craig Mack...

Just. Like. Uniblab....

Georgiapeach said...

Who is Manjula and why doesn't he ever post anything? Don't read that rude.

Georgiapeach said...

Reese The Law Girl has spoke. And Reese is the truth!...lol.

obifromsouthlondon said...

son you've gotta give mr jones some dap. re-listened to "Oochie Walli" yesterday and it's a bloody good tune. I think he's judged on the daily by "illmatic". but i dig cos' like u (and ghostface) i'm stuck somewhere b/w 1986 and 1996. why did the rappers really care back then? ahhh the smell of fresh bank notes.

Georgiapeach said...

You were on point about Ricland. ANd why you post that question if you ain't going to answer it?

Inside Man said...

I think a top ten is too difficult to make. There are to many greats to consolidate into 10 artist. A top 25 is more realistic so you can cover the whole spectrum of colorful MC's.

Nadia said...

Well, I guess in order to argue this issue, you have to decide what criteria you are using to rate a great MC. Going by the criteria MTV used, a great MC was one who could flow about anything, make you stop and think, and could impact a person's life with the way they said it. In my opinion, Jay-Z's money and position had a little too much of an impact on their decision. As far as your list goes, I think you based yours heavily on lyrical ability, which is no doubt an important part of being a great MC. But being a Great not only has to do with how you say things, but what you're saying. I know you've probably been lectured about 2Pac 8 million times now, but a list without him at #1 ... much less in the top 10 ... is a travesty. The guy may not have been as lyrically eloquent as Rakim, and the likes of others on your top 10, but he was damn good. The guy talked about anything and everything with a passion that no one can match. And doesn't the sound of an MC's voice count for anything? His was powerful, moving, and at times fierce. Jay-Z sounds the same in every freaking song ... no variation in my mind. I do still like a lot of Jay's songs, but I don't like how much he bites off other artist's lyrics. (Sure they all quote each other, but come on, Jay.) Plus his debacle of a remake of "Me and My Girlfriend" automatically puts him down a couple notches in my book. Big I personally don't prefer, but I can respect his talent. To me the sound of his voice was kinda annoying. And I can't remember who said it (another MC), but 2Pac simply made great songs. He may not tear up every MC in a freestyle battle, but the guy's aresenal in the studio is beyond belief. Great songs should have great lyrics, great beats, and a great passion. His greatest hits CD is only scratching the surface, but please do go back and listen to songs like Keep Ya Head Up, Hail Mary, Toss It Up, Hit Em Up, etc. (Too many to list.) He's not someone you can just dismiss. Him dying too soon is beside the point. I don't think he was overrated because of his untimely death. (Biggie, on the other hand, was.) Pac was a loving son, a political voice, a convict, a womanizer, an eloquent speaker, a wrathful enemy, and so much more ... all blended into one being. And we believed every part of him.

That said, I do think you made some valid points in your critiques. Rakim is a beast, so I can't hate on him. Anyway, sorry this is so long. I get worked up bout my hip hop.

nosthegametoo said...

Jay-Z as the Number 1 MC of all-time???

I think not.

Anonymous said...

What would jazz be with no soul in it, if there were jus 1 way of playing it & it's mellow, always at a metzo forte (4 those who dont kno which is medium sound) what if a singer goes up & puts no energy 2 tha song, jsu says words, always soft spoken, & neva puttin any heart in2 it, what would soul music b without any feeling in it, what would rocc b if they jus yelled tha whole time neva got soft or anything, well if ur a tr hip hop fan u kno that rap came from all these types of music so y is rap tha only exception, 2pac is tha epitmoe of all that he's a rapper, otha ppl u name r lyricists, tha only point u said that Jay was betta than Pac is he had betta lyrics, well I thought yall was discussing tha best RAPPER, not tha best lyricist rapper 4 u idiots out there, that don't kno shyt bout rap, which I'm sartin 2 believe no1 does, u can't say u kno rap, without sayin u kno all of tha places it came from which probly none of yall so called brain trust & otha dumb f*ccs out there kno & 2pac aint got lyrics what have u heard me & My Girlfriend, nigga was talkin bout a gun when he made it 2 seem he as talkin bout a girl

Our first date, couldn't wait to see you naked
Touch you in every secret place, I can hardly wait
to bust freely, got you red hot, you so happy to see me
Make the frontpage primetime live on TV
Nigga my girlfriend, baby forty-five but she still live
One shot make a nigga's heartbeat stop

