Herein lies the problem...there are so many to choose from, and there were some good ones on the tweets that he received. Do you narrow it down by longevity, album sales, crossover ability, the artists overall body of work, or East Coast vs West Coast? Shit, there are any number of ways to narrow it down, but what it comes down to is YOUR opinion...what you prefer to listen to. For me, that list changes all the time. I mean, damn, I OWN physical copies of damn near every Too Short album...but I wouldn't put him in my Top Ten. I could name 10-20 other deserving emcees...Nas, KRS, Pharoahe Monch, LL, Andre 3000, Big Pun, Cube, Scarface, Bun B, and Mos Def to name a few. Now what if you flip it and say groups/duos can be included too...De La, Tribe, Wu-Tang, Outkast, Freestyle Fellowship, Beastie Boys, P.U.T.S, Black Star, Gang Starr, UGK, and Boogie Down.
With much respect to the above artists, including others that have slipped my mind right now, and without further ado here is my "Top 3 rappers other than Em, Pac, Big, Hov, or Rakim".
Hit the cut to check it out...
First, and this was a "no brainer" for me...Ghostface. I was truly surprised as I read through the responses that only one or two people even had GFK on their list. Seriously, some had Chamillionaire, Nipsy, Daz, and Ya Boy and no Ghost. Like I said before though, that's the beauty of it all. After I heard Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) it was over. Ironman was decent, I liked it, but Ghost hit his stride with Supreme Clientele and I was hooked. His loud, fast paced flow mixed with provocative realism and ability to weave through a tale was (and still is) crazy to me. The track Run off The Pretty Toney Album...that shit has my heart racing and lungs wheezy (no wayne) every time.
Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emrald City that joint with Raheem DeVaughn, Do Over, that shit is a baby maker right there! I just want to throw this out there as well and this is nothing against Raekwon (who is dope as well)...Ghost was featured on 15 of the 18 tracks on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Just sayin...
The second wasn't that hard either. If I go to the iPod looking for something that I can listen to from start to finish, without skippin any track...and "If skills sold, truth be told/I'd probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli". I'm tellin you from Reflection Eternal, Black Star, to his solo projects (Quality, The Beautiful Struggle, Liberation, and Eardrum) Kweli might be one of my favorites. If this were a "Favorite Top 5 Emcee List", well, he could possibly crack that too. Lyrically, I just think that there aren't many better. Yes he can be a little socio-political at times but that's his thing, like it's Soulja Boy's thing to "Super Man dat hoe" or snort coke off Kat Stacks, and Yung Berg's thing to...well...be a douche and get the shit slapped outta him and have his Transformers chain stolen and then have the persons who stole it pose for pictures and post them all over the internets only to have said chain later purchased by...Soulja Boy! Anyway, I digress. I would probably put Talib second or third in the in the "Em, Pac, Big, Hov, and Rakim" list lyrically. Lyrics, content, delivery puts Kweli in my next three easily. See what I did there, this rap shit ain't so hard...LOL.
The third...well, the third was a little more difficult. Anyone recognize the young emcee in the photo above? Maybe the drummer? Ah, well, how about the second picture? There you go, now you get the idea. I had to go with my gut, I have said it many times and I truly believe it...Black Thought is a highly underrated emcee. Actually the reason I went with him was because he is an artist as much as he is an emcee. Dude can can sing, rap, play instruments and his live show (along with The Roots) is pretty incredible. I saw them perform a whole set then later that night at a club he did the entire Game Theory album with the backing of DJ Questlove to a group of about 100 people. After all that, he then freestyled for about 20-30 minutes while Questlove kept changin up the beats. When is voice finally gave out, he cut the beat and Quest responded with, "That's a real emcee right there folks". Needless to say, I was fucking impressed. It probably doesn't hurt that his is backed by I live band damn near all the time.
There you have it people, that is MY three. We might disagree, I mean, who knows you might have Lil Boosie in your list. If you do, hey, who am I to judge next time I swing by I'll pick up a 4-pack of Bartles & Jaymes for you to sip on while you listen to O-Town and decide which V-neck t-shirt to wear with your boot cut jeans (cause your totally against skinny jeans) and Lacoste shoes. I am curious to know though, "Who are your Top 3 rappers other than Em, Pac, Big, Hov, or Rakim?". Peace.