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BET's Top 10 Rappers Of The 21st Century


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Jada and Luda are the only 2 rappers on this top 10 that I actually like listening to and respect, this shows you how hip hop is at a dying level, most of the best rappers came out in the 20th century and actually put out better music in recent time than the rappers on this list could dream of, for example "Lost & Found" by Will is better than anything Drake could ever dream of making, and btw AJ you know how critical I've been of Nick Cannon's rapping abilities but I'd even listen to his album before anything by half of the rappers on this list, I'd personally rather eat dog food than listen to most of today's crap:

BET held it's round table discussion to determine the "Top Ten Rappers Of The 21st Century" last night October 15.

After many heated arguments, the list was finalized. Fans are bound to find the list controversial.

Right off the top I noticed one glaring omission.

Here's how the list was decided according to BET.com

BET’s "Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century" is a fierce, no-holds-barred, hour-long special that reveals the ultimate Top 10 List of the last decade’s hottest rappers, whose careers blew up from 1999 to today.

BET’s "Top 10 Rappers" is the definitive hip-hop countdown by the ground-breaking network that gave love to hip-hop before anyone else dared. BET threw open nominations to BET digital followers, industry bloggers and other social influencers (our “Grand Jury”). More than 25,000 votes later, they returned a Top 15 list of rappers for consideration. Now, our “Hip-Hop Supreme Court” is convening to vote on the final Top Ten, based on a rapper’s: flow, lyrics, subject matter, cultural impact, dough, and as needed in the arsenal of a 21st Century rapper –digital skills (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, their own website, etc.).

The Court represents all of the regions of the country, and consists of nine select industry insiders – many of whom were raised on hip-hop: Jermaine Dupri (Producer - ATL); Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur (AllHipHop.com); Boy 1da (Producer);DJ Diamond Kuts (Power 99 FM - Philadelphia); DJ Greg Street (V103 - ATL); Tony Neal (CEO, Core DJs); DJ Timbuck2 (107.5 WGCI – Chicago); Chloe Hilliard (Managing Editor/Social Media Manager, Vibe Magazine - NYC); and DJ Vlad (VladTV.com - NYC).

In their technologically tricked-out courtroom, the Court is led by the Justice – Big Tigger, who takes them through the debates and discussions about each of their own Top 10 rankings. Live votes allow Court members to sway each others’ minds about their original Top 10 Lists with each countdown position!

The Top 10

# 1 Eminem
Selling more records than anyone on the list, Eminem is not only praised for his commercial success, but is highly respected by his peers for his skill.

# 2 Lil Wayne
Lil' Wayne is a rock star. The Young Money Millionaire has shown the most growth in the 21st century.

# 3 Kanye West
The highly successful rapper/producer Kanye West is more than just a rapper. But the level of his rap game has been elevated since his debut.

# 4 50 Cent
In less than 10 years, 50 Cent has released four albums, three of which have gone platinum (or in some cases, multi-platinum). This controversial rapper has consistently put out hits.

# 5 T.I.
ATL-native T.I. may be controversial in his actions, but when it comes to rap, this MC has got the South on lock

# 6 Ludacris
It's hard to talk about the 21st century without mentioning Ludacris. The Atlanta-based rapper is arguably one of the most consistent when it comes to the quality of his music.

# 7 Drake
Aubrey "Drake" Graham has managed to win over the hearts of hip hop fans this past year. After releasing his debut album, "Thank Me Later," Drake has shown that he is the one to watch

# 8 Young Jeezy
Young Jeezy bumps in every whip, from the North to the South. This Southern MC is respected for his hardcore delivery and thug narratives.

# 9 Jadakiss
Jadakiss has always been praised for his complex rhymes and the meaning behind his words.

# 10 Officer Rick Ross
Rick Ross bossed up the game in the 21st century. He is one of the few rappers to survive a 50 Cent rivalry by continuing to put out quality music

So there you have it. What do you guys think of the list? Who should have been left off and who should have made it in their place?