Couldnt wait 2 c u naked emptyin his clips, touch u in secret places referin 2 tha trigga, can;t wait 4 u 2 bust, as bust a nut but actucally bullets, cant wait 2 get u red hot, I mean if u can take apart all this u can c this is a perfect metaphor so thats not tight huh & tha thang is it onl took him 30 minuted 2 write tha ENTIRE song, come on most rappers couldnt do it in months mayb years if they can write somethin like that, don'e hate god damn, if u aint haerd everything b all the rappers u named don't say shyt have u heard Changes that shyt make u wanna shiver jus look at tha ryhme, how everything flows 2getha tha different ryming techniques he uses that r very complex

I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
one better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
'cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
and only time we chill is when we kill each other
it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is

But I guess bein real don't appeal 2 a lot of ppl but its still good cuz he still sold ova 67 million records in tha US alone which is a record, so damn if I knew bein garbage would sell me ova 65 million cd's I'll go do it, but D4L sure aint sell tha much & he aint garbage, DFB didnt sell that much & they succ 4real, get ur game right, 3/4 of u niggaz r bias 4 tha east coast & I believe yall put Pac at 2 so it wont make it seem like ur biased cuz u said u originally had Big at 1, then all tha sudden he went 2 3, jus so it wont seem bias but yall aint foolin me, go around tha world & ask whose tha best, go 2 any internet site, & c poll results of whose tha best, which leads me 2 really think I REALLY don't think yall kno hip hop like yall think yall do

The Humanity Critic said...

If this was a list of the greatest "rapper" or "entertainer", I could see leaving Pac off of a top 10 list being blasphemy. But the important word is MC here, which means that lyricsm is one of the most i portant factors here. Plainly, I never felt Pac, was more of a fan of his before he went to death row, and I seriously question the sanity of anyone who thinks he should be above Rakim or Big Daddy Kane on any Top 10 list this side of the equator.

Not only that, I know that most MC's talk about things that are fictional. From gunplay, to drug deals, I know that MC's tend to embellish on the mic. I'm cool with that. But based on the fact that most people who are true believers of Pac, quote him religiously like he is reciting bible scripture, and think he is the best rapper ever, think so because the think that he experienced all of those things. Well, being that he didn't become a thug until after he signed a record deal, to me he seems like a big ass phony.

So in my opinion, Pac doesn't even get a wiff of my top 10.

Words.worth said...

Ok allow me to simply say this. I have been following the genre basically for as long as it has existed and I consider myself a student of rap music. There tends to be a lot of "East Coast Bias" against Tupac without looking at the major categories. They are:

Influence: This side of Rakim he has influenced more rappers than most people on the list.

Social Responsibility: He was just as political as at least 6 other guys on the list.

Commercialism: He did not bow to the pressures of commercialism like most rappers do.

Lyricism: Ok I can name a hundred other rappers with more lyricism but, that is not the only thing that makes a rapper.

Lyrical content: Tupac often spoke on things that other rappers of the time deemed to contraversial not to rap about.

All of that said should at least garner this man a top 10 spot. He is not number one on my list but, it is somewhat biased to simply leave the man off IMHO.

Check out my list.

The Humanity Critic said...

I feel you and respect your opinion, so please don't take what I'm about to say as an attack on you because these are feelings that I have always had.

As the east coast bias, I don't particularly buy that because I just think the top ten having mostly east coast artists on it is because they just happen to be better. I love Scarface, and artists like that, but putting him anywhere near the top 10 would be done just because of some need to feel some quota of rappers outside of New York in some "special olympics" kind of way.

I agree that Tupac has influenced a lot of people, but it wasn't in a lyrical way like Rakim, or how Rakim revolutionalized a genre.

Tupac might have spoke about some social issues when he was alive, issues that others weren't talking about, but the mere fact that he didn't capitalize on his popularity and attempt to do some good makes him sort of a phony in my book. Also, most people love Tupac because of his vivid images of street life and struggles of that sort, which is cool, but the mere fact that he didn't become a thug until after he got a record contract puts him farther down my list to be totally honest.

Lyricsm is a huge part of this argument, since the title is the "Greatest MC's of all time". If it was the greatest rapper then I would understand. MC, Master Of Ceremony suggest an ability to rock a crowd, something that a huge percentage of the men on my list can do. I don't feel that way about Tupac. Plus, he never lit the microphone on fire so he definitely doesn't belong in a top ten.

Tha's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

The MTV list is a joke, a complete mockery of hiphop history
They don't know good hiphop if it had a heart attack and died right in front of them
Those idiots at MTV need to stop plugging Jay's garbage....
Mainstream commercial rubbish!

