Screw your top five dead or alive list, and screw your hip-hop Mount Rushmore. Billboard is here to tell you exactly who the 10 greatest rappers of all-time are because they’re the authority on such things.
The magazine recently rolled out its “Greatest of All-Time” series, and the rap portion seems to be missing a few mainstays and fan favorites. Tupac, Scarface or Ice Cube are only a few of the possible names that aren’t included. According to Billboard, their list was crafted by picking rappers who have proven themselves to be the very best at this rap ish. “In no other genre do artists so blatantly express their desire to outdo competition,” the magazine writes on its website.
So, who did make the list?
Ranking at No. 10 is Lil Wayne who they contest had an epic run 2004 to 2009 with a perfect blend of quality-meets-quantity mixtapes, albums and guest verses. “No MC has ever rapped that well, on that many songs, for that long of a time period,” the publication explains.
Another relative newbie on the list is Kendrick Lamar at No. 9. The magazine lauds K.Dot for being “the greatest rap craftsman to emerge this millennium,” while also citing Section.80, GKMC and Butterfly as three of rap’s “most vivid and topical” albums.
Usual suspects Jay Z (No. 2), Nas (No. 5), and Eminem (No. 3) also make the list, as does Andre 3000 (No. 6), Lauryn Hill (No. 7), and Rakim (No. 4), who’s the only ’80s rapper ranked. The top spot goes to Biggie Smalls for being the illest. Called “a linguistic master,” the Brooklyn MC “never dropping a single bad song, or a single errant bar” is why he’s GOAT.
Check out the full breakdown at Billboard.