Top Best Rappers of All Time There are so many lists out there that claim the “50 Best Rappers,” or “Best 100 Rappers.” I’ve been sucked into watching a few of them, and it seems that when they finally get down to the good stuff, I always wind up ranting and raving for hours afterwards.
In all honesty, do you REALLY think Lil ‘Wayne is the best rapper alive? Do you really believe that Nas is the greatest of all time?
Here’s my top five list, and I’ll explain each one as we go. Keep in mind, I have placed them in alphabetical order, because I feel when you get to this level of skill, it’s impossible to say one is better than the other. So here we go:
1. Aesop Rock. You can not get much more off the beat path than this. Drop dead genius lyrics, the kind you can listen to for years and still be surprised by what he says. “I told this cat the earth was flat / He walked the planet till his beard was long enough to strangle him for being stupid” There is no other MC in the world who sounds like him. He is in his own arena, and no one can touch him. A true master, and one of the best rappers ever,
2.Brother Ali . In my opinion, the best rapper right now. Whereas Aesop Rock is cutting edge, Brother Ali is a throw back to hip hop’s golden era, mixing intricate rhymes (“way I maneuverur kama sutra give me a statue”)) call-and-responses and solid songwriting. He also has the most powerful voice since Chuck D.
3. Eminem . One of the best lyricists ever, and sometimes the best hip hop songwriter period. He has written songs with a consistent rhyme scheme through (“The Way I Am”) great battle tracks like “Role Model” and amidst a lot of trash talking, he managed to actually say something along the way. Also, of the MC’s in this list, he is probably the best freestyler, too.
4. Melle-Mel . The Godfather. He took hip hop to a new level, and his songs remain as applicable now as they were decades ago. I always feel that Mell-Mel is not rapping, he’s talking directly to me, driving points home with each rhyme. Really, if you do not have any old Melle-Mel records, go out and buy them. He is the first of a long tradition, and still remains one of the best rappers.
5. Rakim . Many claim Rakim is the best rapper ever, and I would not argue. His use of internal rhymes was revolutionary, with a voice that melts into the beat. Over 20 years later, and no one ever came close to creating a flow that is as fluid as his.