If music moves the soul then to me, lyrics are the compass. I am a lyrics guy. What can I say ? With that being said, here is my list of the top five rappers of all time. I know my number five will spark a debate but if you disagree...li.st me.
  1. 2Pac
    The realist. A troubled, brilliant soul way ahead of his time. A prophet. His lyrics came from the soul, sadly, including his self fulfilling prophecies of early demise. His lyrics are still relevant today and more substantive than most any current hip hop artists.
  2. JayZ
    What can you say that Jay hasn't already said without the use of a pen? A men amongst boys he has taken control of the game until someone can unseat the "best rapper alive."
  3. Eminem
    Speaking of the best rapper alive, I would argue it is Eminem. Undoubtedly capable of rapping circles around the best, his lyrics also has struck a chord with millions (black and white alike). Although the whining about his mom grew tired on his later albums, his body of work is undeniable.
  4. Biggie
    Who else can turn the spelling of his name into a powerful chord? No one. Another talented, powerful presence taken way to early. Although I always favored the west coast in the coastal beef, there is no denying the talent of Biggies rapping over Puffy's beats.
  5. E-40
    There are a lot of artists who could fill this spot. Nas. Lil Wayne. Ice Cube. Method Man. Snoop. Dre. Kanye. DMX. They are all probably more deserving ...but I am going with "40 Water, your Playa Partner". Charlie Hustle. E40. He drops heavy lyrics despite weak hooks and has to be the most imitated cat in the game with his unique verbiage or as he calls it, "Slanguage". His rhymes trump collaborations and his solo work is inspirational yet honest. He is the most underrated in the game.