here's my top ten
10. eminem - admittedly if this was a few years ago i would have ranked him much higher, but he has sucked lately & i learned much more about hip-hop, but nothing compares to his early career from infinite to the marshall mathers lp, and the eminem show wasn't so bad. and still noone can beat him in a freestyle, so if we're talking emcees he has to be on the list. and i hate to say this. but proof's death might make eminem want to make great songs again.
9. jay-z - just cause you're commercial doesn't mean that you suck (even though most do). jay has a classic album under his belt (blueprint) and is pretty good lyrically when he's not biting.
8. LL Cool J - the only artist that has lasted so long and is still popular in hip-hop. end of story
7. tupac - yes, he does make amazing songs and has amazing lyrics and great messages, but there's only about 15-20 of those songs. so undeniably tupac is a great artist. but i don't see him being ranked higher (i also don't think that if he was still alive he'd be this widely considered as the greatest ever)
6. Black Thought - this guys flows are crazy, and being part of the most original hip-hop group ever isn't so bad either.
5. Talib Kweli - great lyrics, great flow (granted mos def's is a bit better). and already has 2 classic albums (black star & reflection eternal). and quality and the beautiful struggle were amazing too.
4. Nas - too lazy to think of an explanation for this one. hopefully everyone understands it
3. Common - personally. i don't like how common doesn't get respect. he has arguably the greatest hip-hop song ever made (i used to love h.e.r.) . multiple classic albums. amazing flow & lyrics. it's no wonder a lotta mc's have said "truthfully i wanna rhyme like common sense"
i've been debating about who's number one. & both of those are so close. i kept flip-flopping but in the end i gave the edge to krs-one cuz he's been more stable and has more albums under his belt.
and i was not biased at all. my favorite artists personally are talib kweli, eminem & JJFP. so you can see i'm not biased.
and yes it was really hard for me to not put JJFP in there. but they are definitely in the top 15.
comments. questions. concerns ?