And weâ€™re back, with another installment of the best rappers ever. Weâ€™re down to the final 3 rankings, and we will start with one of the most controversial MCs of all time. From a critical standpoint has released one, if not the greatest album ever, but to most has never lived up completely to the hype bestowed upon him once he made his first appearance. This rapper could have easily been ranked number 1, if it werenâ€™t for a few terrible missteps in his career. Arguably the most respected and well versed MC in his generation â€¦Escobar Season Returns ..
The Queensbridge native is one of the greatest rappers to ever touch the mic
Material â€“ 9-10 â€“ Nas has always been an MC that could never top his first effort, which in turn makes people completely underrate his overall output of music. When you drop with an album like Illmatic, the holy grail of albums in your genre of music, itâ€™s very difficult to compete with that. However, Nas still managed to release two other LPs that can be considered classic (It Was Written, Stillmatic), and a couple of other solid efforts (I Am, God son). His only real downfall was Nastradamus, which was more of a marketing ploy, that failed miserably. Nas guest appearances are rivaled by only 1 or 2 rappers in history, in addition, he has released a plethora of songs (Even on his weak albums), that can compete with anyone in history. The unreleased material in Nas collection, would also put any rapper in discussion for being one of the top 10 best MCs ever. It shows a level of artistry that Nas has, as often as we tend to overlook his accomplishments, itâ€™s rather clear he has more than lived up to what anyone can expect from any rapper, when you analyze his catalog track for track.
Influence â€“ 9-10 â€“ Rarely has an MC ever had the inpact Nas has had over his career. Itâ€™s not often that an MC that had his start in the 90s becomes a major influence in terms of content and style to not only his peers, but the people who started their career before them. From artists like Kool G. Rap (Who, was of course a major influence to Nas), to underlings like Nature, to his peers like Jay-Z, you can hear Nas influence in all their music and many others. Nas paved a lane for the intellectual (as contrived as it is many times), yet street thug that has been a favorite in the NY scene since the 1990s. He has garnered much admiration from artists in other genres of music, and a prolific writer, and for being in the game for nearly 20 years, still carries a mystique around him. Nas has never let the public all the way into his psyche.
Longevity â€“ 10-10 â€“ Bottomline is, Nas is one of only a handful of rappers from the 90s that are still relevant today. Nasâ€™ albums are still anticipated as much, if not more, than any other artist that will make this top list. Nas was never a huge seller the likes of 50 Cent, but he was a constant platinum selling artist over his career, and maintained a fan base of the course, that will never leave. While many can argue about his selection of beats, and his contradictory content, there is no denying that Nas has still kept a level of material that is still good enough to compete with his peers.
Skills â€“ 10-10 â€“ You can easily make an argument that Nas is the greatest and most complete rapper ever. From a lyrical stand point his rhyme schemes are full of intricate and inner rhymes, and well put together. A lot of rappers tend to force multis, Nas lets them come natural, and you can hear it in his delivery of the words. Nas was never a big punchline rapper, though he is rather good at it when he does it. Earlier in his career, he dropped a few clever gems in his lines that had massive wordplay in it. Nas also possessed one of the best flows, and deliveries in the game, that made him stand out from his peers. He can delivery lines with a fierce bravado, or he can have a laid back flow, that can make his adversaries on the mic feel inadequate when it comes to writing. Also, Nas may be the most creative storyteller in rap history, dropping some of the most well writing story rhymes ever, from street tales, to infidelity, and betrayal. Nasâ€™ stories come off like a novel.
Best song: Memory Lane
Best album: Illmatic