05-24-2011, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Nashua, NH
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The Elusive Top 5 MC's List
Today I look at the revelation that some of these "top 5" lists from your favorite artists aren't really coming from them and what the whole idea of a top 5 list means anyway....
Recently there have been a lot of lists being released by various sites with famous rappers naming their top 5 MCs of all time. Some specifically asked for names not normally mentioned, others gave us the typical “Big, Pac…” nods, but the most recent list that dropped proved two things; first that we really shouldn’t trust everything the news sites tell us, shit we been doubting them about everything else for so long it’s about time we take their hip hop reporting with a grain of salt as well. Secondly, these lists really don’t mean shit other than for the inevitable debate in which no one comes out a winner.
In the last couple days a list was released that was apparently Joe Budden’s top 5 MCs, he however denied that this was true and proceeded to list off about 10-15 MCs that he considered the best. While some names appeared on both lists, the point is that here are these publications completely making shit up, including descriptions and all that, for some shit that really doesn’t matter with regard to the artist who is being discussed. Is Joe Budden’s favorite MCs gonna change your opinion of him as a rapper? Probably not. And if it does then I gotta wonder what exactly you base your opinions on. Everyone is gonna have a different top 5 and most likely it will exclude someone who you as a fan think should be in there and it will include someone who you as a fan will think sucks. But what does that really do for you, as a fan?
It’s a never ending debate on who the greatest rappers of all time are. But that debate is a changing one as new artists become old artists and old artists become forgotten. Fifteen years ago there wouldn’t be a top 5 list that didn’t include KRS-One, Chuck D, or Kane. But now, with the combination of years past as well as a new generation of hip hop thinkers, you probably won’t see any of those names (short of Kane, and you better fucking see that name) on anyone’s list because half the fans aren’t thinking about them anymore and the other half haven’t heard more than 2 songs by any of them. So does a top 5 matter all that much really?
There’s also the need for a distinction between a personal top 5 and an admitted top 5. I think most people will admit that they like some rappers more than the general public does. So while you might think Immortal Technique is all types of amazing with his brilliant poetic op-ed raps, he clearly isn’t qualified for top 5 status as nobody outside of his little fanbase knows about him or really gives a shit. Not saying he isn’t talented, but just because some random guy on the corner in NY may be the best rapper in the world doesn’t mean he is if no one knows who he is; success and relevancy do mean something.
The top 5 list is a fun discussion, and with a group of friends you can always have a solid debate about who gets placed where in the list, but as far as what other rappers think, it sounds more like something you’d read in a teen magazine like Word Up! (that still around?) than something most fans would want to know. Am I wrong? Do you care who your favorite rapper’s top 5 MCs are? And if so would their answers change the way you feel about them as an MC themselves? Also would your list be different if you were naming the top 5 MCs of all time from a more objective standpoint? Does your opinion differ from what you accept as being a general overall top 5 list? And are you able to admit that just because you like an artist doesn’t necessarily mean they are one of the best?
Oh and for anyone that cares….my personal top 5 all time are, in order:
- Big Daddy Kane
- Left open as at any given time a different MC could be placed here (Scarface, Kool G Rap, Ice Cube, Talib Kweli, Chuck D)