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BET's Top 10 Rappers Of The 21st Century


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Em, Kanye, and 50(Jay-Z too even though he ain't listed) are definately better than half of the rappers on that list but I just haven't really been able to get into them that much to say that they're among the greatest, in other words when I compare them with the other BET rappers they're listenable but when you compare them to the greats that don't get much airplay these days they fall short, people over the years been trying to get me into them, I got used CDs from them that just collect dust it seems, I just can't and won't believe the hype, if I list them as the greats of the 2000s decade then it'd be a disrespect to the great artists out there that deserve more credit.... Luda and Jada are closer to being among the greats than they are to me, Jada's first solo album came out in 2001 even though there was a couple LOX albums out already and Lil' Wayne's first solo album was '99 even though he was out before with Cash Money Millionaires, Lil' Wayne has always been one of the most annoying rappers to me, he only got really popular in recent years 'cause got more trashier taste in music, back in the late '90s and the 2000s at least there was the Ruff Ryders putting out quality music on the mainstream front as an alternative to that garbage bling-bling rap out there but now there's no more variety in the mainstream, Will summed it up perfectly on "Lost & Found" about how 99% of the videos and songs are all the same... Oh yeah, Chamillionaire really emerged as one of the best and creative southern rappers but people always seem to forget that, "Ridin' Dirty" put him on the map in 2005 after several creative mixtapes and he released a profanity free album in 2007 in 'Ultimate Victory' which is one of my favorites in recent years, he's intelligent, witty, and a skillful mc, he has potential to be another southern legend like Scarface, Bun B, and don't forget about Big Boi and Andre 3000 from Outkast who released the diamond album "Speakerboxx/The Love Below" in 2003 which was worth the hype without a doubt to me, sure they came out in the mid 90s but they were dominating the 2000s with creative music and that film "Idlewild" is one of the DVDs I constantly like playing.... Snoop Dogg should be given more credit than he gets as well, he put out a lot of quality music in the 2000s, his music videos are very creative as well, I think he kept the west coast hip hop scene alive along with Game and Ice Cube, he's a bigger west coast legend than Dr. Dre to me....

Edited by bigted
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I figure I'd post the introduction of Kool Moe Dee's book again 'cause it's relevant to how people just don't seem to give credit to the true artists of the game since their knowledge for the music is limited:

