Sun 6 Jan 2013
We’ll probably never get tired of debating the best rappers in hip-hop. It will just be weird for a lot of us when those debates no longer include (BIG, Pac, Jay, Nas, Em). I’m not saying this will be our future but who can really predict the next hundred years of rap? Even Nas, an Mc always included in top 5 convos, says it’s too early to say who is the king.
“It’s wayyyyyy, way, way too early in our lives,” he said when asked where he fits among history’s best MCs. “It’s great to put a list together, but don’t take it too seriously because your list won’t matter 10 years from now or 15 years from now. It’ll be a different list. (spotted at HHW)”
However, CNN feels Nasir already has the title. In a new opinon piece, writer Eliott C. McLaughlin, attributes Nas’ longevity, catalog , and consistency as to why he is “The Greatest Lyricist Of All Time.”
Let us know what you think!
read more of the articles’ points after the jump…
With “Life is Good,” Nas dropped his ninth No. 1 hip-hop album since 1994. Seven of those have gone platinum, which places him second among rappers only to Jay-Z with 11. (We’re not counting compilations or collaborations here, only original solo efforts, and yes, Tupac Shakur had nine, but five were posthumous releases.)
It also ties Nas with Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion or whatever his name is, and it puts the Queens native one plaque ahead of Eminem, Too Short, OutKast and LL Cool J, all of whom belong in the greatest-ever discussion, as well.
In a genre not known for the longevity of its luminaries, making it 10, 15, 20 years means you’re a survivor — and you survive only if people keep buying your music.
Unlike his aforementioned brethren in the Multiplatinum Club, Nas has done that without a platinum single. Not “Street Dreams.” Not “Nas is Like.” Not “Made You Look.” Not one.
Here is where that “lyricist” v. “hip-hop artist” distinction becomes important. Jay-Z said it best himself: He’s not a businessman; he’s a business, man. When you consider 11 of his albums have sold at least a million copies — seven of those 2 million or more — as have his four collaborations, two with R. Kelly and one each with Linkin Park and Kanye West, it’s as if Hova is King Midas, but with platinum.
He’s a hit maker extraordinaire, maybe the world’s best, but that doesn’t translate to best lyricist. Jay-Z acknowledged as much on “Moment of Clarity” when he rhymed, “If skills sold, truth be told/I’d probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli.”
Even in dissing Nas on “Takeover,” he explained why he had sampled Nas’ lyrics on “Dead Presidents”: “So yeah, I sampled your voice; you was using it wrong/you made it a hot line; I made it a hot song.”
And that, friends, is the crux of the debate: hot lines vs. hot songs. No one would deny Hova his dap, but it seems he has said, in both word and action, that it’s tough to top Nas.
Read the full interview at CNN