First off, when u say the "greatest MC" you're talking about lyrical dexterity, not commercial popularity nor sales...
With that said, pop artist Jay Z is definitely off the list
Ppl like him due to his beats, yet completely overlook his lyrics (which are somewhat good, but that's pushing it)
U know therez something wrong with an MC when he get's invited to the Kids Choice Awards....what a joke
In addition, if he were as good as they make him out to be, he'd be able to spit 70+ bars with nasty flow and metaphors to spare, which I doubt he could...haha

Next, just because you had drama and beef going doesn't mean that you can just jump on the "greatest MC" list
Pac was an icon, sure, but to say that he was an amazing MC, never
His lyrics were poor, his methaphors and similes were weak, and his flow was meager
Basically, he doesn't hold a candle to my list
He's off the list
Remember, we're talking about the greatest MC, impact-symbolism-and popularity mean nothing
If this were a most popular hiphop artist, or hiphop icon of all time, he'd be on the list...but since its not, he gets my boot

Big was great, a lil too commercial for my taste (especially with P muddy hitching a ride on the Biggie bandwagon)
but great nonetheless
Anyone that say's Pac was better than Big is either stupid or deaf
Big is great and deserves to be on the list, though not at #3

To rank Rakim at 4 is a crime, a sin to tha hiphop gods
He's top 2....
This man could spit 70 bars, and still hit u a nasty metaphor on the 69th
The essence of MC is Rakim
He's influenced everyone since him, and even everyone b4 him
To all the kids, go out and at least sample something from "Paid In Full"
That should be enough to enlighten you ppl
Some ppl become good MC's, others are just born to be MC's
Rakim was writing and spitting in his mother's womb, nuff said

Nas is great also, though after Illmatic, his stuff started to fall and fall and fall
He's got skill, yet it seems that he's confused on the role that he should take on
Popular artist or true MC?
The man has skill, but he's shown his inconsistency
He's still on my list, though low
Nas > Jay Z

KRS 1 is one of the greats to ever rock the mic
His skill is unmatched
All the kids that neglect him should go out and cop his early stuff (might not like it, but it'll definitely show u that Jay Z is a child compared to KRS)
Top 3

Not a big fan of Big Daddy Kane, but he still get's my respect
He's amazing, his lyrics blow u away
And the fact that modern day MC's model themselves and their lyrics after him tells u something
Top 4

Ice Cube at 8, its a stretch
On my list, he'd be at 14 or 15
Too much gangster BS, too hard, not enough skill or lyrics
Not a great flow, and very inconsistent in the years from 93 on
Ice Cube at 8, is like saying Mike Jones is a hiphop icon
Laughable!!

Eminem is a good lyricist, with good rhymes and a good flow
But he's a new cat, and he hasn't proven himself enough
In addition, his lyrics are childs play compared with the seriousness and poignant stuff that masters like KRS and Rakim spit
And by child's play, I mean his lyrics aren't serious, its like he's joking and writing a dirty lullaby throughout his raps
Not the best way to get u on a list of the "greatest MC's"
Canibus killed him when they had their beef, if anything Canibus deserves to be on the list
Eminem is too much hype and weak subject matter
Not top 10, maybe top 25

Not a fan of LL, but the man is emulated for his skill and savageness on the mic
He's good, b4 he wen't commercial
Top 10, yeah


With that said, here's my list:

1. Rakim
2. KRS One
3. Big Daddy Kane
4. Kool G Rap
5. Chuck D
6. Canibus
7. LL Cool J
8. Nas
9. Biggie Smalls
10. Ras Kass


Some that I haven't talked about:
Kool G Rap is the same or better than Big Daddy Kane, he's a legend that still gets mad love
He stampmarked the game with his skill and influence
He's on the list

Canibus is the best MC in the game.
No one can spit as much as he can, with flow and dexterity
Check out Poet Laureate II, and you'll know what Im talking about
This man has been tearing it up with his philosophical-scientific verses for years, yet he gets no love
He beat a legend, LL Cool J when they had their beef, meaning he's deserves to be in the same breath of LL Cool J and Nas

Ras Kass one phrase, punch lines
Simply amazing, just amazing
Nature of the Threat
Maybe Im pushing it since Im a Kass fan, but this is my only weakness

For all the Pac groupies in here...Pac was no Shakespeare, he was a hyped up version of the Game
Nuff said, he can't rhyme with the likes of Rakim
He had following, but due to his background
His verses were plain and boring
Not something that makes u say: damn, I can't believe he wrote that!
The man was deep, but not lyrically speaking
Hell, if he were still around, he'd be embarassed to be in front of Rakim or Chuck D or even Canibus