My Personal Top 5 Queens Rappers Of All-Time
After viewing Kool G. Rap give his Top 5 Queens rappers to VladTV recently (Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uxZAH2bRBU), I was inspired to actually write about this. I’ve thought about it frequently, and of course amongst some of my cousins and some of my boys, it is a frequent topic of discussion.
Again, this is my PERSONAL list. None of this “replace X with Y and I’ll agree with you” business. If you have a differing opinion, then please construct a column of your own and tag me in it ha.
NaS is Hip-Hop. Period. He’s been in the game 20 years now and has the lyrical versatility to be gritty/demo (“Illmatic”), commercial (“It Was Written”), go over most cats’ heads (“I Am”, “Stillmatic”, “Nigger”) and maintain the early 90s vibe that he entered the game with. Hard to move him off the top of this list — apologies to G. Rap.
2. Kool G. Rap.
G. Rap was one of the pioneers of complex, grimy, gangster rap — when most of New York was still on the jazzy side, mixed with the boom bap. G. Rap kept it raw and gutta. His metaphors and wordplay gave birth to guys’ styles such as A. Mafia and others similar. Having been in the game over 20 years now, and still able to battle/beat almost anyone in the game, you have to give the man credit.
3. LL Cool J.
Off sheer longevity, eternal impact on the game (including breaking into movies and TV without compromising his overall image) more than top tier lyrical ability — although he was one of the first with a rather complex flow in the mid-1980s. His work since 1997 has been unspectacular in the booth, but his complete body of work and 6 classic to near-classic albums cannot be disputed. 25 years and counting.
4. MC Shan.
Yeah, I said it. And if you ask “Who???” then refrain from commenting on any of my Hip-Hop columns.
5. Mobb Deep.
C’mon son, they brought New York back in 1994 on the strength of ONE SONG. And then held it down for a decade after that.
A Tribe Called Quest