The Greatest Rapper Of All Time Part 1Posted: March 27, 2015 Filed under: MONDAY RAMBLE | Tags: 2 chainz, 2pac, andre 3000, andre benjamin, Biggie, dame dash, Diddy, Drake, eminem, jay-z, kendrick lamar, nas, outkast, scarface, streets is watching, summer jam, sunshine, the city is mine, Tupac, tupac shakur 4 Comments
Why Eminem is the best ever:
Marshall Mathers can rap. He can rap better than 97% of rappers that ever rapped. You can dispute that fact if you want to. But the truth is when you look at his words, the way he places them together, the use of double entendres, outlandish metaphors with more than one meaning, the clever flows and insane topics…you can’t deny that he is a genius. Eminem does not make songs for the club, he never tried to uplift anyone’s spirits and when he made love songs they were probably more fueled by hate.
Slim Shady is a battle rapper and one of the few that made the transition to superstardom. He raps fast, he can go slow, he can tell stories, he gives us emotion, his performances are strong, he freestyles live without a hitch, he goes bar for bar with underground starving emcees and then he can make a radio hit that will push an album to diamond status. He is harsh with his truths, he can berate his mother on record and years later apologize. Em has murdered his child’s mother on songs and professed his love for his family in the same breath. Marshall gives his all on his recordings; pieces of his core are poured out habitually on every LP even when he’s a jester. His albums have become confessionals and open windows to his tortured soul. Shady has been unafraid to push the boundaries in his videos and his punchlines.
Even when he admittedly backslid into the world of narcotics and used stupid voices too much, he found a way to form stanzas in a way that is unmatched. Every single cipher he enters he demolishes and every song he features on, he illuminates. No big jewelry, no name brand references, no shortage of different methods of attacking tracks. His sales are indicative of his reach and his fans. And the biggest factor that might place his stamp permanently on the top of Mount Rushmore is his consistency along with longevity. If you listen to “Rap God” it’s obvious that Em hasn’t lost a step. He signed a group full of rappers’ rappers and outraps them. You can disagree but,
“in my head there’s something I can feel tugging and struggling
Angels fight with devils, here’s what they want from me
They asking me to eliminate some of the women hate
But if you take into consideration the bitter hatred that I had
Then you may be a little patient and more sympathetic to the situation
And understand the discrimination
But fuck it, life’s handing you lemons, make lemonade then
But if I can’t batter the women how the fuck am I supposed to bake them a cake then?
Don’t mistake it for Satan
It’s a fatal mistake if you think I need to be overseas
And take a vacation to trip a broad
And make her fall on her face and don’t be a retard
Be a king? Think not, why be a king when you can be a God?”
Why Eminem is overrated:
Being a great emcee is not easy. But when your focus is wordplay, and style trumps substance, your greatness can have a ceiling. Em’s albums have some depth. He tackled domestic violence, suicide, alcoholism, and even addressed some world issues. But his view is limited. He may describe himself as trailer trash but we have to be honest, Slim Shady is a Caucasian male in America.
His pop crossover singles making fun of Michael Jackson and attacking Brittney Spears and N’ Sync would not have been accepted by anyone of another color. His leaked tape using the N-word was swept under the rug, he can be described as a culture vulture using the race card to take hip-hop to places an artist of color could not. Eminem is great at what he does but how much of his whiteness is a factor?
How can we crown him the best even though he looks nothing like the pioneers that began this genre? How can he embody all that hip-hop stands for? He can’t. He can simply study words, and learn how to put them together in the slickest way possible. Let’s say we don’t address ethnicity and focus on content. How many of us look to Eminem for lyrics beyond the wow factor? When we want to hear weird songs and clever lines we listen to Em. But will he enlighten us with positivity? Will he run out of shock value rap phrases and namedrops? Is Eminem just a circus act with talent that has been around brown people and poverty enough that he has adopted the lifestyle and flow? That may be a possibility. Mr. Mathers had a negative obsession with homosexuality that became an annoying recurring theme on his projects.
Yes his mind is on steroids, he can battle anyone, and he is guaranteed to give you a punchline to make you cringe or bend your mind. But for many listeners, Em is a novelty act that can’t be taken seriously. Sure you may say he killed Jay on “Renegade” but Hov was rapping about life on the streets and making it out alive, Shady was speaking on his critics and parents blaming him for corrupting society. Jay is relatable, Em is debatable. Marshall is allowed to be in your top 5 but he can’t be number one of all time.