Edited by bigted
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Hip Hop is alive and well, we all can name 10 amazing rappers of the 21st century, **** BET

**** BET was the exact thought I had when I read that list, there's definately at least 10 amazing rappers out there now doing their thing, BET don't play em

Btw, I think I'd come up with my own list of 10 rappers that came out in the late '90s and made impact into the new millenium that BET ignored:

DMX(he's a major reason why real hip hop was getting airplay in the early 2000s)

Talib Kweli

Mos Def

Big Pun(sure he died but his impact is still being felt today more than living rappers)

Big L(same as above0


Styles P


Fabolous(slept on)

Jean Grae

honorable mentions as far as commercial hip hop's concerned they did make an impact in song making in the new millenium and being more consistant than Eminem and 50 combined, I ain't a big fan of them but I give em props:

Ja Rule


Now I could come with a list of 10 hip hop legends from the golden era of the '80s and '90s that still do their thing today:

Nas(most consistant)

KRS-ONE("Hip Hop Lives" when people listen to him)

LL Cool J(from "G.O.A.T." to "Exit 13" he still's in his prime)

Busta Rhymes (great video entertainment)

Fresh Prince ("Willenium" and "Lost and Found" nuff said)

Wyclef Jean

Ice Cube


Fat Joe(underrated legend)

Queen Latifah

Honorable Mentions: Rakim and Heavy D didn't do much since '99 but last year they proved they still got it with their new albums, we all know that if Slick Rick released an album tomorrow that it'd be dope as hell, still doing his shows with Doug E, and btw Pac and Guru are making their impact from beyond the grave as well...

Now hip hop wouldn't be dying if the more of the fans and media paid attention to those 20+ rappers I mentioned in this post, but like Kool Moe Dee said "There's A God On The Mic" it's all propaganda and bull**** and that's why the true artists don't get noticed...

Edited by bigted
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I watched some of their debates and it made me laugh. I like a handful of people who were discussing who should be at the top. I don't take the commercial side of Hip-Hop/Rap serious at all when it comes to the last 10 years. Without saying things have already been said, emcees like FP, LL, Common Sense, have all released quality albums and even had success in it. Today's fans of popular music show that they do not require talent, skill, creativity, originality, etc in the music that mindlessly listen to.

The list is garbage. I think Eminem has released 3 great albums in the past 10 years. However, more than half of that 10 years was spent being completely annoying, inconsistent, and making weak music. I love where he's at in his career right now but right now isn't the last 10 years. I also think Ludacris, who also isn't consistent in the quality of his music, has improved over the years. I could literally say that everyone else on that list has an annoying voice, isn't very lyrical (if at all) and usually have weak production.

This list isn't Hip-Hop.

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Yeah when Luda first came out 10 years ago I thought he looked like another annoying dirty south rapper but he's really improved into one of the true artists on the commercial front, especially in the latter half of the past decade... Btw I truely believe that Eminem and 50 are mirror images of each other, I thought that they both released great 1st albums but then they went downhill fast, now in the last year they're actually making better music, 50's "Before I Self Destruct" is the best since his 1st just like Eminem's "Recovery" is his best since his first but like AJ mentioned that don't justify most of the last 10 years being the most annoying rappers, if they were that inconsistant during the golden era of hip hop they wouldn't have survived but today you could get away with being wack it seems but whoever's a real fan of hip hop knows that they don't come close to the consistancy that the true legends of the game have... They also all know that Scarface is the real king of the south, not TI.... Public Enemy said it best "Don't Believe The Hype", but most fans do seem to believe it and that's why they argue over who's the richest more than who's the most talented...

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That list sucked.

# 1 Eminem
# 2 Kanye West
# 3 Little Brother
# 4 Ludacris
# 5 Jadakiss
# 6 Nelly
# 7 50 Cent
# 8 T.I.
# 9 Lil Wayne
# 10 Jean Grae

Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and Drake are completely garbage. If they mention them, they should have also mentioned Nelly.