ASK A HIP HOP FAN, "Who's The Best EMCEE?", and immediately they begin naming the hottest rappers of the day. Some start naming their favorite records, and maybe quoting a few or more simplistic one-liners or popular hooks that they can sing-a-long with. But if asked the difference between a rapper and an emcee suddenly there's a look of confusion. Or if you ask the difference between a rapper, an emcee and a hip hop artist they won't know what to say. The difference between a lyricist and a flower? A rhymer and a poet? Or any combination of the above and forget it. Rarely what you hear is expertise. I hear a lot of a passion and a lot of emotion but no expertise.
Of course music is an emotional vehicle, and it is about emotion and passion and feeling, but it will take a trained ear to be able to hear the emcee. Like in the NBA, the fans get to vote on the All-Star game which is about the favorites, but that's not necessarily who is the best in the league. When it comes to the MVPs and the All-Time greats that's beyond the fans voting. That's where it takes expertise to break down the nuances of the game.
One might ask, "What about the journalists?" For the journalists or scibes of the Hip Hop industry there are major problems, three in particular. One is the payoffs and the labels contribution. A lot of fans don't really understand how much money it takes to run a magazine. They may not understand how much money labels, publicists and publicity departments contribute to the writers and what they're paying for. They're literally being paid for their opinions. Usually, as we say in the industry, they're the best opinions money can buy. When you see a favorable opinion it's usually based on who's being marketed or promoted at the time, rarely are these journalists honest. Once in a while the KRS-One's, the Rakim's, the Kool G Rap's, and similar emcees will come alongs that are so lyrical and so great in their prowess that you get some form of honesty, but it's usually not case.
Usually it is definately about how much money is being spent to make sure that the artist receives a favorable opinion. Thesecond problem I have is the voting by committee, after all the money is spent creating the images and personae and in many cases record sales theses same writers vote on who's the best of thesecreations. It is amazing to me to see when people spend money to promote an artist as if he's one thing even though his image and his lyrical skill level may not have anything other than you spent money to promote him. People will start to buy into these very highly promoted personas and start to treat the artist as if the personae are an actual real fact. There are a few emcees that mandate the respect based on their skills, but more times than not based on the money spent and image created people are voting on the personnas. A lot of journalists don't have the heart to against the grain of the popular artist at the time. I call this the Godzilla syndrome. You create a fake monster, and then respond as if the monster is real. Welcome to the music industry. The final problem I have has to do with credentials and credibility. What reference point does the journalist use when forming these opinions? How far back did they go? Usually, if you do the numbers and the math you'd see that the average journalist writing on Hip Hop is somewhere between twenty, twenty five, maybe thirty. Which means if you go back ten years ago that person is somewhere between 10-15. So if you were 10 in 1993 that means you missed 14 years of recorded Hip Hop and another nine years of unrecorded Hip Hop. So your opinion has to be formed on a combination of other writings and other opinions you've seen over the years, or the short window of information that you may have on Hip Hop based on how old you were when you were able to experience it and comprehend what was going on. This is a very big problem in the industry because this is how you see a situation where an icon in Hip Hop like Afrika Bambaataa or DJ Hollywood goes unrecognised for his contribution because the person who is 10 years old in 1993 is born in 1983, he doesn't really know.
Finally, like rap fans, there are few experts, and of the few experts that are even fewer that go beyond hit records and hot artists. So then one would ask, "Why me?" What makes me so different? What seperates me from the pack? What seperates me from the pact of opinionated fans, artists and scribes- allow me to count the ways.
First off I have extended experience. I've been rhyming at a high level since 1977, and at an elite level since 1979. I'm one of the few artists who was able to make the transition from the street era before there was records, to when they finally made records, to when it became a full out business. I have hits as a group, I have hits as a soloist, and a writer. I've been making hits since 1980 to 1992. I've been undefeated in all Hip Hop battles. I'm the first rapper to win an NAACP Image Award, and also a multi-Grammy nominated and Grammy winner. Number two, there's no payola, no one can buy my opinion. My integrity will not be compromised by popularity. I have nothing vested in this other than passion for clarity, and to give acknowledgement and recognition to those who usually don't get it. Finally, no one to my knowledge has comprised a more extensive list with the intricacies of breaking down so many aspects of emceeing. Because of my experience or intimate understanding of the aspects of emceeing that are usually overlooked when determining whose the best emcee in the game, I can break down emcees from the past to present with a clear understanding of the different jobrequirements of each era of emcees. I absolutely know the difference of what a storytelling emcee is going for as opposed to what a braggadocios emcee is going for. I can thoroughly explain why Missy Misdemeanor Elliot is not a great emcee as lyrical as Cannibus can be relatively unknown because hasn't had a hit record, yet he's still one of the best rhymers in the game today.
I understand this is a business and emcees, rappers, and artists all have to make hits to survive, but as with most big business it is always solely about the money, and whenever that's the case then usually the art is compromised. So big respect and much love to all of the successful rappers and Hip Hop artists, but this book is about the emcee.
Let's get crackin'.

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Excuse me, but 1999-now, how is Jay-Z NOT ON THE LIST? What? Hello, his Dynasty album in 2000, The Blueprint in 2001/2, his Black Album, American Gangster, and his BP3.

Of course BET was gonna not get it right. But considering how 'they' view hip hop and promote it and stuff, they got the list right. I mean, it is from 1999-now. Drake is hot/popular or whatever, but just let him be an honorable mention. What dues has he had in the game? Even though I don't think highly of Lil Wayne, he's paid his dues. From being just another white shirt, blinged out thug in Cash Money, to assumeably "the hottest rapper" for the last couple years. Jay-Z passed it to Lil Wayne, and Wayne passed it to Drake.

