Many hip hop fans who are “in the know” claim that there are not any good rappers in the mainstream, but is this really true? Are not some of the greats- names like
Best Rappers Description:
Method Man, Rakim, Eminem and Melle Mel- respected both in the underground and the mainstream?
In my opinion, popularity has nothing to do with quality. Your album can go platinum, but if it’s produced by Dr. Dre or the Nepunes, there may be another reason
than your incredible rap skills. Likewise, rappers with incredible talent may never hit the main stream for a variety of reasons- they lack sex appeal, do not “look” the part, obscure song topics, beats that are not catchy, etc.- none of which can the MC be considered at fault. Artists such as Brother Ali, Aesop Rock, Talib Kweli and Ras Kass immediately come to mind as rappers who could have (even should have) been more popular but never were.
In order to remain in the underground, a rapper must remain true to themselves. However, if they stick to what they’re good at, should not this-at least in a perfect world- help them achieve the levels of success enjoyed by more commercial acts? Frankly, I have no problem watching artists like Outkast, Method Man or Eminem top the charts … hopefully it will keep them in the booth doing what they do best.
In conclusion, a dope rapper is a dope rapper. Whether they are number one on the charts are have never been signed, talent as an MC is a great thing, regardless of the number of fans.