And weâ€™re down to the last one. Before we begin with the final entrant, Iâ€™d just like to address a few issues people have expressed about my rankings and the omission of certain artists. I expected that not everyone would like or agree with my list going in, and Iâ€™m fine with that. I knew people would say itâ€™s rather â€œClichÃ©â€ and that is also a criticism that I was certain would be stated. However, one that people have misconstrued is that I made this list out of my PERSONAL favorite rappers. This isnâ€™t about my favorites, this isnâ€™t even necessarily a list of the most talented rappers, imo. Itâ€™s about the My Top Ten Rappers of Ever, based off a criteria that I laid forth, that I felt would give the most un bias result. Anyway, without anymore delay…Number 1..Jigga
The MC from Marcy Project that went on to become the most successful rap artist of all-time
Material â€“ 9-10 â€“ Jay-Z began his career in a very uneventful fashion as a back up to Jaz-O, as one of the Originators in the 1980s. After that didnâ€™t work, Jay revamped his style from 1993-1995, until it was fully developed. He released his classic album Reasonable Doubt, which got rave reviews when it debuted, but still kinda flew under the radar, even though his single did go Gold, and the LP went Gold later that same year. His display of unmatched wordplay all the while talking about his tribulations in the drug trade made for one of the more introspective, and lyric heavy albums of the 1990s. He moved on to his second LP the In My Lifetime, which was him moving to a more pop appeal, however, he still managed to spit some of his best verses ever, even though some of the beats lacked the street appeal that his debut album had. He continued on to release more commercial material, especially his break out LP Hard Knock Life, which sold 5 Million, and catapulted him into the biggest rap star in the game, a title he has basically held on to since. His next few albums were all critical and commercial successes, and developed his brand even further, and helped establish his legacy. Then, the release of the BluePrint, quiet arguably, the best rap album of this decade. While taking on more diverse subject matters, and dealing with beefs with Nas, DMX and Mobb Deep, he released his most soulful and unique album of his career. While his other Blueprint albums havenâ€™t reached the critical acclaim as his first, they were still good albums. And albums like American Gangster show that on the mic, heâ€™s still significantly above the majority of his peers.
Influence â€“ 10-10 â€“ No rapper in history has ever had the influence of Jay-Z. No matter what coast, or age group youâ€™re talking about, Jay-Z is who most rappers want to emulate their careers after. Rather it be starting as an independent rap label, and building from the ground up into a half a billion dollar business mogul; or just being considered by their peers to be the most complete MC in the game, rappers have looked up to Jay-Z as the pinnacle of what it is to be a success. Everyone from Lil Wayne, to T.I., to Jadakiss, Fabolous, etc..the list is long of rappers over the years who have taken an followed in Jayâ€™s footsteps. And itâ€™s passed just rappers, look around and you see the influence he has on mainstream and urban America. Jay-Z is the only artist I know that can basically make or break a product by merely stating if he thinks itâ€™s passÃ© or not.
Longevity â€“ 10-10, Jay has been rapping for over 20 years, and is still, either the biggest or second biggest rap artist in the game today. That is unheard of. In a business where fame is usually here today, gone tomorrow, Jay has been able to maintain the ears of listeners for over two decades. Has he latched on to other peopleâ€™s popularity at times? Certainly. However, that is the sign of someone who is aware of how fickle the game cane be, and adapts accordingly. Jay-Z is the only rapper that debuted in the 1980s that still goes platinum every go around, can sell out arenas in every big venue in the U.S., and across the globe.
Mic Skills â€“ 10-10 For all the talk of Jay-Zâ€™s success, his marriage to Beyonce, his business deals, at the end of it all, he is still one of the most gifted MCs to ever grab the mic. There isnâ€™t anything Jay canâ€™t do when it comes to rap. He has spit some of the most complex metaphors in rap history, all while displaying the best flow in the game. There isnâ€™t a beat or a style of rap Jay hasnâ€™t perfected. His cadence is, delivery, and pocket game are all top notch as well. There really is no flaws at all to his rapping ability when he is completely focused. The ONLY gripe you could possibly have is, that at times, Jay does tend to dumb down his lyrics for his audience to understand him. I, personally, donâ€™t think that is a flaw, itâ€™s a smart way to maintain a larger audience.
Best Song: Dâ€™Evils
Best Album: Reasonable Doubt