It's something about society's general viewpoint. It's similar to wrestling. The more talent you have in the ring, the more they want to limit you so you can be the most popular to make them money. It's too much of a risk to try something too new. You could spit fire all day. But they want you to "dumb it down" or generalize your raps so everyone gets it and you sell more. Lupe's great but won't sell as much as Jay-Z because Jay lowers the boom so all can get it. It's like we know you can hit at 80 mph but we want you at 40 mph. Indies, artists have freedom, but not as big of a platform. Big time labels, the platform is huge with more eyes and ears watching, but they want to limit you, because the risk is too great if it doesn't work. It's some trippy stuff. Another thing, I bet there was talented artists under LL Cool J when he was the hottest rapper in America. Same way that's probably the case with Drake (presumably) at the top now. I think hip hop has been at a state of "Same Sound, Different Rapper", that's all. A few tweaks here and there, but it's wash, rinse, repeat.

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Hey Michael I remember a couple years ago I was talking to you in the chat room about how real artists like LL Cool J and Chuck D should start their own network for quality hip hop to get airplay, ultimately that's something that needs to be considered 'cause real artists need another platform to present their art... LL Cool J has tried to help get some fresh new rappers into the game with his Boomdizzle.com but that don't seem to be catching on as well as it should be at this point.... With rappers like Kel Spencer and Papoose it's sorta like how there's some street ballers in Brooklyn that got as much talent as any high paid NBA star but they just don't get their break to present it to the world... Btw, Rakim's one album released between 1999-2010 "The Seventh Seal" last year is more listenable and is more quality than all of Jay-Z' albums combined in the last 10 years, it's about quality not quanity my friend, the only album that I'd consider a great hip hop Jay-Z album is "Reasonable Doubt".... Most of the great music released is done over a course of time, when music is rushed it doesn't sound that good, that's the problem with a lot of artists, they rush things too much, I think LL Cool J does it best by giving a 2-3 year space between his albums that way he could absorb things as an artist and come out with a quality album rather than rush to put anything out, I could personally wait until 2015 for another Fresh Prince album 'cause "Lost and Found" is a timeless album that's holding up better than mostly anything out these days...

Edited by bigted
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Is the Boomdizzle like for anybody, like the caliber of Da Brakes, Mike Petrow, and myself, or something more official?

And exactly, with your point about the NBA and street ballers. I think it's that way with every single industry/business that exists.

Jay-Z's had some other good ones too though, even if they were too commerically successful for certain people's liking.

Yeah, nowadays it is quantity. It's like everybody wants to put out quality but because they feel they have to do it in a certain time frame to stay relevant, the quality gets compromised. Artists release an album every year, as opposed to every few years. And in that span of time, they're on tour, and promoting singles and other stuff. Since times are fast with technology, so too is how the music industry operates. Trying to stay relevant and worry about the limelight. Will Smith doesn't need to do it. LL Cool J dones't need to do it. It may having something to do with them not being in demand like they used to either, but again times have changed. Drake has an album out, and then he's doing a mixtape, and right back in the studio for his next release barely promoting his current one. Maybe rap is just in a class by itself as far as work ethic is concerned. R&B and rock acts don't have to do an album every year, but hip hop apparently does. Like Drake can't afford to take time off, and see if he'll be in demand to come back out because somebody will "take his spot". But Mariah Carey for example can take time off and not put out her next album until 2 years later and it will be like she never left. A lot like after Will put out L&F, us & all his fans were hungry for another album after so long. Jay-Z went away, but people demanded he come back just one more time, and he did. Now can he go chill somewhere and make a baby with Beyonce??? lol.

What about B.o.B? I'm not trying to argue him into the top 10, but he's pretty good for 2010/2011 rappers out. I mean as far as guys doing their thing now and are popular.

