Down to the final four slots, as now separation becomes even more miniscule. Before we begin, Iâ€™d like to thank everyone who drops feedback on, who read it every Friday, and overall those who support this blog. With that out the way, number 4 on the list, is a rapper, who I believe based off his talent, should actually be number 1. But with a lack of quality material over the last decade, itâ€™s hard to put him at that level. With that said, he has still released enough great material over his 20 year career, to be on anyoneâ€™s top 5. The Legend .. The R..
One of the greatest lyricists of all-time is the benchmark all rappers are measured to from a bar to bar perspective.
Material â€“ 10/10 â€“ Starting out with the debut album Paid in Full, which is still considered by most the greatest debut album ever. Rakim ushered in a new age lyricism for the next decade. As the slow, monosyllable style of rap died, Rakimâ€™s faster, more complex, and flows were the blueprint of how to rap. Backed by production that let the MC shine, Rakim stole the show on his debut, and stamped his legacy. He continued to drop great albums like â€œFollow the Leaderâ€ (Arguably superior to his debut), Let the Rhythm Hit Em, and Donâ€™t Sweat the Technique. All these albums are filled with showcases of great lyrical prowess, tremendous storytelling, and a command of the audience that very few MCs can compete with. As his material began to grow, content became more mature and more aggressive. Rakim came back with a strong album 18th Letter, which had some good new tracks, and some of his best older material. After that, Rakim began to struggle to find his sound again. As a new era of rap began to emerge, Rakim found himself trying to fit in to different styles, and expand his sound, and it really hampered his music. Even though Rakim may never be able to release another great LP, his first 5 albums are able to match up with anyone in history.
Longevity â€“ 8/10 â€“ Rakim â€“ Rakim has been rapping for nearly 25 years, and while his star began to dimmer towards the end of the 90s, he still maintained a strong fan base. His signing to Aftermath records seemed to be the place to start a resurgence of the icon; however, creative differences with Dr. Dre ended that dream team. Rakim over the last few years continues to have a name in the rap industry, but in one of the only genreâ€™s that doesnâ€™t pay respect to its pioneers, he still has a hard time getting past the underground stage now. Rakim was never a major mover in terms of record sales, but they were all ways solid. He now is more of a act you go to see perform all his classic material from 15 years ago, rather than a rapper whoâ€™s latest music you run out to download or buy.
Influence â€“ 10/10 â€“ The most influential rapper of all-time. He paved the way for every â€œlyricalâ€ MC in the game, and advanced the state of the game to an extent that no one can match. His impact if felt in some of the games most legendary rappers, and it can not be understated how important he was to turning rap into more than just a novelty act. While Rakim certainly wasnâ€™t the FIRST great rap lyricist, he was the one that had the largest impact on a wide scale. In addition, he made it cool to actually say something clever in you rhymes.
Skills â€“ 10/10 â€“ Hard to make an argument for anyone else to being the most skillful MC ever. In terms of all aspects of MCing, Rakim is in a class by himself, when you add in all the factors. From pinpoint lyricism, to the sharpest flow, great delivery, storytelling, cadence, and voice, Rakim has all his peers beat. In his prime, Rakim spit some of the most mind blowing rhymes ever put down on wax, and he continues to be sharp with the pen. While nowhere near what he was at his peak now, Rakim is still pretty witty with his pen, and can still drop a hot song every once and a while. However, if you want to hear Mcing doing at the highest level, go listen to â€œLyrics of Furyâ€.
Best Song: In the Ghetto
Best Album: Follow the Leader