Within Hip Hop culture, determining one’s Top 5 is a debate that will seemingly continue forever. So, with that being said, I’ve asked artists to share and justify their Top 5 selections…
Namebe Soul – Top 5 Rappers
“The thing with Jay Elec is he could have easily been swapped with other rappers such as Black Thought because of his low amount of content. Therefore, these two tend to swap places. However, Jay, man..this guy is just such a beast. Some of the things he can do with words are crazy. He can say two lines and blow your mind and sometimes he is very simple with it; ‘Yeah, so if a n*gga put a president’s mask on and run up in the bank with a mac saying gimme gimme I ain’t glad at ’em, but I ain’t mad at ’em’. Other times he isn’t; ‘They call me Jay Electronica, F*ck that, Call me Jay ElecHannukah, Jay ElecYarmulke, Jay ElectRamadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Subhanahu Wa ta ala through your monitor'”.
“At one point, and to be honest, most points of my love for music, Nas has been my number one, though sometimes it changes around, he can never leave the Top 5. He has had such a lasting influence on me. Whenever I listen to ‘Queens Get The Money’, I can’t fathom what was going on in the studio to create that. He has shown time and time again over 20 years how clever he is with his poetry and sword. His description game is unquestionable, he is a rapper who makes you feel like you are right there with him. If rap was like the PS2 with wired controllers, he basically provided the PS3 to me with the wireless.”
“This man has so many talents on the mic and so many ideas that he can make three different albums, three different ways and still have you loving every bit. Being a part of arguably the most consistent and ground breaking rap group he is just a joy to the ear. To me, Andre has the best flow of all time and the way that he can carry this flow out effortlessly while depicting a striking message or having fun just sets him apart. It’s like he doesn’t even need to try, it’s just in his hands to bend words at his whim.”
“Just remember all caps when you spell the man’s name. DOOM is so crazy. Anyone who loves rap – truly loves rap – can’t help but admire the excellence of the man’s pen. Read this ‘Ahem, elixir for the dry throat, Tried to hit the high note, Villain since a itsy bitsy zygote’, or, ‘Metal Face Finster playing with the dirty money, Sinister, don’t know what he saying but the words be funny.’ I could go on all day. Nearly every DOOM line is a quotable and he can still have fun through all his various egos. DOOM changed the game to me in the same effect as Nas.”
“Now all these previous rappers listed have done it longer than Kendrick and, to me, are where he should be aspiring to get to. He is my favourite rapper because not only do I see him getting there, I see him potentially surpassing them. His hunger to be the best is an honourable example to fellow rappers. He has taken from all those before him and utilised it to be completely lethal, sort of like Deadpool. He can straight give you bars for days, sit you down and make you contemplate life or give you stories that can rival the likes of Marvin Gaye. [Untitled Unmastered] has some songs that any great rapper would have on their album.”