The best rappers of all time may be one of the most controversial topics when it comes to the rap game. Everybody has their own argument for who deserves to be considered for the top five, but I will give you my top five and why.
My top five rappers of all time from five to one are Kanye West, Jay-Z, Nas, Tupac, and Notorious B.I.G. To me, all these rappers brought their own flare to the game and ultimately changed the rap game and what it means to be a rapper.
I struggled with filling the fifth spot but finally decided upon Kanye West. Many people may ask why Kanye over others. Kanye West’s album College Dropout changed the landscape of the rap game.
It was no longer all about drugs and guns but now about how to better yourself. Kanye brought his battle with his spirituality to his rap by adding a church choir to songs and titling a song “I am a God.” What I appreciate most from Kanye West is how he bridged a gap between the haves and have nots by collaborating with both of them.
I decided to fill my fourth spot with Jay-Z. Jay-Z has come a long way from his first album, Reasonable Doubt, where he was spitting rapid-fire lyrics without any flow or wordplay. Now Jay-Z is not just a rapper but he became a business man and a label.
Jay-Z earned this spot due his sustained success in the rap game. Jay-Z rapped about the three basic thing most rappers rapped about (drugs, money, and women) but he was able to build off those things and stay relevant in the game. Jay-Z’s most successful accomplishment in his career was an ability to go from street corner to a front office seat.
Nas is taking the thrid spot on my top five. Nas’ first album Illmatic started his career on the right track. In Illmatic, Nas influenced the rap game in more ways then he could’ve imagined.
Nas didn’t fill the basic mold of an everyday rapper; instead of putting guns, cars, and women on his cover, he would put a picture of himself and the project in which he grew up. Nas also used his albums as an autobiography. Nas indirectly molded other Brooklyn rappers, such as Jay-Z, who changed his flow from fast-spitting ryhmes to more wordplay and flow.
Tupac Shakur is no doubt filling my number two spot. He is hands down one of the greatest rappers of all time. It really needs no explanation, but for argument purposes, I’ll give it to you.
Tupac was a true artist; he used his voice not only in rap but also in poetry to bring light to the ghetto and the mistreatment of the people in the ghetto. Tupac was also one of the first rappers to speak about his own life and bring his heart into the songs shown in his song, Dear Mama, where he apologized publically to his mother for all the pain he put her through. Even though he is dead, his legacy still continues to grow and be the blueprint for up and coming rappers.
Notorious B.I.G is the greatest rapper of all time and fills out my top five. Even though Biggie was only in the game for a short while, his impact was incredible. Biggie transformed rap and I can tell you why.
Biggie’s flow was unmatchable and it came so naturally to him. He spoke the truth in all his raps and wasn’t afraid to talk about the life on the streets. Biggie’s beats were his canvas, his words were the paint brush, and he painted a brilliant picture every single time.
According to Billboard, the top 5 rappers of all time are Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Eminem, Rakim, and Nas. This list honestly disgusts me because how is it even possible that Tupac is not included in the top five?
I can’t close this without giving notable and deserving rappers an honorable mention, like Eminem, Lil Wayne, Rakim, J-Cole, and Kendrick Lamar.