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B.O.B. is definately one of my favorite new mcs out there, he's very versatile with the rapping, singing, and production, it's like he's another eclectic artist like Wyclef Jean since he could do a lot of things at a high level... Everything's instant now which isn't always a good thing in my opinion, not just my opinion since researchers say too much instant stuff is bad for your health, Nas' song "New World" describes it perfectly about how the world has changed, the most basic thing like seeing the day and surviving is more important ultimately 'cause for instance I lost my uncle's girlfriend to cancer last year who was very close to me, no instant thing can replace a good friendship... Now as far as music is concerned you could see how other popular rappers are following Jay-Z' formula of releasing music constantly which is not a good thing 'cause most of what they release is not that good, the only rappers that released quality music at a constant pace between 1999-2010 were Nas, KRS-ONE, and Public Enemy who was the first act in music to release music online in the late '90s so they started this internet revolution, btw I'm buying a Public Enemy box set of all the material that they released since 1998, it's quite a body of work if you ask me, they only get credit for their early Def Jam work but their music today is still just as strong, Chuck D is 50 years old now and he still has the most powerful voice in hip hop, rappers like Lil' Wayne and Drake who are in their 20s don't even come close to matching Mistachuck's energy and intelligence as a powerful mc, on th real the best formula is the way most of the greats do it by releasing music in the space of time since people could take the time to enjoy their material 'cause look at the message by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, that verse that Melle Mel rapped on that song is still as powerful today just as it was back then, real music is timeless, LL said it best that he don't consider himself a old school or a new school rapper, he's a "classic rapper", 2Pac said before he was murdered that he was gonna release music every few years like Paul Mccartney....

In reality as a spiritual person I believe that really that the people who stay true themselves in music or any profession will ultimately be more rewarded when they die than the ones who are the most rewarded down here in this world, God's watching and he knows that the person who does the right thing is making a difference no matter how many people that they touch... Now btw you, me, Da Brakes, Mike Petrow, or anybody out there can join LL's "Boomdizzle".com and post music for people to hear, it's a forum opened to the public....

Straight from the website:
About Boomdizzle

Are you a superstar? Can you rock the mic? Can you stand up to all those that will try to take you down? Are you ready for fame and fortune? Boomdizzle will give you your shot. It's up to you what you do with it. Want to be famous?

Boomdizzle is an online community designed for aspiring artists to record, share, and remix original music and video content. With famous recording artist LL Cool J as part of the founding team, we know what it takes to make it.

Whenver I need motivation I like reading this LL Cool J from Allhiphop.com Interview from a couple years ago, he's a true inspiration and that's why I think he should be considered the G.O.A.T.:

Edited by bigted
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Speaking of motivation, I felt motivated from just listening to KRS-ONE's 'Hip Hop Lives' to write a verse:

Who says I can't make a stand?
I display more energy than an entire band
Holding the flame for the entire land
You could take this any way you want it
Even if I don't make your list, I'm still running this
If I'm the one to give in
I'll no longer be living
really nothing is a given
But I stay on top defending
As if I was the top pro Scottie Pippen
Even if I don't get the rings
I'm still a hall of famer like Patrick Ewing
So go ahead and sport your bling
I put all my soul into the presperation
The sweat is like the tears being displayed
It's clear I'm on top of the game plan
I don't get concussions so the knowledge is discussed quick
The way some of you rhyme is disgusting
A whole of words that're saying nothing
I rather create a few jewels
Than live like a fool
'Cause what benefit will that do?
I work to pay the dues
Even when my name ain't on the news
I'm still able to remain cool

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I don't how The Roots could slip everyone's minds when it comes to consistant hip hop in the 21st century, they make some incredible political stuff, it's like they took what Public Enemy did to new heights, still doing it strong for the 2010-2011 with two albums, "How I Got Over" is a great album but it got slept on since it came out during the hype of Eminem's release, and now including this "Wake Up" album with John Legend I didn't get yet but from what I heard about it won't be dissapointing, it's going on my Xmas wish list:

They're so great even President Obama has them perform for him at events:

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