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Papoose never put out an album yet but with all the mixtapes and guest appearance he's done in the last 10 years he should get some credit for, he put in a lot of work, he would destroy a lot of people's top 10 rappers of today, I believe he's like Kel Spencer in a sense that he can't over the hump to get the big break, his wife Remy Ma is a lyrical beast too, she's a way better female rapper than that garbage Nicki Minaj even though she ain't that easy on the eyes, btw they're playing TLC's "Waterfalls" on the radio right now that I'm listening too, Left Eye is the female version of 2Pac it don't get no realer than that.... Nelly and Ja Rule made the formula like I mentioned for what it takes to make a hit record in the new millenium, Kool Moe Dee gave them acknowledgement for that in "There's A God On The Mic", Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and Drake wouldn't exist if it weren't for them.... To be honest with you Jin your list isn't that much better than that crap BET list since you mention most of what they did, for instance if the list was made 5 years ago I would consider Kanye West one of the top rappers but he don't do it for me no more, his skills don't live up to his ego, LL calls himself the "Greatest Of All Time" but he puts out classic music to back that up, Will says we're living in the "Willenium" now and the way his entertainment is impacting the world proves that, but Kanye talks how he's the second coming of Jesus while he's basically an average rapper who could produce an occasional hot track, the best song he made was written by Rhymefest in "Jesus Walks" as well, I think Rhymefest is a better rapper than him too even though he ain't that famous, come on now, the real hip hop ain't on the airwaves... I had to come back to say one more thing: I would like to see a logical explanation of how you could put Lil' Wayne on the same list as Little Brother, haven't heard one yet, that has me scratching my head, not many people recognise the greatness of groups like Little Brother but when you listen to them it makes rappers Lil' Wayne and TI sound like children, that's like saying Kanye's on the same level as Q-Tip...

Edited by bigted
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That list was just about album sales and recognition Over the last decade for new rappers in that period, and they added Drake so that young kids dont start arguing.

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BET don't play real hip hop so what could you expect from them, real music fans don't take em seriously anymore, especially since "Rap City" is gone, Big Tigger would kill a lot of the popular rappers in "The Booth" with his sick freestyles

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I think just putting together a simple top 10 list like that is difficult. It is obivisous that you can name 10 rappers from the last 10 years that are better than for example Kanye, but I think he still should be mentioned. I think Ted did it right with his honorable mentions, I think Kanye, 50, Nelly & Ja Rule should be mentioned even though they aren't the best MC's. There are a lot of rappers that spit better than Kany, but the fact remains that he did release one of the best albums that came out this decade. Guys like Termanology and Torae might be way better in the booth, but they did not release a Late Registration yet. 50 Cent needs to get some props, can't front on that. Ja Rule and Nelly made some of the catchiest songs the last ten years have to offer. They are hit makers, they created classic hits, no one will forget Dillema or Always on Time, but will somebody still remember Drake's newest hit 10 years from now? Laffy Taffy, anone? If it was up to me, I would make a list without numbers. I would drop some names that I think deserve to be mentioned when it comes to the last 10 years, without putting them in a specific order. On, and by the way, Bun B is king of the south :prof:

P.S. Some of those Rappers on that BET list came out before 2000.. Lil Wayne, Eminem, Jadakiss (!!).. whats up with that

Edited by Turntable
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I'm with you Turntable on the point that there's no definative list, the way BET did it was way off, I think they should come with a list of the top rappers between 2000-2010 and it shouldn't matter if they debuted in 1984 or 2004 to me the best is the best no matter what, it's just like in rock where people consider Rolling Stones one of the best groups even though they came out over 40 years ago they're still selling out shows just like the newer groups like Nickelback, in hip hop Public Enemy still does their thing just like newer groups like Little Brother do their thing, other forms of music recognise artists from all eras but hip hop messes up and just plays stuff from today..... Kanye made an impact when he came out that shouldn't be forgotten but his downfall is when he tried doing too much pop stuff, that happens to a lot of rappers though it seems, if he does more work with rappers like Common and Rhymefest and less with Lil' Wayne and Young Jeezy then he could get back on track.... "Laffy Taffy" was a hit record for the time being but now it's look at as a joke, it's like Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby", the majority of radio stuff today won't last but the real fans know what's up.... Bun B is dope too, you could say it's a toss up between him and Scarface...

Edited by bigted
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Jay-Z is like Eminem and 50 in the sense that he's been popular but not consistant, a lot of the music he put out isn't as great as his 1st album and besides Nas beat him in the battle, sales don't mean everything, that'd mean that Nelly is a better rapper than KRS-ONE, he's a good songmaker but he ain't no legend

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The thing for me is that the list cannot include Jay if it is from last decade. Jay came out in Biggies days. Jada shouldnt be there either because the Lox is from the 90's. Eminem should be on the list because his success came late 99 and 2000.

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Personally I would take out of that list guys like Drake, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross and perhaps Lil Wayne who started sounding hard after Lollipop. 50, Eminem, Kanye and Luda belong to every rap conversation of that decade!

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