Sha Stimuli, you are almost a legend in my book. And of course I respect your opinion just because I have so much respect for you as an artist. But I disagree with some points you made in this GOAT article. Not your top five pic, nobody can disagree with your list because that is subjective. We can only put our 2 cents in and leave it at that.
My thing is, you mentioned something about Jay-Z not tackling a lot of societal ills, he very much did. Hard knock life, meet the parents, minority report, somewhereinamerica, murder to excellence, and other half verses here and there but you know what? Thats really beside the point.
The thing is, Jay-Z is an artist, he doesnt have to address societal ills. He really doesnt. He’s a poet. His job is to tell the story in the best way possible, good, bad, terrifying, horrific, lovable, incredible, diabolical, devilish, amazing, soulful, what ever the subject matter turns out to be. He’s not our moral compass. Thats our parents and community leaders, putting artists or painters on such a pedestal is a disservice to art in general. Thats not HOV’s job.
“No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an upardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of art” ….Oscar Wilde
The moment we start expecting too much out of artists thats when we start strangling art and choking of its essence/freedom. Subject matter to me is truly irrelevant, I mean granted it somehow guides what you listen to but it does not determine how talented an artist is. Technique does that.
Striaght lovers of art, music and entertainment are more fans of Jay-z (ME), than purists who believe that hiphop or some art form should stick to some kind of pretentious code and tend to gravitate towards Nas. I’m a fan of Both. I just think that Jay-Z is LEAGUES ahead of Nas when it comes to writing lyrics. period.
Of course you are a rapper’s rapper because you are equally very talented yourself, so is it possible you are listening from a rapper’s point of view? i’m just a listener and I just appreciate poetry for what it is.
To me Jay-Z is probably the wittiest and most brilliant rapper of our time. He connects dots in such a way that it is honestly mind blowing, especially when you factor into the equation his writing process. Nas is great too, my problem with Nas is intermittent pretentiousness and use of too many cliche lines. I cant really quote Nas as much as JAY, because Nas is a reader and I’ve read some of what he’s saying in some book. But HOV, who is also a reader, has many ORIGINAL quotes.
One more thing that bother’s me about your Biggie arguement is this: Biggie is dead. There is no IF, or Whether, no, he’s dead. He’s not here. Jay-Z is. And Jay-Z is better than Biggie. That is what it is. Maybe in an alternate universe we can argue about who is better where biggie is alive but he’s not. Lets not leave the realm of analysis and start threading that of extreme speculation.
Sha Stimuli has more original quotes than Nas. But on my list of 100 top emcees you’re not above Nas, just because you can appear too preachy sometimes, and your flow, something is missing for me LOL but then you are too talented that I can’t even complain. I dont fault you on that because thats part of you, It is what it is.
Thank you for blowing my mind with your lyrics.
I’ve seen crips lose blood, 911
I’ve seen bloods turn cripple, these are not just puns
I try to wake em up when the sun comes
Imagine getting a ‘one love’ letters from loved ones – Sha stimuli
“I bring change, four quarters no time outs”….Sha stimuli (Feel good)
Dude you are a lyrical beast, i just dont understand what happened to your career. I always felt like you had the kind of wittiness Jay-Z had and if he backed you, you would make it in the mainstream. Sad man.
Thanks so much for this comment. I too believe Jay is great. I didn’t get up to the next part of this post yet. It’s pretty long. But for these I just compiled arguments that I heard from people over the years so it’s not solely my opinion. I guess I’m just building a case and providing opposing views before others can. As far as my career, you’re right, something was missing. And that was complete honesty. Not really in my words, but in my mission. I was confused about what I wanted and I got lost trying to chase Jay’s throne when I should have been carving out my own lane. Ironically he had a small hand in ending my mainstream dream. With that said, I may return but not as the same artist I was before. I may be even more “preachy” for lack of a better word but either way I will be more honest even though most of my fans probably enjoy my spitting bars, I have to do what I feel. Thank you again.
Of Course Man!!
If you changed too much i probably would not like you as I used to. I feel like that “preachiness” (honestly, i ran out of words on that man lol) is both your greatest strength and weakness. I just want to hear Sha Stimuli. I dont care what you rap about. You’re dope. Like i said, skill is skill, you can rap about donuts and still kill it!!!
And to be honest, you got insight man, I like how you see things, it informs some of my decisions too.
I am currently using Tumblr as my default platform.
I kinda want something similar to what you have. Great job, I think I have to invest into a proper website.